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Howdy!...and welcome to The Rudder Associationdedicated to preserving, defending and perpetuating the Texas Aggie Core Values and Culture for all Former Students, as well as Current and Future Students.  In other words, putting the "Aggie” back in Aggieland!

It is my firm belief that my dad, James Earl Rudder ’32, would heartily endorse The Rudder Association’s mission. It is critically important that we are aware of threats at our door. Should we fail to be active warriors in protecting our valued traditions, we will lose them.


Bud Rudder ‘62


First time applicants and member renewals

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Please join us Saturday, March 23rd at Pebble Creek Country Club for The Rudder Association’s Annual Members Meeting from 9 am to 3 pm.

Our keynote speaker will be Senator Brandon Creighton, Chair of the Texas Senate’s Education Committee and Higher Education Subcommittee. We will have several presentations from TRA, campus, and student leaders including Corps Commandant Patrick Michaelis ’93 who will lead us off.

This is open to current TRA members; however if you are currently not a member and would like to renew,, please go to:

We hope to see y’all there! Gig’em!

Image courtesy of: Texas Citizen Journal

The Rudder Association Annual Essay Contest 

Eligibility: Applicants are invited to participate in an essay contest sponsored by The Rudder Association (TRA). Applicants must be a US Citizen or resident alien, currently enrolled, as a graduate or undergraduate student of Texas A&M University, College Station. The Rudder Association's mission is to defend and perpetuate the Core Values of loyalty, integrity, excellence, leadership, selfless service and respect at Texas A&M. We provide a voice for all Aggies who honor its values, traditions and culture. We are Aggies to the Core.

Last year, we received numerous excellent submissions on academia's effect on MLK's dream of judging by character rather than skin color. This year we are asking students to submit no more than one essay with the topic being “Which of our Core Values is most significant to you and how will you live this out as a current and former student?"

Prizes: First prize $500, second $300, third place $200 in the form of a bank check. The first place paper’s author will be invited to attend and read their entry at the TRA annual members meeting on March 23rd in College Station. Prizes will be awarded in March following our annual meeting.

Format: 500 to 700 words, double spaced (approximately two pages), include author’s name, class year, major, email, phone number and hometown. Essays will be evaluated anonymously on their adherence to the prompt, logical development of ideas, persuasiveness, and utilization of facts and background information. They should be free of grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors. Any plagiarism is automatic cause for rejection.

Deadline: Papers must be received by March 1, 2024 and formatted in Microsoft Word OR PDF and should be submitted online with the above required information to Papers failing to meet the above format and information requirements will not be considered;


Judging: Joan Quintana '92, Matt Poling ‘90, Mark Browning ’88;


As a condition of this prize award, TRA would have right to publish and to use the content of the three winning papers in its mission to preserve, protect and perpetuate the Texas Aggie Culture, The Spirit of Aggieland and its Core Values and Traditions.  By submitting their papers, contestants agree to these terms.


First Annual Rudder Association Essay Contest

Thanks to everyone who participated in the first annual TRA essay contest.  Links to the winning essays are provided below.

As the holiday season unfolds, we extend our warmest wishes to you and your loved ones.  May this Christmas bring joy, peace, and the love of the season into your homes.


Let us take a moment to reflect on the blessings of the past year and look forward to the promise of hope that the new year brings.


Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


Warm Regards, 

Your Rudder Association Executive Committee

The Rudder Association Honors the Life and Mourns the Loss of a true Leader, Mentor, Colleague, Friend and Aggie...
Michael Beggs
May 14, 1946 — August 13, 2023
(TRA founding member & Board of Directors)


Softly call the muster, Let comrade answer, “Here!”

James Earl "Bud" Rudder Jr. '62
5/9/1940 - 1/17/2024

Very sad news to report to the Aggie family. Privileged to know James Earl “Bud” Rudder Jr ‘62 as a friend and serve along side him in support and defense of the Texas A&M we all know and love. I was honored that my children got to know him and I especially cherished his support for The Rudder Association and its mission. Bud was a gentleman and a true Aggie hero. Let’s not just remember him but also honor him by continuing his legacy of service to our university and country.

Softly call the muster, Let comrade answer, “Here!”

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