Andrew Spencer Welch of Round Rock, Texas, was one of three graduates singled out for special honor at Texas A&M University’s spring commencement. Welch was presented with the Robert Gates-Muller Family Outstanding Student Award, which recognizes an outstanding graduating senior at A&M who has demonstrated those qualities of leadership, patriotism and courage exemplified by Dr. Robert M. Gates, former president of the university and current U.S. Secretary of Defense. The award included a $5,000 gift.

Welch graduated with a bachelor’s in accounting and a master’s in financial management from Mays Business School at Texas A&M.

In presenting the Gates-Muller Award, Texas A&M President Elsa Murano described Welch as someone who strives for excellence in everything he does.

“Mr. Welch not only completed the requirements for one of his courses, but he also turned in every optional assignment for that course. He is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a master of science degree in financial management. In both areas, he maintained a perfect 4.0 grade point ratio,” she added.

One nominator wrote that for others, the victory is in the grade, the job or the salary, but for Welch, relationships are the important thing. While others have celebrated their triumphs, he has used his to make Texas A&M a better place.

Outside the classroom, Welch helped another student establish a leadership program for business students called Horizons and served as a mentor to other students, Murano said, adding that he also has been active in numerous Mays Business School organizations and served as a coordinator for a mentoring program for local elementary school students.

The Robert Gates-Muller Family Outstanding Student Award was established through a gift from the Muller Family of Galveston.