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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 Rudder Association Annual Meeting     

​Saturday, March 4, 2023

8:30 AM to 3:00 PM CT

Pebble Creek Country Club

4500 Pebble Creek Parkway

College Station, TX  77845

Featured Speakers:

  • Chancellor John Sharp ‘72

  • Commandant of the Corps of Cadets
    Brigadier General Patrick Michaelis ‘93

  • Bud Rudder ‘62

To RSVP, please send an email to

 First Annual Rudder Association 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. Each applicant may submit no more than one essay with the topic being “The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King spoke of a mountaintop for America where we would all be judged not by the color of our skin, but by the content of our character. Is academia bringing us closer to this dream, or taking us further from it?” 

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 meeting March 4, 2023 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 February 20, 2023 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.

"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. 



   Create Awareness

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Recruit Faculty

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Academic Freedom

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Continuous Education

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Recruit Students

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