Captain Eli L. Whiteley'41
Whiteley received his Bachelor’s Degree in Agronomy and a Doctorate Degree in Soil Physics from Texas A&M and his Master’s Degree in Agronomy from North Carolina State. In 1942, six months into his studies for his master’s degree he joined the United States Army where he served as a First Lieutenant in Company L, 15th Infantry, 3rd Infantry Division.
Whiteley was promoted to Captain and received the Medal of Honor – one of seven Medal of Honor recipients from Texas A&M – for his exceptional bravery and valiant leadership in the savage house-to-house battle through the fortress town of Sigolsheim, France in December, 1944. He was presented the Medal of Honor by President Harry S. Truman in 1945.
After the war, he returned to North Carolina State completing his degree in 1948 and then receiving his Ph.D. from Texas A&M. Whiteley taught at Texas A&M while researching plants, including important work with the kenaf plant and soil management and was eventually named a Professor Emeritus of the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences.
Whiteley's Medal of Honor is on loan to the Sanders Corps of Cadets Center and is currently on display. Both a memorial park and dormitory on the Texas A&M campus is named after Whiteley. As a cadet Whiteley was a member of the Headquarters Cavalry.
Major Hughes "Buddy" Seewald '42
Seewald received his Bachelor’s degree in Science from Texas A&M. World War II mobilization prompted early graduation for his class and cut short his study of Veterinary Medicine. Awarded a regular Army commission, Seewald was assigned to the 1st United States Cavalry and taught equitation at Ft Riley, Kansas pending his unit’s deployment to the Pacific.
Allied liberation of the Philippines brought intense combat and Seewald was severely wounded on the island of Luzon. After his heroic action recovering the dead and wounded during the evacuation, Seewald was promoted to major and awarded the Silver Star and Purple Heart. Spending almost two years in military hospitals, he retired with a medical discharge.
Seewald returned to Amarillo entering the oil and gas business. An active rancher, he and his family also raised and showed Morgan horses. A staunch supporter of the Corps of Cadets, he served as Vice Chairman of the Development Council and funded 12 Sul Ross Scholarships.
Seewald was one of four who pledged the initial funding for the Sanders Corps of Cadets Center and co-donated funds for the Parsons Mounted Cavalry Headquarters Building located at Fiddler’s Green. As a cadet, Seewald served as Commanding Officer of First Squadron Staff and held the rank of Cadet Major.
Don Adam '57
Adam received his Bachelor of Business Administration in Insurance from Texas A&M. He served three years in the U.S. Army achieving the rank of Captain. Adam began his career in the insurance business in 1961 establishing his own business, the CRA Company in Bryan, Texas. He transitioned into the cable television industry, first founding Community Cablevision in 1969 and then American Cablevision Corporation six years later, both in the College Station-Bryan area.
In the mid-1980s, Adam formed a realty company, TAC Realty Inc. – now known as Adam Development Properties, L.P. which also led to the formation of a construction company, Madison Construction, L.P., that handled the construction of the Texas A&M Bonfire Memorial project. Adam was also very instrumental in the development of Miramont, a master-planned residential and golf course community in Bryan.
In 1988, he sold his cable companies and looked to new areas in which to invest, transforming 14 insolvent institutions into a very large and profitable banking enterprise that would eventually become part The Adam Corporation/Group. In 2006, Adam started a new bank – American Momentum Bank, headquartered in Orlando, Florida, with branches in Texas as well.
He has served as a member of the Texas A&M Vision 2020 Committee, the Chancellor’s 21st Century Council of Advisors, the President’s Council of Advisors and is a former chairman for OPAS. Adam has made significant donations to many organizations within Texas A&M and he received a Master Entrepreneur Award and an Outstanding Alumnus Award from the Mays Business School. As a cadet, Adam served on the 2nd Regiment Staff and held the rank of Cadet Major.
Major General H. Hale Burr ’65
Burr received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics from Texas A&M and his Master’s degree in International Relations from the University of Arkansas. During his distinguished 31 year career in the United States Air Force, he served two combat tours in the Vietnam War having flown over 500 combat missions and 1,100 combat flying hours.
Burr has commanded a F-15 tactical fighter squadron, a F-15/T-33 tactical fighter training wing, a F-16/F-4 tactical fighter wing and a numbered air force, and served as the deputy commander for a joint task force in the Persian Gulf. He is a command pilot with more than 3,500 flying hours in the F-4, F-15 and F-16 fighter aircraft.
His final assignment before his retirement in 1997 was as the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force International Affairs in the Pentagon, Washington, D.C. General Burr’s military awards include 2 Distinguished Service Medals, the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, 5 Distinguished Flying Crosses, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, 3 Meritorious Service Medals, 32 Air Medals and the Air Force Commendation Medal.
As a cadet, General Burr served as Deputy Corps Commander, Senior Class President, and was a member of the Ross Volunteers. A Distinguished AFROTC Graduate, Burr received the Chicago Tribune Award for Outstanding ROTC Cadet and the AFROTC Summer Camp Vice Commandant Award.
Lieutenant General John A. Van Alstyne '66
Van Alstyne received his Bachelor in Business Administration from Texas A&M, his Master of Science Degree in Military Science from the United States Army Command and General Staff College and his Master of Arts Degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the United States Naval War College.
Commissioned from Texas A&M as an Infantry officer in 1966, his Company grade duty included assignments in the Berlin Brigade; the Military Assistance Command, Vietnam; the 82nd Airborne Division; and the 3rd Armored Division in Germany. During field grade years, he served in the 1st Cavalry Division, commanded 2nd Battalion, 22nd Infantry in Germany; and was G3, 8th Infantry Division.
Later served as G3, I Corps; Commander, 1st Brigade, 9th Infantry Division; Executive Officer to the DCSPER of the Army; and Chief of Staff, 24th Infantry Division during Operations Desert Shield/Desert Storm. As a general officer, served as Assistant Division Commander, 1st Armored Division; Director of Operations, U.S. Southern Command; Vice Director for Operations, Joint Staff; Commanding General, Ft. Jackson, South Carolina; Deputy Commanding General, Army Training and Doctrine Command and as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Personnel Policy.
Following retirement in December, 2002, Van Alstyne served as Commandant of the Corps of Cadets at Texas A&M University until January 2010. Currently, he is an executive professor at the Mays Business School at Texas A&M University.
W. Michael Baggett '68
Baggett received his Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from Texas A&M and his Juris Doctorate from Baylor Law School, graduating Cum Laude. He served as a First Lieutenant in the United States Army receiving the Bronze Star for his service in Vietnam.
Baggett clerked for Judge Price Daniel, Texas Supreme Court from 1973 - 1974. He has successfully argued six published opinions of the Texas Supreme Court and has tried over 50 commercial cases at the trial level. A well-known author of widely-used legal books and lecturer before judicial conferences, bar associations, law schools, trade and industry groups, Baggett’s legal publications have been cited as authority by 12 appellate courts.
He served as Chairman and CEO of Winstead Attorneys from 1992 through 2006, and is presently Chairman Emeritus and Shareholder. Under his leadership, Winstead grew from an established Texas law firm into a top-tier regional law firm with offices throughout Texas, North Carolina and Washington, D.C.
Baggett has held offices in the Texas A&M Foundation, The Association of Former Students, the Texas Aggie Bar Association, the Dallas A&M Club, the 12th Man Foundation and the Corps of Cadets Development Council. Baggett was awarded the Association of Former Students Distinguished Alumnus Award and was also named an Outstanding Alumnus Award from Mays School of Business. As a cadet, Baggett was a Yell Leader and a member of 3rd Group Staff.
Congressman William "Bill" Flores '76
Flores received his Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from Texas A&M and his Master of Business Administration from Houston Baptist University. After receiving his Texas Certified Public Accountancy (CPA) in 1978, he worked in the energy industry for nearly three decades. During that time, he served as a Chief Financial Officer, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Executive Officer for several successful energy companies, ultimately serving as President and Chief Executive Officer of Phoenix Exploration Company – a company focused upon the discovery of American oil and gas.
Although he had never held public office before, in 2010, Flores was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives and officially sworn into the 112th Congress in 2011, representing the 17th Congressional District of Texas. He is an instrument-rated private pilot with more than 2,400 hours of pilot-in-command time and a major contributor to the Wounded Warrior program.
Flores is a Past Chair of The Association of Former Students and has served on the Texas A&M Private Enterprise Research Center Board, the President’s Board of Visitors, the 12th Man Foundation Athletic Ambassadors Council and the Mays Business School Development Council. He received The Association of Former Student Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2010. As a cadet, Flores was a member of the Ross Volunteers, Vice President of the Memorial Student Center and Student Body Vice President.
President George H.W. Bush
President Bush received his Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Yale University in 1948 after serving as the youngest aviator in the United States Navy during WWII. During his service, he completed 58 combat missions including one in which he had to bail out of his burning Grumman TBM Avenger aircraft into the sea around the Bonin Islands. President Bush received the Distinguished Flying Cross, three Air Medals and the Presidential Unit Citation awarded to the crew of the USS San Jacinto.
After graduating from Yale, he moved to West Texas, serving as president and then chairman of the Zapata Offshore Company, which specialized in offshore drilling. In 1966 his interest moved to politics where he served in many prominent governmental positions including U.S. Congressman of Texas, Ambassador to the United Nations, Special Envoy to China, the Republican National Chairman and the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. In 1981 he became Vice President of the United States under President Ronald Reagan and then became the 41st President in 1989.
President Bush selected College Station to be the location of both The Bush School of Government and Public Service and the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum, which opened in 1995 and 1997, respectively. Since that time, President Bush has taken an active role in Texas A&M University, the Aggie community and the Corps of Cadets.