One of Texas A&M Athletics’ most passionate supporters and finest friends has passed away.
Arthur R. “Artie” McFerrin Jr. died Aug. 8 in Houston. A proud member of the Class of 1965, McFerrin was 74 years old.
McFerrin’s legacy of unyielding support for A&M will live on in perpetuity. Artie and his wife, Dorothy, placed an unequaled mark on the trajectory of Aggie Athletics and faithfully supported the department through word and deed for decades.
The McFerrins were lead gift donors for the McFerrin Athletic Center (Texas A&M football’s indoor practice facility), the Cox-McFerrin Center for Aggie Basketball, the R.C. Slocum Nutrition Center, the Kyle Field Redevelopment Campaign, the construction of Blue Bell Park and the Watts Cross Country Course.
The McFerrin’s devotion to Texas A&M is not limited to athletics, and their impact has been felt across the entire campus.
Through the years, Artie’s jovial smile, booming voice and unyielding passion have been mainstays at many of Texas A&M’s athletic venues.
“It is not possible to overstate the impact that Artie and Dorothy McFerrin have had on this university, this athletic department and this organization,” said Travis Dabney, interim president and CEO of the 12th Man Foundation. “The McFerrins provided leadership and support that positively changed the direction of Aggie Athletics. Artie’s enthusiasm was contagious, and everyone associated with Texas A&M will miss him tremendously.”
The thoughts and prayers of the entire 12th Man Foundation staff and Board of Trustees are with the McFerrin family.
Remembering Artie McFerrin ’65
Texas A&M Football Coach Kevin Sumlin
“When you talk about Aggies and former students who have truly made a difference for Texas A&M Athletics, the names Artie and Dorothy McFerrin have to be at the top of the list. Their generosity and love for Texas A&M has touched the lives of many of our student-athletes. If you walk through our facilities, you can see the McFerrin name literally stamped on almost every facet of our program and yet he was very unassuming. Artie has been a special friend to me, and his personality and smile are always something I looked forward to seeing. Our thoughts and prayers are with Dorothy and the entire McFerrin family at this time.”
Texas A&M Women’s Basketball Coach Gary Blair
“Artie McFerrin was a giant of a man whose heart was longer and wider than his stature. If there ever was a 12th Man – an Aggie who made life better for student-athletes, former students and Texas A&M, it was Artie. The name Artie fits his persona, as he believed in doing things the right way, the Aggie Way. He might have been the humblest man, who had a vision for the future and how Aggies should behave and perform once they leave Texas A&M.”
12th Man Foundation Vice President of Major Gifts and Endowments Jacob Green ’79
“As a former student-athlete, I would like to thank Artie McFerrin and the McFerrin family for everything they've done for Texas A&M Athletics. Artie was a true ambassador for this university, and he will be missed by all Aggies. I'm thankful that I had a chance to meet such a wonderful man, and we all will share his love for Texas A&M University.”
Former 12th Man Foundation Board of Trustee Jack Little ’60
“Artie was an Aggie’s Aggie all the way through. A lot of us like to say we bleed maroon, but Artie truly bled maroon—he and Dorothy both. They are true examples of giving back to the university, and it was not a show thing for them. They did it because they wanted to help as many student-athletes as possible. There is nothing pretentious about them. To me, because of the attitude Artie had, he was someone that I could look up to, respect and know that he was a genuine person.”
Longtime friend and business colleague Chad Prestwood ’96
“Artie McFerrin was a pathfinder in his space, and his integrity was second to none. His story is the definition of ‘free enterprise.’ One of the things he taught me was to push the pace. In business, he wanted to push the pace, come up with his own thesis, put his money where his mouth was and see what happened, and he was right about an awful lot of those opportunities. Each of our business conversations, whether it be in person or on the phone, were consumed by some part of Texas A&M Athletics. Typically, it was the first thing we talked about, and he was always opinionated, whether it was the popular opinion or not.”
12th Man Foundation Athletics Ambassadors Donor Chris Bowman ’05
“When my wife and I first became involved with the Athletics Ambassadors program, it was not a very young crowd. There were usually a lot of decision-makers and important people in the room, so it was kind of an intimidating group for a recent graduate. Artie always, without fail, made a point to come over and talk to us. It wasn’t just a quick “hey” and a handshake and then he was off to the next person. The fact that he always made an effort to come have a genuine conversation with us meant a lot, and it taught us a great deal about what an Aggie should be.”
Former Board of Trustee Chaz Neely ’62 and wife Trisha
“He was a loyal friend, warm, loving and personable. His generosity had no bounds. He loved Texas A&M so much and was an outstanding example for Aggies coming after him. You rarely saw him without that friendly smile and humble, unassuming way. He was highly respected as a businessman and will be well-remembered for his honesty and integrity. He will be greatly missed by those who knew and loved him, and by those who knew OF him. He and Dorothy built a wonderful legacy for their family.”
Texas A&M Director of Athletics Scott Woodward
"For more than five decades, Artie McFerrin has been a part of the Aggie Family and, along with Dorothy, a driving force in our University's rise to prominence. While no one person can define an entire institution, Artie comes close. His smile, his kindness, his generosity, his integrity, his character, his passion for his family and for A&M, exemplify what it means to be an Aggie. We are all deeply saddened by his passing and extend our sincere sympathy to Dorothy and the entire McFerrin Family. We take solace, however, in knowing that Artie will live on forever in our hearts and in the hearts of the thousands of lives that he made better."