Guided by the desire to create a more unified Texas A&M University family, campus leaders are calling upon students, faculty, and staff, as well as the entire Bryan/College Station community, to gather Tuesday, Dec. 6, from 6 to 9pm at Kyle Field for “Aggies United” – an opportunity to stand together in unwavering conviction that Aggies are strongest when united.
The event will be co-hosted by award-winning actor and best-selling author Hill Harper and Texas A&M Student Body President Hannah Wimberly, and it will feature special performances by singer/songwriter Ben Rector and Grammy-nominated singer, actress, and model, V. Bozeman. Also featured will be Roland Martin, a member of Texas A&M’s Class of 1991 and host and managing editor of TV One’s NewsOne Now, and Max Glauben, a Holocaust survivor who has captivated audiences with his recount of his World War II experiences.
Texas A&M President Michael K. Young, who will also speak at the event, announced the Aggies United event Nov. 29 while showing his appreciation for the university community’s “firm resolve to speak up in opposition” of hate speech and “the resounding affirmation that they do not represent the Aggie values we espouse and to which we aspire, and the call to action to reject these views.”
Dr. Karan Watson, the university’s provost and executive vice president, echoed President Young’s sentiment and encouraged the campus community and beyond to take part in the event. “After spending the last 34 years at Texas A&M University, I fully acknowledge the imperfections in our ability to always show respect and be welcoming to everyone. However, I am proud of the long history our current and former students, faculty, staff, and community have of uniting around the right message to each other when it is most important. ‘Aggies United’ is a celebration of who we are and who we are becoming. I hope everyone joins us to show their commitment to our core values.”
Student Body President Hannah Wimberly called upon everyone at Texas A&M and in the B/CS community to unite for a common cause. “This is a time when we must come together. Instead of simply putting our differences aside, we are embracing our diversity, and joining as one. ‘Aggies United’ is not just fighting bad speech with good speech, but an avenue of our own expression and a celebration of our Aggie Spirit.”
Joshua Lewis, president of the Black Student Alliance Council, said “Aggies United” is an opportunity for Texas A&M to make a statement. “Aggies United is an acknowledgement that the university is committed to making a positive change alongside its students, staff and faculty. It is a declaration that we are here to take on societal challenges for a better future.”
Annie Giang, president of the Asian Presidents Council, said the “Aggies United” event will send a message to the world that the Texas A&M community is one that stands against hate. “A unified Aggie family stands with all Aggies from all backgrounds and supports those who don’t feel like they fit in or feel safe on campus. Here we celebrate diversity and inclusion.”
Adam Brennan, president of the Hispanic Presidents Council, said the event will allow Texas A&M to put its core values on display. “Now is a more important time than ever to show the world how a community can come together around a message of positivity. With the help of the campus and Bryan/College Station communities, we can live out our core values and show everyone what excellence, integrity, leadership, loyalty, respect, and selfless service look like in action.”
Hill Harper: The award-winning actor, best-selling author, and philanthropist starred on the CBS TV drama CSI: NY from 2004 to 2013. He most recently starred on USA Network’s Covert Affairs and returned to CBS as Agent Boyle in the new drama Limitless. Harper is the author of four New York Times best-sellers and has earned seven NAACP Image Awards for his writing and acting. He graduated magna cum laude as valedictorian of his department with a bachelor’s degree from Brown University and cum laude with a Juris Doctorate degree from Harvard Law School.
Ben Rector: Achieving remarkable success as an independent artist, Ben Rector has sold more than 390,000 albums and nearly four million digital tracks in the course of his young career. His latest album, Brand New, debuted in the Top 10 of the Billboard 200, topped the iTunes Singer/Songwriter Albums chart and peaked at No. 3 on the overall iTunes Album chat. The buoyant title track, “Brand New,” entered the Top 30 at Pop radio, and placed at Top 5 in the Adult Top 40 format. Rector recently wrapped “The Biggest Tour I Have Done So Far Tour,” on which he performed to packed houses in amphitheaters and theaters nationwide.
V. Bozeman: The Grammy-nominated, soul-singing sensation, model, and actress is best known for her recurring role as “Veronika” in FOX’s Golden Globe-nominated hit drama Empire. She captivated more than 20 million viewers when she opened the series premiere singing the heart-wrenching ballad “What Is Love,” which would go on to become the most downloaded and streamed song on the show’s Billboard chart-topping soundtrack.
Max Glauben: Max Glauben is from Warsaw, Poland. His family’s apartment overlooked a square that saw early fighting in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. He lost all of his family except for his father with whom Max was sent to forced labor camps and salt mines. His father did not survive, and Max came to the U.S. in 1947 as an orphan.
Roland Martin: Martin is the host and managing editor of TV One’s NewsOne Now, the first daily morning news program in history to focus on news and analysis of politics, entertainment, sports, and culture from an explicitly African American perspective. News One Now airs weekdays on TV One at 7am ET. Martin is also the creator and host of The Roland Martin Show, a daily syndicated radio broadcast in 20 markets across the country, and is a nationally syndicated columnist with Creators Syndicate and the Daily Beast. Additionally, he is a senior analyst for the Tom Joyner Morning Show, where his daily segment is heard on more than 100 stations by 8 million people.
Bill Clark Trio, faculty jazz ensemble
Aggies Swaram, south Asian A Capella ensemble
JC Juice, student rap artist featuring backing ensemble
Mariam Anderson String Quartet, faculty ensemble
Stuckey the Rapping Professor, a Texas A&M sociology professor and rap/hip-hop artist
Ballet Folklorico Celestial, Mexican Folklore Dance ensemble
Fade To Black Dance Ensemble, student hip-hop ensemble
Free tickets, event announcements, updates, and details can be found on Texas A&M Today, the Texas A&M Events Calendar, and Texas A&M Twitter and Facebook pages—and updates will be made as they become available.