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Patrick K. Gamble, General USAF (Ret.) '67 (third from left) was surprised along with his wife, Ailese (Houston) Gamble '69, at Texas A&M's Sanders Corps of Cadets Center by (from left) Reveille IX and handler Ian Moss '18, Association of Former Students President and CEO Porter S. Garner III '79, Association 2016 Chair of the Board Dwain Mayfield '59 and Ross Volunteer Tim Douglass '16. (All photographs courtesy of The Association of Former Students.)

COLLEGE STATION --

Patrick K. Gamble, General USAF (Ret.) '67 of Hemphill, Texas, is one of 12 Aggies selected by Texas A&M University and The Association of Former Students to receive the 2016 Distinguished Alumnus Award.

Gamble, a former fighter pilot who retired after 34 years with the U.S. Air Force as a four-star general in command of U.S. Pacific Air Forces, received his bachelor's in mathematics in 1967 from Texas A&M.

Gamble is being honored along with Dr. Jarvis E. Miller '50 of Bryan; Dr. Charley V. Wootan '50 (posthumous; Dr. Charles W. Graham '53 of Elgin; Dr. Robert L. Walker '58 of College Station; David G. Eller '59 of Houston; Dr. William M. Barnes '64 of San Antonio; Otway B. Denny, Jr. '71 of Bryan; Van H. Taylor '71 of Bryan; Ray A. Rothrock '77 of Portola Valley, Calif.; Dr. Susan Rudd Bailey '78 of Fort Worth; and Cynthia B. Taylor '84 of Houston.

Established in 1962, the Distinguished Alumnus Award is the highest honor bestowed upon a former student of Texas A&M University. Since its inception, only 261 of Texas A&M's 440,000 former students have been recognized for achieving excellence in their chosen professions and making meaningful contributions to Texas A&M University and their local communities.

"Texas A&M's 2016 Distinguished Alumni demonstrate the broad reach and influence of Texas A&M," said Texas A&M University President Michael K. Young. "This group includes fearless leaders and influencers in the fields of engineering, technology, energy, medicine, veterinary medicine, national defense, finance, education and philanthropy. Their stories truly display the power of a Texas A&M University education."

With 394 combat missions in Vietnam, Gamble earned the Distinguished Flying Cross and 14 air medals. He retired in September 2015 after five years as president of the University of Alaska System, heading 16 campuses with 34,000 students. He was also president and CEO for nine years of the Alaska Railroad Corp. Gamble was inducted into the Texas A&M Corps of Cadets Hall of Honor in 2001. At Texas A&M, he has served on the President's Corps of Cadets Board of Visitors, Bush School of Government and Public Service Development Council and board of the Texas A&M Private Enterprise Research Center. He also has served on boards for the University of Alaska Foundation, National Armed Services YMCA, USAF Air University and Alaska Pacific University, as well as the Department of Defense Dependents Education Council.

Gamble and his fellow 2016 recipients learned of their honors when surprised in their places of business and other locations by a group of university and Association representatives, including Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp '72, President Young, The Association of Former Students' 2016 Chair of the Board of Directors Dwain Mayfield '59, Association President and CEO Porter S. Garner III '79, and a Ross Volunteer, along with Reveille IX and her handler.

"Our 2016 Distinguished Alumni are an inspiration to Aggies everywhere," Mayfield said. "Their varied professional pursuits and far-reaching influences across our Aggie Network are all strongly rooted in our core values of excellence, integrity, leadership, loyalty, respect and selfless service."

Garner echoed Young's and Mayfield's sentiments and offered his congratulations on behalf of The Association of Former Students.

"The Distinguished Alumnus Award is the highest honor bestowed upon a former student of Texas A&M," Garner said. "The less than one-tenth of one percent of our former students selected for this award represent the very best of our worldwide Aggie Network."

The Association of Former Students will further honor all recipients of this award during its annual Distinguished Alumni Gala on Oct. 7. In addition, the 2016 recipients will be recognized during the Oct. 8 Texas A&M football game against Tennessee. Nominations for the 2017 Distinguished Alumnus Award will be accepted through Sept. 1.

The Association of Former Students, established in 1879, is the official alumni organization of Texas A&M University. The Association connects hundreds of thousands of members of the worldwide Aggie Network with each other and the university, and provided $11.2 million in impact to university scholarships, awards, activities and enrichment for students, faculty, staff and former students in 2015.

For more information about the Distinguished Alumnus Award or The Association, visit www.AggieNetwork.com.

-aTm-

Contact: Kathryn Greenwade '88, (979) 845-7514 or KGreenwade88@AggieNetwork.com

Walker Scot

  • Patrick K. Gamble, General USAF (Ret.) '67

  • Since its 1962 inception, only 261 of Texas A&M's 440,000 former students -- less than one-tenth of one percent -- have been recognized with the coveted Distinguished Alumnus Award for achieving excellence in their chosen professions and making meaningful contributions to Texas A&M University and their local communities.

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