It was announced Friday that Texas A&M University President Kathy Banks will retire immediately on the heels of the controversy surrounding the attempted hiring of Kathleen McElroy to lead the journalism program. This isn’t the first time Banks has been involved in a public controversy, having unsuccessfully attempted to stop the printing of The Battalion, Texas A&M’s student newspaper, just over a year ago.
It was a short stint for Banks, lasting less than 28 months at the helm of Texas A&M. So what are some things that lasted longer in Aggieland than her tenure? Let’s break it down.
Kyle Field redevelopment (28 months)
Texas A&M spent $483 million to essentially completely re-do Kyle Field, announced May 1, 2013, and re-opening in September 2015.
Kyle Allen (30 months)
Five-star QB Kyle Allen committed to the Aggies in June 2013 before transferring in December 2015. He may have only played two seasons in College Station, but at least he outlasted Banks.
My 3.0+ GPA (33 months)
Spring of junior year was a lot of fun though.
Hope during the Franchione era (~34 months)
It’s hard to believe now, but Texas A&M fans were very optimistic a couple years into the Dennis Franchione era. After leading the Aggies to a Cotton Bowl berth in year two, A&M entered the 2005 season ranked No. 17 in the country with a Heisman candidate in QB Reggie McNeal. That team would lose their opener to Clemson, drop another to Colorado five weeks later before Iowa State WR Todd Blythe planted the final nail in the coffin of hope for A&M fans that Coach Fran was the man.
The COVID-19 pandemic (39 months)
The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak a public health emergency of international concern on Jan. 30, 2020, and began referring to it as a pandemic on March 11, 2020. The WHO ended its PHEIC declaration on May 5, 2023.
The amount of time it took for our athletic program to require ‘the numbing effects of alcohol’ (48 months)
In June 2015, Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp critiqued Texas selling beer at their stadium, saying of A&M, “Our athletic program has not reached the point where we require the numbing effects of alcohol.” A&M announced beer sales in general seating areas four years later.
All 10 Reveilles
No Reveille has had a shorter stint as mascot of Texas A&M than Kathy Banks had as president of Texas A&M (techinically this requires Reveille X to be mascot for a couple more months but we’re gonna consider that a safe bet).
The T-Star logo (9 years)
The logo was only in use from 2000-2009 (phased out when Texas A&M switched to Adidas), but it’s run was very lengthy in comparison.
Astroturf at Kyle Field (20+ years)
It’s hard to believe today, but the playing surface at Texas A&M was artificial turf for more than 20 years. It was installed in the early 1970s (when it was all the rage) before A&M switched back to natural grass in 1996.