Texas A&M will have a ceremony later this week honoring a Houston insurance business as the first in what they hope will be a large program called "Aggie Owned & Operated."
Barhorst Insurance Group on the northwest side of town will host the ceremony and be the honoree; it is owned by a member of Jackie Sherrill's original "12th Man" student program. And being so designated means, according to the school, that from this day to the ending of the world, there will be "an automatic association between an Aggie's business and the values and reputation of Texas A&M in the minds of customers."
This, the school says, will be "good for Aggies and for the public at large."
As for the public at large, Aggie officials are not clear on whether they mean the declaration as a warning. We guess not, but you never know.
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"The Aggie Owned and Operated program allows Texas A&M to engage with businesses across the state of Texas and tap into the passion that exists through our former students," said Jason Cook, A&M's V-P of marketing and communications. "When patrons walk into an Aggie Owned and Operated business, they will know that their experience will be based on Texas A&M's core values -- that they will have an excellent experience and will be treated with the highest levels of integrity and respect."
And when you go into a feed store, you definitely want to be treated with respect. (We kid.)
The Ags will publish a "Maroon Book" listing all the businesses involved. And those businesses will get a banner and a sign for their window declaring their Aggieness.
Other schools do this, and Cook mentioned in passing one reason why: Another goal of the program, he says, is "being an excellent entry point to a more extensive relationship with Texas A&M, either through athletic sponsorships, sponsored research agreements or scholarship contributions."