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Dean and Glenda Schneider of College Station have been named Texas A&M University’s Parents of the Year for 2016-17. The announcement was made Friday (April 9) night during Yell Practice at Kyle Field, now part of Parents’ Weekend activities. The Schneiders are the 41st couple to receive this honor. Both are members of Texas A&M’s Class of 1982. All six of their children are Aggies so they have coined the phrase “8 Ags Are We” to describe their love for the university.

Dean, who retired from the Air Force in 2002 after serving for 20 years, is currently the director of manufacturing operations for the Texas Center of Applied Technology. Glenda has been an educator for 16 years and now teaches science at A&M Consolidated High School. Their youngest daughter, Hannah, nominated her parents to be selected as the Parents of the Year and said she “was overjoyed” when she found out her parents would receive the recognition she believes they deserve. 

The committee selecting the Parents of the Year say one reason the Schneiders were chosen was because they share an unparalleled passion for both their family and the Aggie Spirit. “My father came from a farm in Lockhart and my mother from a modest home in Fredericksburg,” Hannah said when nominating her parents. “After meeting in chemistry class their first year at Texas A&M, they began their lives together with almost nothing on a very limited military salary. Despite the odds and due to their consistent perseverance, they’ve transformed their meager beginning into a wonderful, fruitful life, with their family being the most important aspect.” She said she believes it was her father’s time at Texas A&M and in the military that reflects his selfless nature and speaks greatly to his character and values that transferred to his children.

She noted that her mother’s strength became apparent when she would often be left alone during the family’s military days with the six children and have to move them single-handedly across the country. “My parents have stayed constant in their faith, constant in their love for each other, and constant in their devotion to their children. It is these three things that allow me, despite times of hardship, to only reflect on and remember the unconditional love that out-shined it all,” she added.

Being the youngest, Hannah said she had the unique vantage point of watching her five older siblings tackle their challenges and celebrate their successes. Whatever problems she faced, she said she had them to help guide her and give her wisdom. She also watched her parents support all of them and foster and encourage their dreams and plans. “Joshua’s love of knowledge led him to a law career; he is currently working as a criminal prosecutor for the district attorney in Houston. They fully supported my oldest sister Bethany’s desire to help others, and she now is a Neonatal Intensive Care Nurse at a hospital in South Houston. After graduating from Texas A&M, my sister Raechel attended graduate school at Cornell, studying the interaction of human psychology and the physical environment. She now works in Austin as an educational planner, helping design schools. Thomas was constantly allowed to nurture his intellectual pursuits and is now a computer engineer working in the IT department at the Texas Center for Applied Technology. The athletic endeavors of my brother Peter led to his interests in the human body and his hopes of attending medical school. “Then here I am, at the tail end, catering to my own interests by studying event planning and art with hopes of a career celebrating the passion of others through photography.”

Proud to be Aggies, the Schneiders have had season football tickets for over 15 years and Hannah said it is hard to meet her parents and not have the topic of Texas A&M come up in conversation. “One of the things my father says he likes most about the university is the tradition of family. There are no strangers here in Aggieland. When Texas A&M is involved, the sparkle in their eyes says it all.” This past fall, Hannah said she was able to experience a moment that she had been waiting for her entire life, a moment that was close to 35 years in the making long before she was even alive. “I received my cherished Aggie Ring. As the last in my family, and the final piece of my parents’ legacy, I looked down at the shining, symbolic piece of gold in honor and pride for all that my parents had created with the help of this university. This moment reflected far beyond my own accomplishments at Texas A&M; my entire life and the life of my family is encompassed through this ring that I will proudly wear for the rest of my life.”