COLLEGE STATION, Tx (KYLE) — It was news that left many speechless; last Thursday the University of Missouri announced that outgoing Texas A&M President, R. Bowen Loftin, will be the University's next chancellor.
"It kind of shocked me because he did say he was going to stay to teach stuff," said junior Jamie Bennett. "At first people were like, 'Was he lying? Was he pushed out?' But as you heard, an opportunity was given to him."
Best known for his bow tie and presence both on campus and on social media, Loftin quickly became a president of the students.
Thursday morning he addressed them for one of the last times.
"Toughness is part of our fabric and change is part of our fabric too," Loftin said. "Leaders have come and gone but the place has still done well so I've had my moment here at Texas A&M with you and I have cherished that."
Kyle Kelly, executive vice president of the Student Government Association said it was important to have the farewell reception to show Dr. Loftin how much he is loved and how much he will be missed.
"We're so thankful and we know that throughout this whole time his main focus has been the students and that's what we most appreciate," Kelly said.
At the reception, President Loftin didn't try to hide his emotions about just how difficult this departure is.
"You build relationships, you have roots in the ground here so it's going to be painful to pull those up even if it's temporarily to move away."
So while this may be goodbye for now, Loftin says he will return home one day and that's a promise.
"I'll certainly find a point where I need to leave the Chancellorship at the University of Missouri and I'll come home to Aggieland to die and I meant that," Loftin said. "Just not right away of course," he laughed.
President Loftin's last day at A&M is January 13, 2014.