Campus Life

The Association Of Former Students Unveils Distinguished Alumni Tribute In Aggie Park

The Association commissioned the landmark to recognize all who have been and will be awarded its highest honor.
By Delaney Whitworth '22, The Association of Former Students September 21, 2022

The unveiling ceremony of the Distinguished Alumni Tribute at Aggie Park on Sept. 17, 2022.
The unveiling ceremony of the Distinguished Alumni Tribute at Aggie Park.

Photo: Bryce Reed, The Singing Cadets


On Sept. 17, The Association of Former Students held a dedication ceremony for the Distinguished Alumni Tribute in Aggie Park.

“Texas A&M has a new campus landmark, one that will inspire Aggies to follow the example set by all of our Distinguished Alumni as they strive to exemplify our core values in service to their communities, their alma mater, and their fellow Texas Aggies,” said Porter Garner III ’79, president and CEO of The Association of Former Students.

As part of the development of Aggie Park, The Association has commissioned the design and construction of the Distinguished Alumni Tribute, a physical landmark to recognize all those former students of Texas A&M who have been and will be awarded the highest possible honor of the Distinguished Alumnus Award. In Texas A&M University’s 146 years of operation, only 318 former students have been named as a Distinguished Alumni. 

“The Association of Former Students has long envisioned a prominent and permanent on-campus tribute to our Distinguished Alumni,” said Marty Holmes ’87, Association vice president. “This tribute is that vision made real, and The Association is deeply grateful to all the many people who helped make that happen.”

Dan Allen Hughes ’80 and his wife, Peggy ’82, are the lead donors for this tribute, helping to create a landmark that honors generations past and inspires generations future.

“Peggy and I are very pleased to be able to make the lead gift on this tribute to honor those Aggies who came before us and to inspire generations of leaders at Texas A&M who come after us,” Hughs said.

Shelley Potter '78 addresses the crowd at the unveiling ceremony. She received the Distinguished Alumni award in 2019.
Shelley Potter ’78 addresses the crowd at the unveiling ceremony. She received the Distinguished Alumni award in 2019.

Photo: Bryce Reed, The Singing Cadets


The Tribute was designed by Distinguished Alumnus Shelley Potter ’78. Potter received the Distinguished Alumni award in 2019.

“The Distinguished Alumni Tribute itself illuminates a path that is ever-changing, with the addition of new names, the flow of people experiencing the journey, the light changing from day to night, and the eternal glow of the honored recipients with their individual stories lighting the way,” Potter said.

With excellence as a thematic cornerstone, the Distinguished Alumni Tribute highlights Texas A&M University’s most accomplished former students in stone and stainless steel. The Tribute also celebrates the history and meaning of the Distinguished Alumnus Award, offering inspiration to all Aggies with the university’s core values and meaningful quotes carved into stone, and employing metaphorical references to create a sense of the actual recognition experience.

“One of the most striking features of this tribute is that only half of the panels are filled with names of Distinguished Alumni,” said Dara Hegar ’95, chair of the board of The Association. “Today’s student is tomorrow’s Distinguished Alumnus of Texas A&M. How exciting to think about the future accomplishments and successes of current students walking our campus today being recognized in the names we add to this tribute for decades to come.”

To learn more about the Distinguished Alumni Award, visit To learn more about Aggie Park, visit To learn how you can support further development of the green space, visit

Media contact: Sue Owen, The Association of Former Students,

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