Industrial distribution major Roy May has taken a different path to his degree than most students.

That path started with a 12-year career in the U.S. Army before he enrolled as an undergraduate at Texas A&M University in the Dwight Look College of Engineering and being elected a yell leader by the student body.

After dedicating more than a decade of his life to the Army, May said it was time to take the next step toward reaching his goals and join the Aggie family.

Born in Bryan, Texas, and coming from a family of Texas A&M graduates, May said becoming an Aggie was always a personal goal of his.

The transition from military to academia was a smooth experience, he said.

Photo of Roy May“Transitioning from being in the Army to being a student wasn’t overly difficult,” May said. “They demand some of the same traits: time management, prioritization, focus, determination.”

In fact, he said that the hardest transition was getting used to his peers being 14 years younger than him.

Like many students, May wasn’t sure what he wanted to study at first.

“Finding your major is kind of like answering the age-old question of what do you want to be when you grow up,” May said.

He said engineering was always a consideration for him, but it wasn’t until talking with the advisers and numerous students currently in the Industrial Distribution Program that he knew he had found a home in the college of engineering.

He said he hopes to use his industrial distribution degree to work in the oil-and-gas industry.

“Of all the numerous benefits for working in such a strong industry, my favorite may be that I could stay in Texas the rest of my life if I choose,” May said.

After finding his spot at Texas A&M he said he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to at least run for yell leader and now to be able to serve the university with four other dedicated Aggies is an overwhelming experience.

“I have always loved Texas A&M as far back as I can remember,” he continued. “According to my mom, I have wanted to be a yell leader since I was about six years old.

“You couldn’t ask for a better group of guys who love Texas A&M. Having an opportunity to represent Texas A&M in such an awesome position is a dream job for me. I still can’t believe the student body gave me this opportunity, sometimes I feel like I should wake up from this dream any moment.”