Funding scholarships, programs and facilities in support of championship athletics.

Better Late Than Never

Eventual Aggies Matt and Manon Kebodeaux leaving a lasting legacy at Texas A&M.

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To learn how you can support Texas A&M's student-athletes through the 1922 Fund, please call the 12th Man Foundation Major Gifts staff at (979) 260-7595.

Nineteen years ago, the Texas A&M football team traveled to Lafayette, La., for an ill-fated game against the University of Southwestern Louisiana. Thanks to eight turnovers, the Aggies stumbled to a shocking 29-22 loss to the Ragin' Cajuns.

In the stands that night was Matt Kebodeaux, a proud mechanical engineering graduate of USL (now the University of Louisiana-Lafayette). Kebodeaux attended the game with a client who was an Aggie, but the A&M graduate had placed one condition on the trip: Kebodeaux must travel to College Station with him the following year to take in a game at Kyle Field.

Kebodeaux made good on his end of the bargain and traveled to Aggieland in 1997, where he attended Midnight Yell Practice and soaked in all the pregame pageantry that shapes a football weekend at Texas A&M. While the Aggies' 66-0 trouncing of USL garnered most of the headlines, the weekend was a life-changer for Kebodeaux.

"I was hooked," recalled Kebodeaux. "I saw the core values of the university in the people that I met. The ethics, the loyalty, people wanting to give back...it was the whole package. Once you come here and you see it, you see that it's real and not a façade. I promised myself that weekend that if I ever went back to school, it would be to Texas A&M."

He did just that several years later, enrolling in Texas A&M's Executive MBA program in Houston. Officially a member of the A&M class of 2004, Kebodeaux proudly wears his Aggie ring and travels regularly to College Station with his wife, Manon. Though neither earned an undergraduate degree from Texas A&M (Manon enrolled at A&M after high school but eventually graduated from the University of Houston), the Kebodeauxs are as maroon-blooded as they come.

The two recently initiated a major gift to the 1922 Fund, permanently cementing their devotion to Texas A&M.

The Kebodeaux's gift to sustain the educational opportunities inside the Nye Academic Center will help provide Texas A&M's student-athletes with support as they work toward graduation. Both Matt and Manon come from a long line of educators, so the decision to give in this impact area was a natural fit.

"It was important for us to support athletics, but we wanted to do it in a way that would encourage student-athletes to earn their degrees," Manon said. "Our parents pushed us to focus on education and instilled that background and foundation for us to be successful in our lives and careers. It's that success that has provided us the finances to help make a difference."

Both products of rural, hardworking families, the Kebodeauxs are also very involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters, where Manon sits on the board of directors in Houston. Much like the mentoring and personal relationships that are vital to the success of Big Brothers Big Sisters, Matt and Manon saw a lot of similar qualities on display in the Nye Academic Center, where tutors and support staff shine in their dedication to assisting student-athletes.

"Big Brothers Big Sisters is built on that one-on-one interaction where you spend time and resources on trying to give someone an opportunity that they wouldn't normally have," Manon said. "This academic center at Texas A&M gives similar opportunities, and that makes a difference."

 

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2015 November

"It's an honor for me to give back because A&M has always been so good to me.

This is my way of telling Texas A&M 'Thank you.'"

Red Bryant
Former Texas A&M defensive lineman and Super Bowl Champion