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Corps Hall of Honor adds eight

President, Medal of Honor recipient among those inducted

The Battalion

Published: Monday, April 16, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 22:07

Jade Bedell — THE BATTALION

Jade Bedell — THE BATTALION

The inductees take part in a yell practice Saturday morning in Rudder Auditorium.

Seven former cadets and an honorary recipient were inducted into the Corps of Cadets Hall of Honor — a reserved section in the Sam Houston Sanders Corps of Cadets Center — on Saturday.

“They are everything that the Corps values exemplify,” said Drew Alders, junior agriculture economics major. “Aspiring to be successful in military and as civilians and giving back to A&M. I know that’s what I want to do.”

The inductees included a Medal of Honor recipient, a former Corps commandant, a congressman and honorary inductee, former president  George H. W. Bush.

“These men represent the values upon which the Corps was founded: honor, loyalty, service, pride, patriotism, faith, leadership and honesty,” said Patrick Reeves, senior biomedical sciences major and Corps Commander. “They are the best we have to offer.”

The inductees came from varying backgrounds, but all assumed leadership in their communities or in military service.

Capt. Eli. Whiteley, Class of 1941, was one of seven Aggies to receive the Medal of Honor during World War II. President Harry Truman presented Whiteley the honor for exceptional bravery and valiant leadership during savage, house-to-house combat through the fortress town of Sigolsheim, France, in December 1944.

Inductee Maj. Hughes “Buddy” Seewald, Class of 1942, said his experience at A&M saved his life. He was wounded on the island of Luzon, the largest island in the Philippines. After recovering the dead and wounded during evacuation of the island, Seewald was promoted to major and awarded the Silver Star and Purple Heart.

He received medical discharge following two years at military hospitals, and later began a career in the oil and gas industry.

After graduating from A&M in 1965, H. Hale Burr went on to serve in the Air Force for 31 years, including two combat tours in Vietnam, and rose in rank to major general. As a command pilot, he flew the F-4, F-15 and F-16 fighter aircraft.

Lt. Gen. John Van Alstyne, Class of 1966, received a standing ovation when his name was called Saturday. After retiring from the Army in 2002, Van Alstyne served as Corps commandant until January 2010. He is still active at the University in the Mays school.

W. Michael Baggett, Class of 1968, was a yell leader while a student and member of 3rd Group Staff. He is known for the saying, “Be proud of who you are, what you do and who you do

it with.”

The first of two politicians to be inducted was Bill Flores, Class of 1976. While a student, Flores was student body vice president and now represents College Station in the U.S. House of Representatives as a first-term congressman.

“The tools they learned put us in positions to achieve what we’ve achieved today,” Flores said.

Don Adam, Class of 1957, was recognized for service to the University and success in the community. He established his own insurance, cable and realty businesses in the Bryan-College Station area. The construction company that he owns built the Bonfire Memorial on campus.

Bush, although not a former student, was the last to be inducted into the Hall of Honor. After selecting College Station to be home to the Bush School of Government and Public Service and the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum, he assumed an active role in the Aggie community. His military service dates to World War II. When he was commissioned in 1943, Bush was the youngest aviator in the Navy.

“We honor those who came before us because they are an example of the perfect grade,” said Max Goulas, sophomore biomedical science and entomology major. “They teach us what we’re learning now is going to help us in the future.”

The Corps of Cadets Hall of Honor was established in 1993 to pay tribute to former cadets who exemplify the Aggie Spirit. The plaques containing portraits and biographies of each member are displayed in the Sam Houston Sanders Corps of Cadets Center. A special lapel pin identifies the members of the Hall of Honor.

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