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Texas A&M reports record fundraising; chancellor cites football success

Johnny Manziel isn't the only Aggie who can throw up a money sign. Johnny Manziel isn't the only Aggie who can throw up a money sign. (Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

Texas A&M's success in its short stint in the SEC is paying off for the university with its fundraising efforts.

The school announced Tuesday that it took in a record $740 million in donations and pledges during the most recent fiscal year, which ran from Sept. 1, 2012 through Aug. 31, and that amount is nearly $300 million more than the previous year. A&M officials claim it is the largest amount ever raised by a Texas university.

According to TheEagle.com in College Station, the breakdown of donations is a follows:

The $740-plus million includes approximately $97.5 million in private grants to the Division of Research, $351 million to the Texas A&M Foundation, $14 million to The Association of Former Students, $6 million to the George Bush Presidential Library Foundation and $271.5 million to the 12th Man Foundation, the latter of which is hosting a herculean effort to finance a $450 million upgrade to Kyle Field.

In an email to donors, Aggies' chancellor John Sharp credited record enrollment, record graduation totals, a government contract to develop vaccines and the generosity of alumni with the fundraising numbers, but he also mentioned the football program's success in the SEC.

"Everything about A&M is hitting exactly at the right time and people want to be part of a winning program and, right now, A&M is winning with faculty and students and winning in football," Sharp said.

"I think what football has done and BARDA has done, the law school, all these things thrown in together have made Aggies decide we're the place to be in the state of Texas."

Texas A&M Foundation President Ed Davis said the school's last fiscal year was the best fundraising effort in his 20 years with the program. Davis also made the correlation between football and fundraising.

"People ask me all the time if you have a winning football team, do you raise more money," Davis said. "In normal times, the statistical data wouldn't support that, but in an era where we are in, effectively, in the news everywhere and you have a young man like our quarterback who has been a media magnet and you have the success you have, I do think that euphoria does spill over into success in fundraising. I'm hoping we can keep it up."

According to TheEagle.com, the previous record haul was $453 million, reported by the University of Texas during this past fiscal year as well.

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