Pass it Back Ags: the History of Women at Texas A&M University

By Marketing and Communications | 12-06-2022

Vicki Brown-Sobecki and Dan Sobecki

Our beloved university has a rich history, but many chapters are missing from Texas A&M’s story. That’s about to change thanks to the generosity of Vicki Brown-Sobecki and Dan Sobecki. The couple recently established the Victoria A. Brown-Sobecki ’78 History of Women at Texas A&M Endowment. It is the first gift to the Texas A&M University Libraries that specifically commemorates women who have impacted Texas A&M. The endowment will fund purchases and activities that showcase the accomplishments and contributions of women at Texas A&M.

According to Julie Mosbo Ballestro, university librarian and assistant provost, the role that women have played in Texas A&M’s history is critical to charting the university’s course going forward. “Collecting and safeguarding the history of the exclusion, inclusion, courage and accomplishments of Aggie women is important for the next generation of students, faculty and staff,” said Mosbo Ballestro. “It will help us understand how far the university has come and provide a glimpse of what is possible.”

Brown-Sobecki has accomplished a notable list of Aggie firsts. She was one of the first women to receive an official athletic scholarship to Texas A&M and was among the first generation of female student athletes to earn letters. She was awarded letters in swimming in 1976, 1977 and 1978, earned All-America honors and was team captain in 1978. She was the first female student athlete in Women’s Swimming inducted into the Texas A&M Athletics Hall of Fame and was the first woman elected to the Board of Directors of the Texas A&M Lettermen’s Association, serving as its first woman president in 1990. For her accomplishments as a Texas A&M Title IX pioneer, she was recognized as a SEC Trailblazer during the Southeastern Conference’s 50th anniversary celebration in 2022. 

An advocate for women’s achievements, Brown-Sobecki was a founding member of the Aggie Women Network of the Texas A&M Association of Former Students, which has grown to include 2,000-members. Establishing the History of Women at Texas A&M Endowment is the latest chapter in her long story of trailblazing. Her story is just one of many to highlight the leadership and impact that women have made on Texas A&M’s history. 

“The history of women at Texas A&M is often overlooked, but women have always been an integral part of Texas A&M, even in the early days,” said Brown-Sobecki. “By funding this endowment, Dan and I hope to put a spotlight on all aspects of how women contributed to the university. My own history at Texas A&M started with athletics and swimming, but there are so many stories that should be highlighted. The Libraries’ University Archives is the keeper of Aggie history where others can learn about our past and see how far we have come. This is why we support the Libraries through this endowment and why we are excited to hear other Aggie women’s stories and pass them back.”


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