It was an Aggie love fest at the Hilton Post Oak when more than 400 turned out to salute retired football coach R.C. Slocum for his selection as recipient of the national Horatio Alger Award. The honors will be officially presented at a dinner in Washington in April, but the Texas A&M team got a jumpstart on the celebrations.
In this maroon-loyal crowd, there were plenty of "Gig'em's," "Howdy's" and whoops as well as the Texas A&M Singing Cadets, who set the spirited tone of the night.
With A&M president R. Bowen Loftin and Horatio Alger Association board president David Sokol singing Slocum's praises, the evening raised $350,000 for scholarships. That windfall for Horatio Alger scholarships was due to the largesse of an anonymous donor/Slocum fan who underwrote the dinner expenses.
During his 14 years as head football coach, from 1988 to 2002, Slocum led the Aggies to a record of 123–47–2, making him the winningest coach in Texas A&M history.
Heading up the Slocum salute was chair Bill Doré, assisted by the impressive host committee/cheering squad comprised of Fred Caldwell, Ray Childress, Mike Cone, David Dunlap, Mark E. Ellis, Jack Little, James Nelson, John Schiller and, in abstentia, head football coach Kevin Sumlin.
Joining in the many standing ovations were guests including Nel Slocum, Kay Doré, Suzie and William Doré, Kara Childress, Kristi Schiller, Susan and Mike Plank, Kelly and Bill Von Gonten, Joann Mike Cone, Ann and David Dunlap and Kathy and Wayne Richards.