David James McLeod

History sophomore and member of Student Bonfire, David James McLeod will be honored at the Sept. 7 Silver Taps ceremony. 

Remembered for his humility and gentle, loving spirit, David McLeod embodied the Aggie Core Values long before making Texas A&M his home.

Born on July 3, 2001, to David and Sarah McLeod, David’s life was marked by constantly caring for those around him.

“He wasn’t super gregarious or loud, but he would do anything for anyone else,” Sarah said. “He had such a sweet spirit and wanted to be helpful.”

David was an older brother to Andrew and Callie McLeod, boyfriend to his high school sweetheart Cameron Sigua and an incoming crew chief for Walton Hall’s Student Bonfire crew for the fall semester.

David came to Aggieland from McKinney, where he grew up spending his time reading countless books, playing football and volunteering through several local organizations. He met his closest friends on his middle and high school football teams, including Trent Nevelle, a current sophomore at the University of Texas at Austin.

“At first glance, people might think he was quiet and reserved, but once you got to talk to him he was funny as hell,” Nevelle said. “He was really intelligent, too. Some people tried to hide their phones under their desks, but he would be reading under his desk.”

Sarah said reading frequently as a child — and a particularly influential AP world history teacher — fueled David’s passion for history, which eventually became his major at A&M.

“He enjoyed the fact that history was a story of everyone who has ever lived, their experiences and how we got to where we are today,” Sarah said.

Growing up, David coupled his love for others and joy for hard work by volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, the church his family attended and a chapter of Young Men’s Service League, where he was the life-skills chair.

“David was such a selfless guy,” Nevelle said. “The thing our friend Joey and I always say is that the man never complained about anything and always put others’ needs before his.”

A member of the Class of 2024, David found his home within Student Bonfire his freshman year — just like his parents before him. David and Sarah were Class of 1999 graduates and crew chief and co-chair, respectively, in Bonfire. Sarah said they nudged him toward A&M and Bonfire like any other Aggie parents, but his fellow crew members quickly became his second family without much help.

Will Shroud, animal science sophomore and Walton Hall crew chief, said as he and David became friends, David quickly turned into a critical member of the Walton crew.

“I spoke to some of the upper-leadership guys and they said there was only one time David wasn’t out in the woods working for the weekend when he was with [his girlfriend, Cameron], and they noticed a difference,” Shroud said. “The work we got done was just not the same; they could tell he was not there putting in the work.”

Dion McInnis, Class of 2003 and Student Bonfire board of directors member, said in an email to The Battalion that David exhibited qualities he had not seen in his two decades of Bonfire. Quietly and by himself, David would do the work of two or three others, McInnis wrote.

“He would always find the biggest challenge out there, do it and then not say anything about it for any sort of recognition,” Shroud said. “He would just do it to do it.”

Dane Sigua, father of David’s girlfriend Cameron, bought land in east Texas shortly after meeting David, where they worked together for many weekends building a house, a bridge and other structures on the property. Dane said he got to know him through that work, and he came to treat David like his own son.

“When freshman year was over and [David and Cameron] were still together, we had a family vacation to Florida at the end of June,” Sarah said. “I remember talking [with David’s father] about how David had found his person. They were pretty amazing together.”

Shroud said no matter how busy he was with school or Bonfire, David always made time for his long-distance relationship with Cameron, who said they talked nearly every day while apart. Nevelle said Cameron brought him out of his shell in high school after becoming close during their junior year. Cameron recalled first spending time with David when he volunteered to give her rides to weekly events.

“They really were meant to be together forever,” Nevelle said. “We often referred to them as the golden standard. If true love is real, it was theirs.”

The Siguas said David touched many lives because of how selfless he was, always putting others ahead of himself while downplaying his own actions.

“He was a genuine friend and the kind of guy that you don’t see a lot these days,” Nevelle said. “I truly believe that he left a lasting impact and lived a fulfilling life. He’s definitely left those of us who were close to him with a lot of great memories, and he’ll live on with us through those memories.”

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