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James Earl Rudder Statue

Two polaroid-style photos of the Rudder Statue
The statue of James Earl Rudder overlooks the length of Texas A&M's Military Walk.

James Earl Rudder served as the 16th president of Texas A&M University from 1959 until his death in March of 1970. A Texas A&M graduate, Rudder played a critical role in the D-Day invasion during World War II and, later, served as Texas Land Commissioner.

During Rudder's administration, the university doubled its enrollment, expanded its research program, improved academic and faculty standards, and transformed the university by making the military requirement optional and opening admission to women.

Rudder's monumental decision put Texas A&M on a road to growth and national prominence. His commitment to excellence in education, leadership development and selfless service to others is a hallmark of the university today and is forever captured in the statue bearing his likeness.