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Stone family at a Texas A&M football game.
Tommy and Susan Stone ’84 with son Zachary Stone ’15 and their grandchild in Aggie Park before a Texas A&M football game. | Image: Courtesy of Tommy and Susan Watts Stone

Although Susan Watts Stone ‘84 is the sole member of her marriage who attended Texas A&M University, both her family and those here in Aggieland consider her husband, Tommy Stone, an honorary Aggie.

Season after season, the Stones love supporting Aggie football, that is, until they play Tennessee. The Stones attended the 2016 Texas A&M versus Tennessee game, which extended into double overtime. To maintain his allegiance to the Tennessee Volunteers, Tommy recalls wearing his Tennessee gear under his A&M shirt until Tennessee managed to tie the game with 41 seconds left, in which Tommy was able to showcase his Volunteer pride. Little did Tommy know that the Aggies would go on to defeat the Volunteers 45 to 38.

With a divided household, Susan did not remain the only Aggie in the family — both of the Stone children graduated with a degree from Texas A&M, where they also met their spouses. Because of these family ties, the Stones’ love for Texas A&M has only grown and continues to do so as they work on convincing their grandchildren to become Aggies. Because of their deep connection and love for this school, the Stone’s created the Tommy and Susan Watts Stone ’84 Endowed Engineering Scholarship. They hope to help aid in relieving some of the financial pressures and allow the recipient to experience what being an Aggie is.

Stone family on a campus visit.
Susan Stone ’84 with daughter Megan Pokluda ’12 and son Zachary Stone ’15 on a campus tour. | Image: Courtesy of Tommy and Susan Watts Stone

Reflecting on her and her children’s time at Texas A&M, Susan noticed how much the university and college town has developed. While her time since enrolling at Texas A&M in 1980 was different from her children’s, Susan expressed deep gratitude for the enduring aspects of the university that have remained the same. The traditions remain important to her as the family routinely visits Aggieland for football games.

“This school is about its traditions and how it has bound us together,” said Susan.

Tommy and Susan are poised to make an impact on the future of Aggie engineers and on undergraduates from various backgrounds. This allows them to remain connected to the colleges Susan and her two children attended at Texas A&M that helped them experience impactful education. Susan began as a biomedical engineering student, but switched to applied mathematical sciences. Megan, their daughter, graduated with a double major in international studies – commerce track and French, and Zachary, their son, graduated with a biomedical engineering degree. Tommy, a Tennessee Tech alumnus, graduated with a degree in civil engineering. Despite being retired, Tommy is still a helping hand to those around him, frequently being called on by his wife and neighbors to lend his expertise to fix things.

Susan can still recall her parents dropping her off for her freshman year and how challenging college life can be. However, she encourages students not to shy away from embracing A&M culture. College is not just about education, according to Susan. She looks back now on her time in Aggieland and appreciates her college experience.

“It’s about making friends and becoming part of something bigger than yourself,” she said.

Giving back to their communities is not something that the Stones are new at. In fact, Susan said “giving back is what we were called to do.” Susan currently works at her local church and mentions how the outreach from the church has allowed her to give back to the less fortunate. Tommy has been able to travel across the world on different mission trips and loves that he can leave each place knowing he helped make a difference. He credits his engineering degree for equipping him with the skills to build homes or change the water systems to help improve the living conditions of those he serves.

It’s about making friends and becoming part of something bigger than yourself.

Susan Stone

The Stones feel they have belonged to three places — Lake Charles, La., Baytown, where they met, and Houston, having lived in each area for a portion of their lives. With this scholarship, they hope to find a hard-working engineering student from one of these areas who will continue to excel in their education and embrace the Aggie experience. They also hope to discover a student from Louisiana who can receive financial assistance with their out-of-state tuition costs and discourage them from attending SEC rival in the east, LSU.

The Stones aspire to support a scholarship recipient in building the necessary skills needed to become an engineer and using their education for the greater good. They want the recipient to continue their chain of giving and aid in making a difference in their community and world. The Aggie family is huge, and the Stones are thrilled to be able to give back to the place that has changed them for the better – Texas A&M.