HOUSTON - From Kyle Field to the tradition of the Corps of Cadets and the Fighting Texas Aggie Band, Texas A&M is in the national spotlight like never before.
The increased popularity helped the university raise a record $740 million this past fiscal year in donations and pledges. That's potentially the most ever raised by a public university. The school's chancellor attributes the influx of cash largely to one thing: the resurgence of Aggie football, led by Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel.
Former students like Bill and Amber Davis of Katy, who met at A&M and later married, say the wins on the field are turning into a win for the entire student body.
"It's only going to make the great academics that A&M has even better," said Bill Davis. "Along with football."
Things are so good that a new luxury shuttle service called the Gameliner by the company Starline, opened up. It takes Houstonians directly to Kyle Field.
"Had the Aggies not had the resurgence they had we would be looking at other routes," said Tommy Obenchain, one of the shuttle service owners. "But we love College Station-Houston because we love the Aggies."
They'll soon be able to get to the games a lot quicker. Earlier this month the Texas Transportation Commission announced plans to extend Highway 249 from Houston to Navasota. It will connect to Highway 6 which leads directly to College Station. The project is being called the Aggie Highway.
"I think we're getting more students that are graduating and coming to the great city of Houston and really embracing all that Houston has to offer," said Amber Davis. "And you know College Station's right in the backyard."
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