Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, the former president of Texas A&M University, took part in Friday's summer commencement ceremonies, as he received an honorary degree from the university.
Gates and his wife, Becky, were both presented with honorary doctorals, along with former National Park Service Director Robert Stanton. The three received the degrees in the second of two ceremonies held Friday.
"I can't describe to you what a pleasure it is to be here," Gates told the graduates in a brief speech before he was bestowed his degree. "I may just have to defect from Washington, DC."
Gates also participated in the commissioning of 27 cadets as they begin their service in the United States military.