Anyone can be a big fish
In keeping with his position as one of the college’s development officers, and inspired by his time as a camper, counselor, co-chair, Andrew Millar '14 has made his own gift to the Fish Camp Membership Endowment so that future students might share in these experiences.
By Allen M. Junek ‘18
In 2013, Andrew Millar ‘14 applied to be a development intern for the College of Liberal Arts. He had no way of knowing that that very same day he’d meet his Fish Camp’s namesake, Larry Walker II ‘97, the college’s director of development.
Five years later, now employed full-time as the assistant director of development, Millar is part of a new “Camp Walker” here at the College of Liberal Arts. In keeping with his position as one of the college’s development officers, and inspired by his time as a camper, counselor, co-chair, Millar has made his own gift to the Fish Camp Membership Endowment so that future students might share in these experiences.
Millar recalls a time when he and a friend were discussing their plans for the coming year. Millar was surprised to learn that his friend’s future with Fish Camp depended on him being awarded a Fish Camp scholarship; otherwise, he would not have the necessary funds to continue as a counselor.
“What most people don’t realize is that many student activities aren’t free,” Millar said. “A couple hundred dollars shouldn’t stand between someone and a life-changing experience.”
Millar hopes that through this gift, future Aggies will not be placed in the same situation as his friend.
“If I can guarantee that someone, someday will be able to share in these same experiences, it will have made all the difference,” Millar said.
As one of the most dearly held Aggie traditions, Fish Camp exists to welcome and pass on Texas A&M’s values to incoming freshmen while also providing them with a close-knit support system. Millar participated in Fish Camp as a freshman, and then again as a counselor and chairperson during his remaining years at Texas A&M. And, while he participated in many student activities during his time at Texas A&M, Millar learned the most through Fish Camp.
“I was thrust into a room and had to learn how to motivate and find a common ground with 25 people who were different than me in 25 ways,” Millar said. “And a few weeks later we were given 150 freshmen and had to do it all over again.”
These skills would prove invaluable in his position as a development officer, but they were only realized through the funds Millar used for his membership dues and chair fees.
To ensure that future students might share in these experiences, all Millar had to do was name the Texas A&M Foundation as a beneficiary of a retirement account.
“We’re entering a second golden age of philanthropy, where you don’t have to be a Rockefeller or a Gates to make a difference. If someone has a retirement account, whether it is through their employer or an individual retirement account (IRA), they can make a gift. It’s that easy,” Millar said.
And as state funds shrink, these gifts supporting our post-secondary institutions are all the more important.
As a student, Millar spent his time at A&M both upholding and introducing students to the Aggies traditions. Now, a former student, he does his part by upholding the Aggie tradition of philanthropy.
Fish Camp is open to all incoming freshmen who want to participate. And thanks to donors like Millar, nothing will stand in their way.
For more information on how you can impact students and faculty in your preferred area in the College of Liberal Arts, please contact Larry J. Walker II.