Texas A&M Names Outstanding Student Award Winners

Texas A&M University’s Office of the Provost and the LAUNCH program have honored four seniors with the 2020 Outstanding Student Awards.

In a virtual ceremony held on campus, Paige Rigsby of Houston and Uzair Waheed of College Station each won the Brown-Rudder Award and Mary-Catherine Clark of Temple received the Gates-Muller Award. Each are valued at $5,000.

A new award this year – the Class of ’80 Selfless Service Award – was presented to Lauren Breazeale of McKinney. It is valued at $4,000.

LAUNCH provides high-impact educational experiences and challenges students in all academic disciplines to graduate from an enriched, demanding curriculum. The programs administered by the office bring together outstanding students and faculty to build a community of knowledge-producers, life-long learners, nationally-recognized scholars and world citizens.

“The Outstanding Student Awards are the pinnacle award for graduating seniors at Texas A&M,” said Sumana Datta, assistant provost, executive director of LAUNCH and professor of biochemistry and biophysics.

“Based on more than academics, the Brown Foundation-Earl Rudder Memorial Outstanding Student and the Robert Gates-Muller Family Outstanding Student awards recognize not just academic accomplishment, but just as importantly a depth of character demonstrated both publicly and privately,” Datta said. “The Class of ’80 Selfless Service Award, given for the first time this year, recognizes one of Texas A&M’s core values and one for which our university and our students and former students are known for far and wide.”

The Brown Foundation-Earl Rudder Memorial Outstanding Student Award was established in 1970 as the highest honor bestowed upon a graduating senior at Texas A&M. No more than two Brown-Rudder awardees are selected at Texas A&M each year. The award honors two outstanding senior students who exemplify the leadership, patriotism, fortitude, courage, humility, love of Texas A&M, and willingness to uphold the principles for which the university stands as vividly exemplified by James Earl Rudder during his lifetime. Gen. Rudder, a World War II hero, served as president of Texas A&M from 1959 until 1970.

The Robert Gates-Muller Family Outstanding Student Award was established in 2007 through a gift from the Muller family of Galveston to provide public recognition to an outstanding senior graduating from Texas A&M who has demonstrated those qualities of leadership, patriotism, courage and service to country, school and nation clearly exemplified by Robert M. Gates. Gates served as president of Texas A&M university from 2002 until 2006 when he was named U.S. Secretary of Defense.

The Class of ’80 Selfless Service Award was established in 2019 and awarded for the first time this year to recognize an outstanding senior who exemplifies the selfless service and readiness to serve at a moment’s notice. The award memorializes the Aggie value of selfless service.

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