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January 12: Howdy Hour at Hill Country

loc-hillco

Thursday, January 12

5:30 – 8:30 PM

Hill Country BBQ Market

410 7th Street NW

Washington, DC 20004

Come join us for the first Howdy Hour of 2017! Enjoy good food, cold drinks, and of course good Aggie company at Hill Country Barbecue! The drink specials for the day are as follows: $6 Shiner & Sierra Nevada Drafts ($20 Pitchers); $3 Bud Drafts ($14 Pitchers); $5 Well Drinks; $4 House Wines; $5 House Margaritas ($20 Pitchers).

The closest metro station is Archives-Navy Memorial-Penn Quarter off the Green Line/Yellow Line. There is also nearby parking garage and street parking. As always, if you have any questions, please email Jerry Salinas at dcaggiesactivities@gmail.com.

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Volunteer for Muster Committee

mustercom

2016 Muster Committee with Muster Speaker and President and CEO of the Association of Former Students, Porter S. Garner III ’79

Interested in being part of one of the most special Aggie traditions and one of the largest DC Aggies events? Join the 2017 Muster Committee! We are looking for many volunteers to help with  fundraising, event planning, roll call, marketing, and day-of helpers and coordinators.

For questions or if interested, please email Muster Committee Co-Chair Ashley Holladay at ashleyholladay85@gmail.com.

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January 28: Annual Ski Trip

Hit the Slopes with DC Aggies

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Saturday, January 28, 2017
Liberty Mountain Resort

The DC Aggies are gearing up for the winter season and are excited to announce that we are hosting our fourth annual DC Aggie Ski Trip at Liberty Mountain Resort! The arrangements are set and we just need you to join us!

Price: $129 for your rentals, lift ticket, ski lesson, and chartered bus transportation to and from the resort. A full list of options and additional details can be found on the Registration Form. Pre-registration and payment online is required. Deadline to register is Saturday, January 21, 2017.

If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact VP of Activities, Jerry Salinas ’09 at dcaggiesactivities@gmail.com.

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In the News: Station Domination

Washington Post: Aggie invasion: The eyes

of Texas are upon Metro Center this month

An advertisement for Texas A&M University that is up in Metro Center for the month of October. The university bought all of the ad space in the Metro station as part of a branding campaign. (John Kelly/The Washington Post)

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By John Kelly Columnist
Mary Billingsley noticed something odd as she walked into Metro Center subway station earlier this month. There was an ad for Texas A&M University. And another ad. And another.

In fact, every single ad in the Metro station — from the turnstiles to the walls — was for the Texas university 1,400 miles from Washington.

Mary was in the middle of a trip that had taken her from Cairo, where she lives, to Dallas to visit some friends, and then to Washington, where she used to live. She was in a fuzzy, semi-jet-lagged state.

“I immediately had a thought of, ‘Wait, where am I?’ ” Mary recounted in an email. “Once I realized that I was indeed in D.C., wow, such pride! And how lucky I was to have timed my brief visit to the States to see it!”

Mary, you see, is an Aggie — the nickname for students at what was once called the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas — and she was delighted to find that Metro Center has been temporarily transformed into a little patch of Aggieland. The theme of the ads is “Fearless on Every Front,” and they tout the school’s achievements in such areas as science, agriculture and the environment.

But why? Is it to encourage D.C.-area high school students to apply to the Texas university?

Not exactly, said Amy Smith, senior vice president and chief marketing and communications officer at the school. Smith joined A&M in July after working as vice president of communications for Raytheon, the defense contractor. Raytheon is the sort of company that typically shells out for “station domination,” which is what Metro calls it when a single advertiser snaps up every display space.

Most of the people who ride Metro aren’t in a position to buy their own weapons systems, but a few are involved in those decisions because they work at the Pentagon or on the Hill.

The Texas A&M ads serve a similar purpose. Potential students might see the ads, yes, but hopefully so will people who grant research funds, like from the National Science Foundation, and academics who might be lured to Texas to teach.

“We’ve hired maybe 25 National Academy members in the last couple of years,” said Michael Young, who became president of A&M in May 2015. “When we call [potential faculty] we want them to pick up the phone and say, ‘Yeah, I know about Texas A&M and I’m intrigued.’ ”

So Metro Center is like a big help wanted ad?

More of a “we’re helping out ad,” Young said.

“And, so, if what we’re doing intrigues and resonates, and you have a passion to help make the world a better place, come join us,” he said.

Young was in town this week, and on Monday evening, he posed for a photo in Metro Center with more than 50 local alums. (There are about 3,500 Aggies in the Washington area, the highest concentration outside of Texas, Smith said.)

Every college campus has a unique personality. I spent a week at Texas A&M in 2009 as a visiting journalist and can report that its personality is more unique than most. The school grew out of a strong military tradition. I think the ads — which cost about $150,000 for 5 1/2 weeks — are an effort to show that today’s A&M is a little more Athens and a little less Sparta.

If the Metro Center ads are warming Aggie hearts, they’re sending a cold chill through graduates of their rival school. Said Smith: “I’m getting hate emails from University of Texas graduates saying, ‘I assume I have you to blame for walking through this every day on my commute.’ ”

Ambivalent about Aggies? What about cats? You’ll recall the insane coverage when all the ads in a London Tube station were recently replaced by photos of felines, including one from our area.

Now a Maryland woman is hoping to do the same thing here. Nicole Adams, of Gaithersburg, has been getting advice from Glimpse, the London collective that created Cats Not Ads. And she has spoken with Outfront Media, the firm that handles Metro’s ad space.

Nicole doubts she could afford to dominate a station like Metro Center but hopes to crowdfund enough money to cat-ify a smaller one, such as Dupont Circle. She said she hopes to launch a fundraising drive next year. Stay tuned.

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Fearless on Every Front

They all know our name, but it’s time they

know our story. #BeFearless