Texas A&M University’s Corps of Cadets no longer has a Squadron 4, but members from the Class of '62 have ensured their old outfit is remembered by establishing the Squadron 4/Four Aces '62 General Rudder Corps Scholarship.
The idea for the scholarship originated during a Class of '62 reunion. “We wanted to come up with a way to memorialize the old outfit,” said retired Air Force Col. Paul Heye of San Antonio. “We felt if one or more cadets went through the Corps bearing the standard and support of the old Squadron 4, we would accomplish our goal.”
The scholarship established by the Class of ’62 also honors the memory of the late Gen. Earl Rudder, a 1932 Texas A&M graduate, World War II hero and president of his alma mater from 1959 until his death in 1970.
The Squadron 4/Four Aces scholarship was created as part of the university’s ongoing “Operation Spirit and Mind” scholarship initiative, which will raise $300 million for Aggie academics and student programs. The Texas A&M Foundation, a private nonprofit organization that solicits and manages investments for Texas A&M, leads the fundraising initiative for the benefit of the university.
Eldridge Goins of Lindale guides the fund drive for his former squadron. The group has shown such enthusiastic support that it passed the $50,000 required for a General Rudder scholarship and almost has enough for a Corps 21 Scholarship ($100,000). “Every classmate who was at the reunion or could be reached got on board and without exception became a contributor,” Goins said.
Other Class of '62 Four Aces donors are: Ed Berry of Bryan; Retired Air Force Lt. Col. Gene Box, Chelmsford, Mass.; Jerry Donald Cook, Austin; Daniel C. Haley, Houston; Larry L. Harmon, Richardson; Retired Air Force Col. Tom Hohman, Huntington Beach, Calif; Dr. Kenneth E. Jarosz, Wichita Falls; Paul E. Morris, Mission Viejo, Calif; Dr. Jack F. Paris, Clovis, Calif.; Thomas W. Powell, Giddings; Stephen W. Seale Jr., La Vernia; Judge Roger J. Walker, Fort Worth; Robert C. Wight, Baton Rouge, La. and Alan G. Wood II, Waco.
Their generosity and solidarity are part of “the life-changing Aggie experience,” said Goins, who served as squadron commander in 1961-62.
Heye concurred, saying, “The corps was such a major part of our lives in those years at Aggieland that we all credit it in establishing us in our lives and families. My wife, Mary Catherine, and I agreed that supporting a scholarship is a great way to encourage and assist future Aggies.”
A corps scholarship is one of many opportunities for alumni and other TexasA&M supporters to enhance Aggie academics, notes a Texas A&M foundation spokesperson. Donors may give under established scholarship programs such as the Corps 21, General Rudder and Sul Ross scholarships for cadets. They also may give to specific colleges or departments. The Texas A&M Foundation can customize scholarships – choosing to support global study, for instance – based on the donor’s area of interest, the spokesperson added.
Gifts may be endowed – to help students forever – or “now” scholarships – helping current students only. Donors may name the scholarships for themselves or for someone or something important in their lives.
To learn more about Corps scholarships, contact Brian Bishop at (979) 862-4085 or firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about other types of “Operation Spirit and Mind” scholarships, contact Jody Ford '99 at the Texas A&M Foundation at (800) 392-3310, (979) 845-8161 or email@example.com.