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2017 Liberal Arts Distinguished Alums announced

The Association of Former Students and Texas A&M University honored three outstanding College of Liberal Arts alums with the Distinguished Alumnus Award—the highest honor bestowed upon a former student—for achieving excellence in their chosen profession and contributing significantly to both the school and the community.

by Heather Rodriguez ’04

The Association of Former Students and Texas A&M University honored three outstanding College of Liberal Arts alums with the Distinguished Alumnus Award—the highest honor bestowed upon a former student—for achieving excellence in their chosen profession and contributing significantly to both the school and the community.

The Association of Former Students will further honor all recipients of this award during its annual Distinguished Alumni Gala on Sept. 29. In addition, the 2017 recipients will be recognized during the Sept. 30 Texas A&M football game against South Carolina.

Since the inception of the award in 1962, only 271 of Texas A&M’s 469,000 former students have been recognized with the Distinguished Alumnus Award.

“The 2017 Distinguished Alumni demonstrate the impact Texas A&M has on the state, nation and world,” said Texas A&M University President Michael K. Young. “This group includes incredible leaders and influencers in the fields of engineering, construction, real estate, international and national defense, law, finance, education and philanthropy. Their stories truly display the power of a Texas A&M University education.”  

Among those awardees are:

Maj. Gen. Raymond L. Murray '35 in uniform

Maj. Gen. Raymond L. Murray ’35

Maj. Gen. Raymond L. Murray ’35 led troops in three wars, from World War II to Vietnam, and was among the most highly decorated Aggies in school history, recipient of the Distinguished Service Cross, two Navy Crosses, four Silver Stars, the Legion of Merit and two Purple Hearts. In 1945, he was part of the honor guard at President Franklin Roosevelt’s funeral. He became a legend in the U.S. Marine Corps for his leadership at the Chosin Reservoir in the Korean War. During World War II, he led Marines at Guadalcanal, Tarawa and Saipan. He served as deputy commander of all Marine forces in Vietnam. In the Leon Uris novel and film “Battle Cry,” he was the model for the character of Lt. Col. “High Pockets” Huxley. In 2003, Oceanside, Calif., named a bridge in his honor. In 2007, a high school named in his honor in Vista, Calif., was dedicated. Maj. Gen. Murray passed away in 2004.

Arno W. Krebs, Jr. '64 headshot

Arno W. Krebs, Jr. ’64

Arno W. Krebs, Jr. ’64, a retired partner with the Houston law firm of Fulbright & Jaworski, has served as president and a director of the Texas Aggie Bar Association and also represented Texas A&M legally. He was a partner in Fulbright & Jaworski’s litigation section 1975-2007 and head of the litigation department in the Dallas office 1997-2002. He has served as president and an executive committee member for the 12th Man Foundation and on the board of The Association of Former Students. An Outstanding Alumnus of the College of Education and Human Development, he created an endowed scholarship in the college and has served on development councils for the college and the Bush School. He serves on the operating committee of the Texas Coalition for Excellence in Higher Education and the board of Industry Bancshares community bank holding company. Through his pro bono activities, he helped establish hometown organizations including the Shelby Area Historical Society.

“It’s a great honor, and I feel very blessed,” Krebs said. “Texas A&M and the College of Liberal Arts gave me the discipline and taught me the values to succeed.”

Martín Torrijos ’87 headshot

Martín Torrijos ’87

Martín Torrijos ’87 served as the 42nd president of the Constitutional Republic of Panama, from Sept. 1, 2004, to June 30, 2009. His administration achieved sustainable economic growth of 8.5 percent, reduced the unemployment rate by half, increased social stability and reduced poverty, creating a range of social programs from education to health, including fiscal and social security reforms. Also during his presidency, Panama approved and began the Panama Canal expansion, a $6.3 billion project. For more than two decades, Torrijos has been an economic advisor to international companies and governments. Recently, he has earned recognition as a moderator in regional conflicts. From 1994 to 1998, he served as Panama’s undersecretary of government and justice. He is a Texas A&M Outstanding International Alumnus, as well as vice president of the Permanent Conference of Political Parties of Latin America, a director of the Inter-American Dialogue policy analysis center and board president for the Omar Torrijos Foundation.

Click here for the full list of awardees.