The Big Event

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A few days ago we had the privilege of attending The Big Event as corporate sponsors. Arriving on Friday, the day before the enormous service project began, the second we stepped foot on campus, we were greeted by Mark Lutz, an exec on The Big Event committee, as well as a handful of other staff members. For a years worth of work to come to a pinnacle the following day, everyone was enthusiastic and confident in what was to come.

For those who don’t know much about The Big Event, it is the largest, one day student-run service project in the nation. Started in 1982 by then student body vice president Joe Nussbaum, the project immediately took hold and has grown into a nation wide day of service, known as “The One Big Day.” Texas A&M students hold an annual conference at the university to educate students across the nation on how to initiate and operate a one day service project on their campuses. Over the last couple of years, The Big Event has even spread worldwide. (more…)

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In Memoriam of Billy Pickard ’56

 

We are saddened to hear of the loss of longtime Aggie trainer, Billy Pickard.

Many have stories of Mr. Pickard and we’d like to be a place where people can share uplifting, funny or personal experiences with Mr. Pickard.  Here’s a great story he shared with us.

On Friday mornings, the field staff would paint the lines at Kyle Field before home football games.  After the lines were freshly marked, the Aggie Band would do a final run-through on Kyle Field before their halftime performance on the following day.

Fresh to College Station, Coach Jackie Sherrill, the first million dollar coach and athletic director in college football, had a bone to pick with the Aggie Band.  He didn’t want to paint the field twice and if the Aggie Band would simply stop doing a final practice on the actual field, he wouldn’t have to worry about that.

He went to his trusted friend and long time Aggie trainer, Mr. Pickard. “Pick, I need you to go over to the band practice tomorrow morning and tell them to stop practicing on Kyle Field before gameday,” Sherrill told him.

In typical Pickard fashion, he responded directly.  “I can’t do that, Coach.”

“Well, why not?” Sherrill responded.

“I don’t think that’s a good idea.”

Frustrated, Sherrill responded, “Well good grief, I’ll go over there and do it myself.”

True to his word, Sherrill loaded up in Pickard’s truck and the two went over the next morning to the Aggie Band practice.  The two sat down in the bleachers and watched the band practice for a few minutes. Before long, Sherrill said, “Come on Pick, let’s get out of here.”

Grinning, knowing what was going on, Mr. Pickard smartly said, “Coach, I thought you wanted to say something to them?”

Sherrill responded, “Pick, the day we’re as good as the Aggie Band, we’ll win a national championship. Let’s go.”

Mr. Pickard wasn’t only a confidant to Coach Sherrill, he was a trusted friend and advisor to every head football coach that came through Texas A&M from 1965-2015.  He was a legend and an example to football players, students, coaches and staff at Texas A&M for fifty years. Nobody loved Texas A&M more than him, and his life was an example of his passion.  He will be dearly missed by many.

Have a story of Mr. Pickard that you want to share?  We’d love to hear it… and so would others.   Share it in our comments.

 

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Bonham trophy symbolizing new era of A&M rivalries to be covered in “Breaking Tradition”.

The making of a trophy is a detailed and arduous task as I learned after visiting the foundry to speak with Bonham Trophy artist Jeff Gottfried. Mr. Gottfried received notice in December of 2013 that Governors Rick Perry of Texas and Nikki Haley of South Carolina were interested in creating a trophy to be given to the annual winner of the Texas A&M and University of South Carolina game. Although no expert in college football, Gottfried had extensive experience in western bronze sculpture art, making him the perfect candidate for the job. (more…)

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