Campus Life

Outstanding Graduates Are Presented Top University Awards

Texas A&M University is among the leaders nationally in number of degrees conferred — an institutional record of 5,417 this spring.
By Tura King, Texas A&M Marketing & Communications May 17, 2007

handing off diploma

(Texas A&M Marketing & Communications)

Texas A&M University is among the leaders nationally in number of degrees conferred — an institutional record of 5,417 this spring — and it also ranks in the forefront in formally recognizing its top graduates, with six of them this year receiving prestigious awards, including stipends totaling several thousand dollars.

That includes a new $5,000 award established this spring by Mr. and Mrs. Russell Stein of Houston. The intent is to help defray educational costs for a newly commissioned member of Texas A&M’s Corps of Cadets.

Michael Miller of Fairfax Station, Virginia, is the inaugural winner of the Russell and Jeannie Stein Award.

Other recipients of Texas A&M’s top student awards are Rebecca Anne Chesney of Hudson Oaks, Texas, William Denis Dugat IV of Austin, Joseph Dannenbaum, IV of Tulsa, OK, Bryan Fanick of San Antonio and Grant Castleberry of Midland.

The Brown Foundation-Earl Rudder Memorial Outstanding Student Award, the highest honor bestowed each May upon a graduating senior, was presented to Chesney and Dugat during spring commencement ceremonies. Each of the Brown-Rudder Award recipients receives a check for $5,000 and a framed certificate. The award honors top students who exemplify the leadership and related traits of the late Gen. Earl Rudder, a World War II hero who served as president of Texas A&M from 1959 until his death in 1970.

Three members of the Texas A&M Corps of Cadets — Dannenbaum (Army), Fanick (Air Force) and Castleberry (Marine Corps) – were honored with Doherty Awards as the top cadets in their ROTC units during the university’s spring commissioning ceremonies.

Doherty Awards include $1,500 checks. The award honors the memory of the late W.T. Doherty, a prominent Texas A&M graduate. They are presented each May to the most outstanding graduating cadets commissioned into military service through each of the university’s ROTC programs — Army, Air Force and Navy-Marine Corps.

Miller, a political science graduate who was commissioned into the Army, is the first recipient of the Stein Award.

Russell Stein, who graduated from Texas A&M in 1966 with a degree in finance, is described as having arrived at the school “with little more than the clothes he was wearing, a phenomenal intellect, a Humble Oil scholarship and an intense drive to take advantage of what he believed would be the best shot he would ever have.” After being commissioned and serving in Vietnam, Stein moved to Houston to begin his career in finance.

Miller received the 4.0 Certificate in 2006 and 2007 and in 2005 was inducted into the Gen. O. R. Simpson Honor Society formed in 1980 to recognize cadets whose academic potential and general personal conduct reflect credit upon the corps and Texas A&M. The purpose of the society is to recognize outstanding cadets and through them, sponsor projects that promote academics within the corps. Cadet members of the honor society can be identified by the blue and white citation cord worn on their cadet uniform.

Chesney, who graduated with both a master of science degree in finance and a bachelor of business administration degree in accounting, has been active in a number of honor societies and sororities, served in several student government positions and has been active in a number of other student organizations while maintaining a 3.97 GPR as an undergraduate and a 4.0 as a graduate student.

Dugat, who graduated with a bachelor of science degree in geology, is certified in leadership development, is a President’s Endowed Scholar and a Gen. Earl Rudder Corps of Cadets Scholar, as well as receiving a Buck Weirus Spirit Award given in recognition of involvement in campus leadership.

As a member of the Corps of Cadets, Dugat served as deputy corps commander and is in the Aggie band. He is a member of the O.R. Simpson Honor Society and serves in the Ross Volunteer Company (RVs). Established in 1887, the RVs are the oldest student organization in the state and serve as the official honor guard for the governor of Texas. The RVs are called upon to represent Texas A&M throughout the state and nation. They have performed saber arches and served as honor guards and escorts for all living United States presidents and first ladies, foreign prime ministers and heads of state from all over the world.

Dannenbaum, who received a degree in biology and was commissioned into the Army during weekend ceremonies, earned the corps’ “4.0 Certificate” (earning a 4.0 in 2006 and 2007). He was a member of the Ross Volunteer Company.

Fanick, who received a degree in aerospace engineering and was commissioned into the Air Force, served as a member of the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band.

Castleberry, an agricultural development graduate commissioned into the Marine Corps, was elected a yell leader and was subsequently selected head yell leader for the 2006-07 academic year.

He also received the corps’ 4.0 Certificate in 2006 and 2007 and was a member of the Ross Volunteers.

Media contact: Tura King, Texas A&M Division of Marketing & Communications.


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