The new seal mandate for Texas A&M was buried in a consent agenda with many routine "housekeeping" items. It was approved without any discussion or input from students, former students, or others associated with Texas A&M. It was done secretly as students were preparing for semester-end projects and finals. The seal was changed two days before Dr. Michael K. Young would take office as the 25th President of Texas A&M University. Therese McDevitt, Vice Chancellor for Marketing and Communications, was apparently the administrator who initiated this change. She is a SFA graduate and has worked for the Texas A&M System for six months. Did she really have the necessary in depth knowledge of the history and traditions of Texas A&M to be the architect of this landmark change? Of course she didnít... and all of the sudden an item buried in a "rubber-stamp" consent agenda has forever changed and cheapened our historic and traditional seal.
Our seal has been unchanged since 1963 and has origins back to the 1947 seal. The "T" in the seal is the same one used at the Corregidor Muster in 1946 following WWII. The Star is from the Seal of the State of Texas. The Star is also on the side of the Aggie Ring. Texas A&M has always aligned the school with the history of the State of Texas. One of the best examples of this is that Muster is held on the anniversary of the Battle of San Jacinto. The "T" and the "Star" have deep meaning and a shared history between Texas A&M and the State of Texas. The beveled aTm logo originally designed by Nike in 1999 has none of that.
The official seal of a University is supposed to be revered and used on special occasions such as at graduation when the seal is embossed on the studentsí hard-earned diplomas. The academic seal is not a high-volume marketing piece. If you look at the seals of any University you will see that they are traditional, symbolic, academic-oriented, and almost always have the founding date included. They are supposed to look old as if they trace back to the origins of the school. Official University Seals are not supposed to flaunt t-shirt graphics.
The fact that the beveled aTm logo was cut and paste into the center of our historic seal makes this even worse. Below is a letter from March 2013 examining the "bevel" and why it shouldnít even be used as our primary logo. This was written two years before anyone could have imagined that it would eventually be cut and pasted into the center of our official seal. The geometry of the bevel is bad and the design is poor. Why are these four trapezoids so vital and important to our University? Why would we put a logo with incorrect geometry on our academic seal? This is an Aggie Joke that we are writing ourselves. Texas A&M has many programs with roots in geometry such as engineering, architecture, computer visualization, and construction science to name a few. When you are implementing a logo university and system-wide it would probably be smart to make sure that it doesnít have any mistakes. Our beveled logo is riddled with mistakes as shown on Page 10 of the attached letter.
In the poll The Eagle ran when this story broke 83% of Aggies preferred the old seal, 12% preferred the new seal, and 5% didnít care. In the Good Bull Hunting poll 86% voted not to change the seal and 14% voted to update the seal. These results were online the day before the consent agenda item was unceremoniously approved. These are hardly numbers that would indicate that the new seal should be approved without discussion. As of May 3rd over 15,000 Aggies have signed the petition to revert back to the classic seal. The Texas A&M Student Senate unanimously voted to keep the old seal and passed the Preserving Tradition Resolution as a swift and bold response to this unpopular decision by the Board of Regents.
Please sign the petition here in an effort to save our classic, traditional and historic seal.
Above is a pdf version of the letter below that you can email as an attachment to Aggies that you know. Between September 2012 and March 2013 the following letter was sent to the leadership of Texas A&M. I don't know how any Aggie can read this letter in its entirety and decide that the beveled logo is our very best option as our primary mark. Continuing to use the beveled logo doesn't make it less flawed or any more acceptable. Names and contact information have been obscured for privacy. Below the letter is a comments section.
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