Clarification on A&M President Earl Rudder
Tue November 27, 2007 5:25 pm

In my post of November 17, "Into the Wild Blue Yonder," I wrote about the story circulating at Texas A&M that Air Force Chief of Staff General Michael Moseley, a Rick Perry chum in their days at Aggieland, might be under consideration as the next president of Texas A&M. In the piece, I noted that every president of A&M since Gibb Gilchrist (1944-1948) had held a "terminal" degree -- that is, Ph.D or other credential that is the equivalent of a doctorate.

This is incorrect. The list of A&M presidents maintained online by the Texas A&M University libraries shows General James Earl Rudder as having an LL.D (doctor of laws). However, two correspondents point out that Rudder's degree, awarded by Baylor University, was honorary.

Here are two communications I have received that state the facts correctly:

In the November 26 edition of the Texas A&M Battalion, your blog was cited in an article on the presidential search. Your information on Maj. Gen. James Earl Rudder is incorrect. He did not earn a law degree, he was presented an honorary Doctor of Laws degree by Baylor University in 1960. In fact, Rudder did not hold a Master's degree either....

Lisa Kalmus
Curator
Sanders Corps of Cadets Center
Texas A&M University

The other e-mail came from former A&M president Ray Bowen:

If you look at [The Handbook of Texas Online],
the article asserts [Rudder] received an honorary law degree from Baylor in
1960....

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