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Texas A&M women’s basketball to salute outgoing TAMU President R. Bowen Loftin

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During Texas A&M Women’s Basketball Head Coach Gary Blair’s weekly radio show at Wings N' More, Mon., Dec. 2, 2013, radio co-host Steve Miller asked Blair what was going to be extra special about tonight’s game between Texas A&M and San Diego State. Blair said that, “Because of his outstanding faithfulness and commitment in service to the students of Texas A&M, tonight’s game would honor Dr. Loftin.” Blair added, “We wanted to do something special to show our appreciation for this extremely popular university president.”

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Texas Aggie Athletics announced “a self-proclaimed “Student’s President,” all students receive free admission to the game, and the first 1,500 students in attendance receive a bow tie, honoring Dr. Loftin’s signature neckware.” Chances are good too, Blair noted, that he’ll be sporting a bow tie himself for tonight’s matchup.

Last night on the live radio broadcast at Wings ‘N More, Coach Blair smiled as he talked about his role in a recent “roast” for Dr. Bowen, noting that because Bowen greeted all the students and posed for pictures up and down the aisles of Reed Arena, he said he “doubted he saw much of the games.” More seriously, Blair said that he sincerely appreciated Dr. Loftin’s “faithful presence at all of the games and his accessibility to the student body,” which would always be part of his legacy here at the university.

Also, as Blair reminded the crowd, “Dr. Loftin was the administrator to lead and guide Texas A&M into its first year of membership in the SEC.” He added, “When the Texas A&M women’s basketball team won the SEC Championship, he was at the games and right there to congratulate us.” Sometimes it’s easy to forget just how important audience support and enthusiasm is to the young student athletes, and Dr. Loftin has been a continuing presence for virtually all of Texas A&M’s teams.

The No. 23 AP-ranked Aggies (4-2) will face the San Diego State Aztecs (1-4). Don’t be fooled by the San Diego ranking; they were the 2013 Mountain West Champions last season and the Aggies will be meeting for the fourth time. The previous matchup came in the Second Round of the 1994 NCAA Tournament, where the Aggies were 13th-seeded and the Aztecs were the 5th-seeded, but the Aggies prevailed in overtime, 75-72. That victory alone, notes Texas A&M Athletics, “made the Aggies the lowest seed to ever advance to the Sweet 16, a record that still stands today.”

The game begins at 7 pm tonight at Reed Arena, and remember: all students get in free. There’s free parking as well. So, get there early to get your own bow tie. They’ll be collector’s items one day. Wait and see. The Women’s Rowdies, the Texas Aggie Dance Team, The Hullaballo Band, and, yes, Aggie President R. Bowen Loftin will all be on hand tonight. The only other thing the Aggies need to win is your presence to rock Reed tonight.

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