In March, the Texas A&M Foundation welcomed its sixth class of the student ambassadors organization, the Maroon Coats. These new members received their signature maroon blazers during an initiation ceremony at the Texas A&M Legacy Society gala in March.
According to Texas A&M Foundation Public Relations Contact Monika Blackwell, “Maroon Coats enhance the impact of the Foundation through stewardship and service.” These students are leaders across campus, involved in a wide range of activities, organizations, and fields of study. The Maroon Coats organization was formed in 2008 as a link between Aggie donors and the benefits they have brought to the student body.
Honors and Undergraduate Research (HUR) proudly recognizes two senior Honors students who have been inducted into the sixth class of Maroon Coats: Alejandro Azocar and Chris Mellina.
Azocar, a Houston native studying aerospace engineering, is the Vice Chair for the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), a member and previous Career Fair Director for Student Engineers’ Council (SEC). He also plays trumpet in the Hullabaloo Band and is both an Undergraduate Research Scholar and a University Scholar.
Azocar said he was first exposed to Maroon Coats during his freshman year at the President’s Endowed Scholarship reception where he realized how fortunate he was to be receiving scholarships and how thankful he was toward the donors of these scholarships. He said, “I wouldn’t be at Texas A&M without my scholarships and I have so many donors to be thankful for. Although I’ve written many thank you letters, I didn’t feel like they were enough to express my gratitude and tell my unique Aggie Story.” Azocar loves having the opportunity to thank donors personally as well as on the behalf of other Aggies.
To explain the Maroon Coat application process, selections are divided into a written application, a social round, and an interview. Applicants selected by the quality of their written applications are invited to attend a meet-and-greet social where they are introduced to current Maroon Coats prior to the interview round. The current class of Maroon Coats is able to get a sense of each applicant’s Aggie story first and then get to know each individual more personally as the process continues. The Maroon Coat organization looks for selfless students who are passionate about Texas A&M and are capable of connecting the student body to alumni and friends of the university.
Chris Mellina, a supply chain management major from Fort Worth, is a member of the men’s service organization One Army: Texas Aggie Men United, and the program Startup Aggieland. Mellina said his experiences in Honors coursework at Texas A&M strengthened his ability to communicate which he benefitted from throughout the Maroon Coats application process. The supply chain management student advised his fellow Honors students to seek out organizations on campus to become involved in. He said, “The best thing that I did at Texas A&M was that I started asking questions. I went to the people that I looked up to and asked them about their involvements and why they chose to devote their time to their organizations.”
Mellina said he is very humbled and thankful for the opportunity he has received by being selected for the sixth class of Maroon Coats. He said, “While you are a student at Texas A&M you have an incredible opportunity to learn outside of the classroom and it would be a missed opportunity to graduate without experiencing as much of it as you can outside of the classroom.”
Honors and Undergraduate Research would like to congratulate Honors students Alejandro Azocar and Chris Mellina, along with the rest of the members of the sixth class of Maroon Coats, on this exceptional achievement and their dedication to the university!