Respect, excellence, leadership, loyalty, integrity and selfless service are traits that many Aggies strive to embody, but for Wesley Donald Sanders, these traits were a part of his legacy that his friends and family will keep with them.
As a business honors sophomore and a member of several campus organizations and activities, Wesley was a dedicated student and an involved member of the Aggie community.
“[Wesley] always wanted to be ‘all in,’” Wesley’s parents Scott and Joan Sanders agreed. “He set that goal as a freshman and wanted to get the full Aggie experience.”
Wesley embraced his goal of wanting to be “all in” by becoming a Fish Camp counselor and a member of the Sophomores Advancing in Leadership (SAIL) Social Committee, two organizations that seemed fitting to his mother.
“Wesley was very passionate about Fish Camp and SAIL. He was very big on his friends and family around him and spreading his love,” Wesley’s friend, management sophomore Presley Luce, said. “I didn’t know much of his interaction with his DG family from Fish Camp, but I can only imagine that he was the most amazing role model for them.”
Wesley’s Fish Camp partner, public health sophomore Sterling Walterscheid, said he always strove to connect with people, whether that was his family, his friends or even strangers.
“A quote I saw pretty soon after he passed said, ‘Be somebody who makes everybody feel like a somebody,’ and I really think that is what he embodied in his everyday life,” Walterscheid said. “He took every second as a new opportunity to make someone feel better. He was so easy to talk to and he always took life seriously but he was always someone you could goof around with.”
Wesley’s character was undeniable, and Luce said he was someone that Aggies should use as an example.
“When I think of A&M and I think of how we’re supposed to treat others, being selfless and having respect for others, he is the complete embodiment of everything that I think being an Aggie is about,” Luce said.
Wesley’s parents said he may not have lived the life he anticipated, but in the short amount of time he had, he accomplished the things that were important to him.
“We recently found an index card that Wes had written as a high school sophomore where he had written the five goals of his life: have a relationship with God, be close to family, have money, travel and attend A&M,” his parents said. “At age 19, he had accomplished all of those goals, maybe not in the capacity that he had envisioned when writing it, but nonetheless accomplished the words that he wrote.”
Wesley will be remembered by his friends and his family as someone who lived his life to the fullest and was a natural friend who made all feel welcome.
“The biggest thing that people should take from Wes is learning to be intentional with every relationship you have,” Luce said. “Just don’t take your time here on this Earth for granted because Wesley lived every day to the fullest and it really showed. You could feel his love pouring out every time you saw him.”