Crystal & David Watts
With their investment in Aggie student-athletes, generous couple proud to continue family tradition of support
By Samantha Atchley ’17
To Crystal and David Watts, Texas A&M is more than just a treasured university – it’s a family tradition. Their love for Texas A&M and Aggie Athletics has been passed down for generations.
“We have a lot of passion for A&M,” David said. “We love having that camaraderie with Aggies, and we understand the importance of what graduating from this university can mean for your future.”
Although Crystal and David did not attend Texas A&M, the couple has a deep connection to Aggieland.
“We just love A&M,” Crystal said. “When I graduated from high school, I ended up choosing a school closer to home, but I’ve had members of my family go to A&M and the stories they tell are just the best – and I love to now talk about being a part of one.”
As the son of a Texas A&M football letterman – the late William Dale Watts ’71 – David’s passion for Aggie Athletics began at an early age and still holds strong today. He was present for every moment shown in color during the highlight reel that plays prior to kickoff at Kyle Field.
“My dad was probably the biggest draw for A&M, and I feel like I’ve passed that down to my family just as it was passed down to him,” David said. “I’ve been going to football games from the time I was two years old up to the Orange Bowl in January. They’re just great memories – with friends, with family and with my dad and his wife, Phoebe.”
A former student-athlete himself, David’s college football career at both North Texas and Northeastern State gave him first-hand experience in the world of collegiate athletics. Coupled with his exposure to the 12th Man Foundation from his father’s dedicated involvement, David developed a well-rounded perspective of the importance of student-athlete support and athletic fundraising.
“As a former 12th Man Foundation board member, my dad would talk to me about how important sports were for the university, for growth and for the Aggie community,” David said. “Getting to watch that domino effect play out was a really special thing, and we knew we wanted to do whatever we could to help even if it was at a small level.”
“When you give somebody an opportunity to make an impact in another person’s life where they’re actually involved, it just makes all the difference.”
“Facilities will always be renovated and rebuilt, but if student-athletes graduate from A&M and you were a part of that, you’re setting up generations for success.”
When his father passed away in 2012, David felt the need to continue their family’s tradition of support in a way that filled the void and left an undeniable legacy. Through the 1922 Fund, Crystal and David found a significant way to make an impact all while honoring a shared passion that connected them to Texas A&M from the beginning.
“Back then I knew nothing about the 1922 Fund,” David said. “I remember there was a 12th Man Magazine that had the information and as I was reading it, I thought, ‘Wow, we need to look into this. This is something special.’”
After discovering such a fitting alignment between the 1922 Fund and their desire to give, the Watts were drawn in by the unique opportunity. It was appealing to Crystal because it gave them the ability to donate in a way that is unlike any other.
“When you give somebody an opportunity to make an impact in another person’s life where they’re actually involved, it just makes all the difference,” she said. “You get to be a part of it, interact with them and watch them grow, and that’s really special.”
To the Watts, being a part of a student-athlete’s development on and off the field is beyond rewarding. With the full Texas A&M experience in mind, Crystal and David are deeply motivated to make an impact on student-athletes during, and long after their time competing for Texas A&M.
“Facilities will always be renovated and rebuilt,” said David, “but if student-athletes graduate from A&M and you were a part of that, you’re setting up generations for success. That’s what really drew us in.”
Given the special place in their hearts for football, the couple’s 1922 Fund connection to Baylor Cupp ’24 was especially exciting. As more in-person interactions become available, the couple is excited to build a relationship and watch the sophomore tight end’s success unfold on the Aggie football team.
“When we were told we’d be connected with Baylor through the 1922 Fund, we were very excited,” Crystal said. “We just love personal relationships, and the opportunity to make an impact in a student’s life is an incredible feeling.”
With their significant investment in Aggie Athletics as Diamond Champions Council members, Crystal and David are inspired by the trajectory of the athletics department and look forward to seeing the impact of donor support come to fruition. David believes Texas A&M is the best it has ever been and eagerly anticipates the accomplishments yet to come.
“The momentum is growing, and the rewards are going to be big time,” David said. “When you can visualize that, it’s just a snowball effect. I think the donors, student-athletes and coaches are the best that we’ve ever had.”
With help from dedicated supporters like Crystal and David, the stage is set for a bright future in Aggie Athletics.
“Crystal and I are very lucky we’ve gotten to a point in our lives that we can give back to the things that we care about, and Texas A&M Athletics is one of them,” David said. “We give because we’ve chosen this organization, these people and this special place called Aggieland. We have a lot of passion and it’s important to us to see A&M and Aggie student-athletes be on top.”