Texas A&M Regents Approve Naming West Texas Facilities After Distinguished Alumnus Charles Graham

A significant part of the West Texas A&M University campus that includes the Texas A&M Veterinary Education, Research, & Outreach (VERO) Building and the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory (TVMDL) now bears the name of Texas A&M Distinguished Alumnus Dr. Charles W. “Doc” Graham ’53, one of the world’s top equine veterinarians.

The naming of the Charles W. “Doc” Graham ’53 DVM, The Texas A&M University System Center was recently approved during the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents’ quarterly meeting.

“Dr. Graham is held in such esteem around Texas and around the country for his brilliance in the field of equine health and animal science,” said Walter Wendler, West Texas A&M president. “Students who learn and work in a group of buildings bearing his name will have a goal for which to strive and an example to live up to, which can only help in our goal of producing the finest veterinarians in the state.”

The center carries Graham’s name at the request of Stan and Gerry Sigman, whose pledge to West Texas for the creation of a professorship in the Paul Engler College of Agriculture included a request that the new TVMDL, VERO, and the future Texas A&M AgriLife Research facilities be named in honor of Graham. Stan Sigman is a 1970 West Texas graduate and 2007 Distinguished Alumnus, and Stan and Gerry were the leading donors to the West Texas Agricultural Sciences Complex.

“The contributions Dr. Graham has made to the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVMBS) are immeasurable,” said Dr. John August, CVMBS dean. “Dr. Graham was an influential participant in the funding and construction of our college’s Veterinary & Biomedical Education Complex, and as a member of the Texas A&M Equine Research Committee, he helped recruit leaders for Texas A&M’s Equine Initiative and to the CVMBS. Through his ardent support of our college and of our VERO initiative, CVMBS students in both College Station and Canyon will benefit from his generosity and his efforts for decades to come.”

In addition to his renowned reputation in equine medicine, Graham is a leader in Texas’ horse and cattle industries and a tireless volunteer, advocate and youth mentor.

Graham is the only individual to serve as president for both the Texas Quarter Horse Association and the Texas Thoroughbred Association. He is also the only person to be selected as Horseman of the Year by both associations. He is a member of the American Quarter Horse Association Hall of Fame, the Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame, the Texas Horse Racing Hall of Fame, and the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame.

Graham’s other honors include the 2013 Texas A&M AgriLife Distinguished Texan in Agriculture Award, the 2010 College of Agriculture & Life Sciences Outstanding Alumnus Award, and the 1991 CVMBS Outstanding Alumnus Award.

In 2018, it was announced that the new, Canyon-based Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory would bear Graham’s name.

“As we embark on this new chapter of TVMDL history in Canyon, it only seems fitting to have our facility carry the name of someone who has left a lasting impression on our industry,” said Dr. Bruce Akey, TVMDL director. “Dr. Graham has been an unwavering supporter of TVMDL’s mission and vision for decades and we are proud to be part of his legacy in Texas.”

Graham earned his bachelor of science in animal husbandry in 1953, his bachelor of science in animal science in 1954, and his doctor of veterinary medicine in 1961, all from Texas A&M.

In the early 1960s, Graham and Dr. W. H. Cardwell built the Elgin Veterinary Hospital and grew the practice into one of the largest equine veterinary facilities in the nation. Graham is now owner of a number of other businesses, including the 1,300-acre Southwest Stallion Station in Elgin, which has bred some of the top stallions and broodmares in the quarter horse industry.

The VERO and TVMDL buildings opened in September 2020. A grand opening and dedication ceremony is planned for April 2021.