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Embrace the SPIRIT

The 12th Man



“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

Current News


 "The Texas A&M University faculty senate on Monday endorsed an affirmative-action program that is currently under legal scrutiny for using taxpayer dollars to hire non-white and non-Asian staff members."

See the full story from The Federalist at the following link.


Letter to the Board of Regents addressing
TRA's Position on the ACES Program

Board of Regents                                                                                 September 14th, 2022

Texas A & M University

301 Tarrow St.

College Station, TX 77840


Dear Members of the Board:

Upon hearing of the recently filed lawsuit, we were disappointed to learn the details of the racially discriminatory ACES Plus fellowship program funded by Texas A&M. Is it the role of the state to ensure that its citizens have equal opportunities for admission, hiring, and advancement or to ensure equal outcomes? We thought that debate was decisively settled after the fall of the Berlin wall.

While we appreciate the fact that the state has some responsibility to expose university students to a balance of viewpoints on important issues, discrimination on the basis of color or creed is not the way to achieve that outcome. Students should know that their instructor was chosen because he or she was the best available candidate. Minority faculty should know that they were selected on the basis of their teaching and scholarship and not because of their immutable personal characteristics and the benevolence of their “allies”.


All faculty candidates have the right to compete on a level playing field and go through the same appointment process. We thought we had moved well past the era of “coloreds only” entrances. We can find no US or Texas law or any court ruling which compels the state to achieve a predetermined racial outcome. The legality of that agenda is being appropriately questioned in our judicial system. But we believe the morality of that agenda is even more questionable, and the subsequent divisiveness of it within the Aggie family inevitable.


Nor do we believe that modifying ACES Plus to allow for ideologically acceptable white or Asian candidates is in any way a proper remedy. It is inconceivable that a special program to hire faculty who are strongly committed to diversity is actually needed on this or any other campus today. The weaponization of “diversity” as a tool of political power is damaging to our institutions of higher education. Texas A&M should reject this agenda outright and de-fund the ACES program entirely. Further, we call on the Board of Regents to investigate whether other such structurally racist or ideologically biased faculty or staff appointment and promotion processes such as political “diversity statements” or “land acknowledgments” are being imposed on our campuses.


Texas Aggies are leaders, and we should be building on our culture of egalitarianism and individual merit rooted in our military traditions, not falling in line behind other institutions headed farther in the wrong direction. Ending the ACES program in its entirety would help repair the reputational damage incurred and demonstrate a re-commitment to the American and Aggie values which will best serve all Texas Aggies as well as our great state and nation.


The President and Board of Directors

The Rudder Association


   The Rudder Association Adds Three Board Members


Jose Quintana, Class of 1986, Elizabeth Holle, Class of  1992, and Andy Hansen, Class of 1971 have been elected to the Board of Directors for The Rudder Association. They are dedicated Aggies who have distinguished themselves as effective leaders and difference makers in TAMU organizations such as the Texas Engineering Extension Service, Quad Moms, and The Association of Former Students. These Aggies have all expressed their desire to help the TRA objective of insuring that the Spirit of Aggieland will continue to be experienced by generations to come. 




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Mailing Address: 

The Rudder Association, INC

1511 South Texas Ave, Box 307

College Station, Texas 77840-3303

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