A new exhibit at Texas A&M University’s Cushing Memorial Library & Archives spotlights the life of James Earl Rudder, one of the university’s most renowned presidents and a decorated World War II hero.
The exhibit, From Pointe du Hoc to College Station, opened with a lecture by Thomas M. Hatfield, author of a book about the life of Rudder, and will remain on display until Jan. 27, 2012.
Known for his courage and leadership on the battlefield during the Normandy invasion of World War II, Rudder presided over Texas A&M during the stormy 1960s. Under his leadership, Texas A&M began the evolution that took it from the small Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas, where only men were enrolled and all students had to be members of the Corps of Cadets, into Texas A&M University, one of the top research universities in the country with an enrollment of nearly 50,000 men and women.
The exhibit highlights correspondence, documents and memorabilia from the James Earl Rudder Collection donated by his wife Margaret E. Rudder in 2002. Items on display include a wooden map case with maps used for the D-Day invasion, a dress uniform, French Legion of Honour and Croix de Guerre medals and his historic speech delivered April 27, 1963, supporting the admittance of women to Texas A&M.
Hatfield drew extensively from the Rudder Collection in crafting the biography Rudder: From Leader to Legend published by the Texas A&M University Press. Hatfield shared insights from his research at a book signing and exhibit opening hosted by the Friends of the Sterling C. Evans Library.
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