First Hispanic Yell Leader Proud To Represent His Community
Memo Salinas, elected Junior Yell Leader 2020-21, said the many Aggies in his family inspired him to join the Corps and run for yell.
Guillermo Salinas ’22, who goes by Memo, said he views his election as the first Hispanic Yell Leader* in the history of Texas A&M University as an opportunity to inspire others in his community.
“I think that as a community, and as individuals, we are doing great things not only here at Texas A&M, but across the country and world,” he said. “This is just a small way that my community and culture is being represented well, and I hope that it inspires others and makes them proud.”
Robin Means Coleman, Texas A&M’s vice president for diversity, said Salinas’ election is a superb advancement for the university.
“For more than 100 years, Texas A&M’s Yell Leaders have upheld one of our finest traditions – spreading our Aggie spirit far and wide,” she said. “Representing the student body and the Aggie Family, Yell Leaders serve as Texas A&M ambassadors, inviting the world to unite under the banner of our most important community-raising traditions. The election of Memo Salinas advances Texas A&M’s rich tradition of students leading the way in building an inclusive, supportive community. Memo’s selfless service as a Yell Leader is truly the Spirit of Aggieland.”
Salinas, an agribusiness major from Laredo, Texas, has numerous family members who are Aggies, including his father Danny Salinas ‘89, his brother Danny Salinas, Jr. ’15, as well as several cousins and uncles, and his godparents.
“I wanted to follow in the footsteps of my father, a member of the Corps, and the many other Aggies in my family – to be a part of the university that I grew up visiting, idolizing and loving.”
A member of Squadron 17, Salinas said he joined the Corps “to better myself morally, mentally and physically, and challenge myself to grow in all aspects of life. I wanted to surround myself with people who were going to make me better and be able to learn from them. Squadron 17 and the Corps of Cadets have been all that and more.”
Becoming a Yell Leader was a childhood dream come true, he said.
“Getting to be in the overalls or all white was always a dream of mine, even as a young kid,” he said. “When I got to Texas A&M I was lucky enough to become friends with some of the Yell Leaders and was able to learn about the position and see how they serve the university. That is what sold me – getting to serve and give back to the people and place that have done so much for my family and me.”
During these challenging times due to the COIVD-19 pandemic, Salinas said first and foremost, everyone should stay home.
“Listen to the rules and guidelines that are being set out,” he said. “Aggies help Aggies, and this is a way that we can help past, present and future Aggies and everyone else.”
He said he looks forward to the time when everyone can be together again.
“When we are all back together, everything will mean that much more to us,” Salinas said. “It’s going to be that much greater, that much sweeter; it’s going to bring us all that much closer. Aggieland is waiting for you.”
To the Aggie family, Salinas said he promises to live up to the university’s great history and core values.
“I’m honored and humbled to serve the greatest university in the world as a Yell Leader,” he said. “I promise to represent Texas A&M and Aggies everywhere in all that I do, in a way that will make you proud.”
*Editor’s note: Texas A&M student John C. Alaniz served as a Fish Yell Leader in 1948. The Former Yell Leader Association stated that Fish Yell Leaders were an important component of historical Texas A&M spirit and traditions. Their role in leading the 12th Man during Freshman Football team games and at Spring scrimmages were valued. But they did not serve as elected Officially Recognized Texas Aggie Yell Leaders.
Original article by Lesley Henton, Texas A&M University Division of Marketing & Communications, in Texas A&M Today