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 University. No more than two Brown-Rudder awardees are selected at Texas A&M each year. The award is presented at the LAUNCH recognition ceremony and announced at the commencement exercise(s) of the honorees college at Texas A&M each May.

The award honors the outstanding senior student who exemplifies the leadership, patriotism, fortitude, courage, humility, love of Texas A&M University, and willingness to uphold the principles for which Texas A&M stands as vividly exemplified by James Earl Rudder during his lifetime. Gen. Earl Rudder, a World War II hero, served as president of Texas A&M from 1959 until his death in 1970.

To be eligible for the Brown-Rudder award, a student must:

  • Have displayed to a high degree those admirable personal traits that characterized the late President Earl Rudder.
  • ​Rank academically in the upper quarter of his/her class at the end of his/her undergraduate curriculum.
  • Have completed not less than one-half of his/her degree requirements while enrolled at Texas A&M University.
  • Be occupying or have held positions of leadership in one or more major student organizations (i.e. Student Government, Memorial Student Center, Corps of Cadets, Residence Hall Association, Off-Campus Aggies, Department of Multicultural Services, etc.) and/or in state or nationally recognized student organizations, or social, church, and/or other similar organizations.
  • Be a candidate for a baccalaureate degree at the end of the spring semester or during the preceding 12-month period in which the award is presented.
  • Have an exemplary conduct record while enrolled in the university.
  • Have displayed a great love for his/her university and demonstrated his/her willingness to uphold the principles for which it stands.

The award will not be made posthumously nor to a selected student who fails to complete degree requirements.  In either of these eventualities, the highest qualified alternate will be designated as the recipient of the award.


Learn more about Special Awards at Graduation.