Texas A&M University has been authorized to award three honorary doctoral degrees at its commencement exercises this spring. Upon the recommendation of President R. Bowen Loftin, the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents authorized the awarding of honorary doctor of letters degrees to Robert G. Bergman of the University of California at Berkeley, Temple Grandin of Colorado State University and Adrian Smith, the architect who designed the world’s tallest building and is a former Texas A&M student.
The Texas A&M Faculty Senate endorsed the awarding of the honorary degrees after the three individuals were nominated by the university’s academic colleges with which they have been associated in varying capacities during their careers.
Bergman is the Gerald E.K. Branch Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at the University of California-Berkeley and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. He is considered an international leader in the fields of organic chemistry, organic reaction and reactive molecules. He and his department and programs have interacted with several Texas A&M endeavors, including graduate student recruitment and support.
In addition to her professorial responsibilities at Colorado State, Grandin holds an appointment with Colorado State Cooperative Extension and is a visiting lecturer at Kansas State University. She is considered an international expert in animal handling facilities design, beef cattle behavior and processing — areas in which she has interacted with Texas A&M faculty in numerous national initiatives and organizations. In 2010, Time magazine named her one of “The Most Influential People in the World.”
Smith attended Texas A&M as an architecture student from 1962 until 1966 before transferring to the University of Chicago, where he received a B.A. in 1969. He is a founding partner of Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, the firm that is widely regarded as a world leader in sustainable design of complex structures, including numerous global landmarks. He and his associates designed the Burj Khalifa, the United Arab Emirates facility that is currently the tallest building in the world, and he is now working on The Kingdom Tower in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, which will be the world’s tallest building when construction is completed. Smith has returned to Texas A&M frequently to share his experience with faculty and students. He is a recipient of the College of Architecture’s Outstanding Alumni Award.