Three Mays graduates are among the 10 2017 recipients of the highest honor bestowed upon a former student of Texas A&M University, the Distinguished Alumnus Award. Texas A&M University and The Association of Former Students are proud to welcome as Distinguished Alumni: Jorge A. Bermúdez ʼ73 of College Station, Craig Brown ’75 of Houston, and William M. “Bill” Huffman ’53 of College Station and Marshall.
A full list of the 10 recipients and their biographical information may be found here.
Jorge A. Bermúdez ʼ73, in a 33-year career with Citibank and Citigroup, was chief risk officer for Citigroup/Citibank, CEO and president of Citibank Commercial Banking Group and CEO of Citigroup Latin America. He is president and CEO of the Byebrook Group. He is an Outstanding International Alumnus of A&M, received the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Outstanding Alumnus Award, and is on the Department of Agricultural Economics’ Tyrus R. Timm Honor Registry. He has served on the board and as chair for The Association of Former Students and is on the Texas A&M Foundation board as well as on the College of Agriculture Development Council, the Dean’s Advisory Board for Mays Business School and Texas A&M’s International Advisory Board. He is a board member and past chair of the Community Foundation of the Brazos Valley’s investment committee. He serves on the board of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
Craig Brown ’75 co-founded Bray International, a global manufacturer of rotary valves and actuators; he is owner, CEO and chairman. Since 1989, he has been chairman and co-founder of the Craig and Galen Brown Foundation, which recruits top students to A&M, including National Merit Scholars. In the past 25 years, more than 300 students have come to A&M as Brown Foundation Scholars, including 200 engineers and 40 doctors and veterinarians. He has served on the College of Engineering Advisory Council for more than 25 years and has been on the Corps of Cadets Board of Visitors and a member of the executive cabinet for the Texas A&M Foundation’s Lead By Example capital campaign. He has been named an Outstanding Young Houstonian, an Outstanding Alumnus of A&M’s College of Engineering and an Outstanding Alumnus of the Mays Business School. He has worked with KIPP public charter schools and Bo’s Place, a Houston-based nonprofit bereavement center.
William M. “Bill” Huffman ’53, a longtime lawyer and former chair of the city commission of Marshall, has rendered service to his fellow Aggies ranging from mentoring students and supporting programs and scholarships to compiling a directory of his Class of 1953 classmates. After service in the U.S. Army, he earned the highest grade on the March 1959 Texas bar exam and went into private practice. He and his wife, Barbara, have made gifts to A&M including support for the College of Medicine, Corps of Cadets, numerous scholarships including a President’s Endowed Scholarship, MSC, Kyle Field, Fish Camp, and the new band hall/music building. They have also given more than 600 individual students their first-year active memberships in The Association of Former Students. Since 2009, he has served on the board of Christus Good Shepherd Health System, and has chaired its board since 2015.
Since the inception of the award in 1962, only 271 of Texas A&M’s 469,000 former students have been recognized with the Distinguished Alumnus Award. Awarded jointly by the university and The Association, this honor recognizes those Aggies who have achieved excellence in their chosen professions and made meaningful contributions to Texas A&M University and their local communities.
This year’s recipients learned of their honors when surprised in their places of business and other locations by a group of university and association representatives, including Young, The Association of Former Students’ 2017 Chair of the Board of Directors Phil Miner ’80, Association President and CEO Porter S. Garner III ’79, Texas A&M Foundation President Tyson Voelkel ’96, and a Ross Volunteer, along with university mascot Reveille IX and her handler.
“The 2017 Distinguished Alumni demonstrate the impact Texas A&M has on the state, nation and world,” said Texas A&M University President Michael K. Young. “This group includes incredible leaders and influencers in the fields of engineering, construction, real estate, international and national defense, law, finance, education and philanthropy. Their stories truly display the power of a Texas A&M University education.”
Miner said, “Our 2017 Distinguished Alumni have achieved the highest levels of success in their professions and have made a lasting impact on their communities and Texas A&M through their service. They bring our Texas A&M core values of excellence, integrity, leadership, loyalty, respect and selfless service to life.”
Garner echoed the sentiments of Young and Miner and offered his congratulations on behalf of The Association of Former Students. “Less than one-tenth of one percent of Texas A&M’s former students have been recognized with the Distinguished Alumnus Award,” Garner said. “It is, indeed, the highest honor bestowed upon a former student of Texas A&M, and our 2017 recipients have earned this honor through their exemplary achievements and service to Texas A&M.”
The Association of Former Students will further honor all recipients of this award during its annual Distinguished Alumni Gala on Sept. 29. In addition, the 2017 recipients will be recognized during the Sept. 30 Texas A&M football game against South Carolina. Nominations for the 2018 Distinguished AlumnusAward will be accepted through Oct. 6 at tx.ag/DAnominations.
The Association of Former Students, established in 1879, is the official alumni organization of Texas A&M University. The Association connects hundreds of thousands of members of the worldwide Aggie Network with each other and the university, and provided $12.5 million in impact to university scholarships, awards, activities and enrichment for students, faculty, staff and former students in 2016. For more information about the Distinguished Alumnus Award or The Association, contact Scot Walker at SWalker90@AggieNetwork.com or visit www.AggieNetwork.com.