The Distinguished Alumnus Award is the highest honor bestowed upon a former student of Texas A&M University, awarded since 1962 to only 271 of Texas A&M’s 459,000 former students.
Presented jointly by the university and The Association of Former Students, this award recognizes Aggies who have achieved excellence in their chosen professions and made meaningful contributions to Texas A&M University and their local communities.
Maj. Gen. Raymond L. Murray '35 led troops in three wars, from World War II to Vietnam, and was among the most highly decorated Aggies in school history, recipient of two Navy Crosses, a Distinguished Service Cross and four Silver Stars. He became a legend in the U.S. Marine Corps for his leadership at the Chosin Reservoir in the Korean War. This award is being given posthumously; Murray passed away in 2004.
William M. "Bill" Huffman '53 practiced law in Marshall for many years (he earned the highest grade on the March 1959 Texas bar exam), and his service to fellow Aggies includes everything from mentoring students, supporting programs and scholarships and sponsoring Association gifts for hundreds of students to compiling a directory of the Class of 1953. He learned of his honor when surprised Feb. 25 during a meeting at The Association of Former Students.
John M. Yantis '53 founded construction firm Yantis Co., and was named the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 1988. He is deeply involved in philanthropy and service in San Antonio and at Texas A&M; he established a student assistance fund with The Association and has served on the 12th Man Foundation board. He learned of his honor when surprised March 20 during a meeting.
Ed Wulfe '55, founder, CEO and chairman of the Wulfe and Co. real estate firm, was recently named a “Houston Hero” by the Houston Chronicle, which cited his “tireless efforts toward making Houston a better place to live” through his developments, civic leadership and volunteer service that included steering the Houston Symphony out of a budget deficit. He learned of his honor when surprised March 21 during a meeting.
Charles H. “Butch” Gregory '64, a former Army intelligence officer and attorney who owned and managed a group of heavy equipment and manufacturing businesses, has served on Texas A&M’s Liberal Arts Development Council for more than 20 years, was a longtime trustee and chairman of the Texas A&M Foundation and supports and serves Houston charities. He learned of his honor when surprised March 21 during a business meeting at the Forest Club.
Arno W. Krebs, Jr. '64, a retired partner with Fulbright & Jaworski, has served as president and a director of the Texas Aggie Bar Association and also represented Texas A&M legally. He has volunteered time to A&M as president of the 12th Man Foundation and on boards and councils including those of The Association and the College of Education and Human Development. He learned of his honor when surprised Feb. 25 during a meeting at the Texas A&M Foundation.
Jorge A. Bermúdez '73 spent 33 years with Citibank and Citigroup, holding positions including president of Citibank Argentina, CEO of Citigroup Latin America and chief risk officer for Citigroup. After retiring, he came back to serve Texas A&M as part of the International Advisory Board, the Texas A&M Foundation and as chair of The Association of Former Students’ board. He learned of his honor when surprised Feb. 23 during a meeting at the Texas A&M Foundation.
Gen. William M. Fraser III '74 has served as Vice Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force, assistant to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, commander of Air Combat Command and of U.S. Transportation Command. He has served Texas A&M in numerous positions including as a member of the President’s Board of Visitors. He learned of his honor when surprised Feb. 24 during a meeting at The Association of Former Students.
Craig Brown '75, co-founder and chairman of Bray International, Inc., has built the Craig and Galen Brown Foundation into a program that selects 30 A&M freshmen a year as Brown Scholars and boosts A&M’s success in recruiting National Merit Scholars, in addition to his support and service to A&M engineering and honors programs and the Corps. He learned of his honor when surprised March 9 during a business lunch at a Houston restaurant.
Martín Torrijos '87 was president of the Republic of Panama from 2004 to 2009, ushering in a massive expansion of the Panama Canal, anticorruption reforms and a partnership between Panama’s maritime university and Texas A&M University at Galveston. Previously, he had served as Panama’s vice minister of government and justice. He learned of his honor in a surprise announcement April 17 while on campus to visit his son, a current student.
Nominations for 2018 will be accepted from May 1, 2017 until October 6, 2017.
Profiles of Distinguished Alumni are listed on the Tribute Wall.
For more information about the 2017 Distinguished Alumni Gala, please visit this page or contact Meredith Thomasson ’16, Coordinator of Events, at 979-845-7514 or Gala@AggieNetwork.com.