Texas A&M University presented its three top student awards to Amy Leigh Aldrich of Lake Jackson, Tanner B. Wilson of Austin and Hilary Albrecht Loveless of Boerne during spring commencement ceremonies.
Brown Foundation-Earl Rudder Memorial Outstanding Student Awards, which include cash gifts of $5,000 each, were presented to Aldrich and Wilson. The award honors top students who exemplify the leadership and related traits of the late Gen. Earl Rudder, a World War II hero who served as president of Texas A&M from 1959 until his death in 1970.
The Robert Gates-Muller Family Outstanding Student Award, which also includes a $5,000 gift, was presented to Loveless, who graduated in December but returned to the campus to receive the award.
The award was established through a gift from the Muller family of Galveston to provide public recognition to the outstanding seniors graduating from Texas A&M who have demonstrated those qualities of leadership, patriotism and courage exemplified by Robert M. Gates. He served as president of the university from 2002 until 2006, when he was named U.S. Secretary of Defense.
Aldrich graduated with a 3.59 grade-point average with a major in electrical engineering, a minor in Arabic studies and a minor in mathematics. One person who nominated her said, “Amy exceeds expectations and seeks opportunities that enrich her life and afford her a chance to give back to her community.”
Aldrich has held several leadership positions in both academics and athletics. She was vice chair of the Memorial Student Center (MSC) Student Conference on National Affairs, served as a team leader for an Air Force research laboratory competition and was captain of soccer teams in both the United States and Qatar, where she spent the fall semester in 2009 on a study-abroad program.
Since 2008, she has also volunteered as a student ambassador for the Electrical Engineering Department, spending many evenings and weekends at student recruitment events, helping with phone-a-thons and giving campus tours to prospective students.
Another nominator said “the classes Amy took had a good number of outstanding students, yet she was by far the most impressive in terms of her academic achievement and personal character. In addition to her high academic achievement, Amy exhibits the highest level of professionalism and respect toward others.”
Wilson graduated with both a bachelor’s degree in applied mathematics and a master’s degree in mathematics. This is a five-year program that Wilson completed in just four years.
One person who nominated Wilson writes: “Tanner represents the ideal student for the 21st century. He displays a perfect balance between academic achievement and social responsibility, together with a broad and diversified knowledge base and interests.”
Wilson earned a 3.9 grade- point average in his undergraduate work and a 3.5 grade-point average in his master’s degree. He gained extensive research experience, primarily related to the medical field. In addition, he spent the summer of 2009 gaining clinical experience in the Department of Surgery at Ben Taub Hospital in Houston. His academic achievements have been recognized with 20 awards and recognitions, including a President’s Endowed Scholarship and six semesters on the dean’s honor roll in the College of Science.
In addition, a nominator wrote that “Tanner has a remarkable history of service, leadership and dedication to Texas A&M.” Among these activities are extensive participation in student government, including serving as Speaker of the Senate in the 64th Session, being active as a musician in the Percussion Studio, and tutoring dozens of students in the College of Science.
Winner of the Robert Gates-Muller Family Award, Loveless graduated magna cum laude in December 2011with a major in political science and minors in business administration and history.
One person who nominated Loveless writes “Hilary is, academically and intellectually speaking, a star” whose “entire tenure at Texas A&M has reflected her dual desire to achieve and to lead.”
Her academic achievements include completing many more courses than required in the University Honors Program and being selected for the Cornerstone Honors Program in the College of Liberal Arts. For her outstanding achievements, she received nine awards, including the Phi Kappa Phi Outstanding Junior for the College of Liberal Arts, and an Association of Former Students scholarship.
Loveless also proved herself to be a leader outside the classroom. Another nominator wrote that she “gives one hundred percent to whatever she puts her mind to. She is open-minded and optimistic; she is adept at multi-tasking; she holds herself to the highest standards; she exhibits integrity and trustworthiness; and she seeks to serve and assist in any way possible.”
Her service activities included volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, serving as a delegate in the Qatar Spring Leadership Exchange, and as the founder of Helpmeets Bolivia. She was leader in student government, serving as president of the Class of 2012, representing students in the Northside Residence Halls as a senator in the 61st session, representing off-campus students as a senator in the 62nd session, and ultimately as speaker of the Student Senate in the 63rd session.
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