Texas A&M University's College of Science will honor a legendary Texas A&M University administrator and his lifelong scientific pursuits with the establishment of a prestigious endowed lecture series, the Trotter Prize & Endowed Lecture Series on Information, Complexity and Inference.

The endowed lecture series, which marks the college's fifth overall, and its associated prize are being established to honor the memory of Dr. Ide P. Trotter Sr., former dean of the Texas A&M Graduate School.

Trotter served in numerous administrative capacities at Texas A&M, including a head of the Department of Agronomy (1936-1944); director of the Texas Agricultural Extension Service (1944-1948); dean of the Graduate School (1949-1956); and associate dean of the Graduate School and extension consultant for professional improvement (1956-1960). As dean of the Graduate School, he initiated a graduate lecture series.

Trotter's son, Dr. Ide P. Trotter Jr., along with his wife, Luella H. Trotter, decided to establish the lecture series to assist in carrying on at Texas A&M the broad educational objectives championed by his father. He says the goal of the lecture series is to increase awareness of the rapid advances in the physical, biological and information sciences and to promote dialogue within university communities and across disciplines regarding the overarching implications.

The Trotters were honored Friday (Oct. 26) by representatives from the college, university and the Texas A&M Foundation with a recognition ceremony and luncheon held in the Memorial Student Center's Forsyth Center Galleries.

"We are very fortunate that the Trotters have provided us with the means to bring outstanding scientists to our campus, particularly since it will be in honor of Dr. Trotter's father," said H. Joseph Newton, interim dean of the College of Science and professor of statistics.

Both Dr. and Mrs. Trotter consider themselves children of the Texas A&M campus. As a student at Texas A&M, Dr. Trotter was selected as the outstanding sophomore in the Corps of Cadets and went on to become Corps Chaplain, president of the Student Senate and valedictorian of the Class of 1954.

Mrs. Trotter, who was not eligible at the time to enroll at Texas A&M, earned her degree from the University of Texas in only three years. Her father, Lewis M. Haupt, Class of 1927, was a research professor of electrical engineering at Texas A&M. In addition, two of the Trotters' three children - Ruth Trotter Penick, Class of 1981, and Arrenia Trotter Pratt, Class of 1983 - graduated from Texas A&M.

In addition to deep Texas A&M roots, the Trotters possess a lasting commitment to the university and all for which it stands. As such, they consider giving back to Texas A&M one of their biggest priorities. Before establishing the Trotter Prize & Endowed Lecture Series, they funded two President's Endowed Scholarships as well as individual scholarships specific to electrical engineering and soil and crop sciences in honor of their parents.

Following the conclusion of a 28-year career with ExxonMobil Corporation in 1986, Dr. Trotter assumed a position at Dallas Baptist University as dean of business and professor of finance. In 1990, he founded an investment management company, Trotter Capital Management Inc. He and his wife continue to reside in Duncanville, where they are both highly involved in the Baptist church and dedicated to the investigation of the role of science as it pertains to the rich understanding of the miracle of creation.

In accordance with the guidelines of their employee matching program, ExxonMobil has agreed to match the Trotters' donation to create a $200,000 endowment fund through the Texas A&M Foundation.

Intended to enhance the prestige of the Trotter Endowed Lecture Series, the Trotter Prize will be awarded annually in recognition of pioneering contributions to the understanding of the role of information, complexity and inference in illuminating the mechanisms and wonder of nature. An interdisciplinary steering committee that will include deans and distinguished professors from the College of Science and the Dwight E. Look College of Engineering will select the recipient, who, in addition to an invitation to deliver the Trotter Prize Lecture, will receive a cash award plus travel expenses. The inaugural prize tentatively is scheduled to be awarded in Spring 2002.

Contact: Shana K. Hutchins, (979) 862-1237, via e-mail shutchins@tamu.edu, or Sidney Outlaw, (979) 845-9642

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