Tuesday night, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates had his moment to shine again in Aggieland. Wednesday, it was his wife's turn.
A new, multipurpose building at the Becky Gates Children's Center was dedicated in the morning, with the former First Lady of Texas A&M and her husband on hand to cut the ribbon.
The center, which was named after Mrs. Gates in 2006, is also celebrating its tenth anniversary. The popular facility serves Aggie families, including faculty and staff, as well as A&M students. Dozens of children are served each year, and there's even a 250-child waiting list to get in.
Mrs. Gates praised the work of the staff of the facility and thanked the community for the support. She said she continued to keep up with what is happening there from her new home in the Washington, DC area, and added that she was thrilled that the facility was continuing to grow and thrive.
Recap of Muster:
Watch Gates' Muster Speech:
Aggie Muster 2009 Roll Call:
Quotes from Robert Gates:
On his Muster speech: "There was actually, I'm told, a betting pool among my staff on whether I could get through it, and I did, but there were some parts that were tough."
On keeping up with A&M happenings: "People e-mail me, and I occasionally see things in the newspapers and so on. Becky stays in a lot better touch than I do, so she keeps me pretty well informed on what's going on. Of course, the children's center is always first. That's the headliner, and then other stuff like academics and athletics and so on come second and third...well, athletics is second, then academics."
On how A&M made him a friendlier person, and whether that's helped in Washington: "Friendliness is not a characteristic that's in broad supply in Washington, DC. But I think I'm a better leader for having been here at Texas A&M. I think I'm a better person for having been here. I think that's probably enough."
On going from A&M president to SecDef: "Having been president of Texas A&M, in many ways, has made me a better secretary of defense, but it's also made the job harder just because of the contrast of all these great kids down here in casual clothes going to class, and then running into young people the same age in full body armor, seeing them in hospitals. It makes me appreciate even more what our men and women in uniform are doing."
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