A prominent Texas physician/educator and a renowned bioinorganic chemist have been recognized by the Texas A&M University College of Science with its highest alumni honor, induction into the College's Academy of Distinguished Former Students.

William W. Gordon, Class of 1967, of San Antonio, and Charles G. Riordan, Class of 1990, of Newark, Delaware, recently were honored for their accomplishments and contributions as part of the College's Spring Recognition and Awards Dinner, held March 31 at Pebble Creek Country Club in College Station.

The Academy was established in 1996 to recognize Aggies who have brought honor to their alma mater and professions through outstanding leadership in mathematics, statistics, the sciences and medicine. Gordon and Riordan join an elite group of 26 honorees who represent diverse and groundbreaking achievement that has produced worldwide benefit.

"It is always a pleasure to recognize Aggie examples of success," said Dr. H. Joseph Newton, dean of the College of Science. "Dr. Gordon and Dr. Riordan have served their College, alma mater and professions with great honor and distinction and are most deserving of this elite recognition."

An accomplished physician and educator, Gordon earned his bachelor of science in zoology from Texas A&M in 1967 before receiving his medical degree and specialty training in otolaryngology from Baylor University. As a student at A&M, he served as junior class president and was honored as the Outstanding Pre-Medical Student for 1966. In 1977, Gordon founded his own private practice, Alamo ENT Associates, in San Antonio, where he is also a clinical associate professor of surgery in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Texas Health Science Center. A member of the San Antonio Otolaryngology Society and the Baylor College of Medicine Executive Alumni Committee, Gordon also is active in various charitable and community service organizations in the greater San Antonio area.

A longtime supporter of both Texas A&M and the College of Science, Gordon has served as a member of the College's External Advisory & Development Council since 1995. As chair from 2000-01, he helped co-establish the Lifelines scholarship program to support deserving pre-medical and pre-dental students within the College. A leader by example, he subsequently established the program's first scholarship after previously initiating the College's first Howard Gravett Scholarship to benefit students planning to enter healthcare-related fields.

"Bill's record as a physician, especially in the demanding field of ENT, is clearly outstanding, as is his selfless devotion to volunteer work within his community and profession," said Dr. William Howell, Class of 1969 and 2001 Academy inductee. "Bill has more than enthusiasm and vision; he has that valuable commodity of effective action and causes the right things to happen."

Since earning a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Texas A&M in 1990, Riordan has built a reputation as one of the leading inorganic-organometallic chemists of his generation -- and with the prime of his career still ahead of him. In 2002, he became one of the youngest research-oriented chemistry department heads nationwide, earning unanimous selection as chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Delaware after only five years on faculty. Prior to that, he spent four years on faculty at Kansas State University (1993-97) and two years completing post-doctoral work in the famed laboratories of National Academy of Sciences member Dr. Jack Halpern at the University of Chicago (1990-92).

Riordan's accomplishments have earned him recognition from both scholarly organizations and colleagues worldwide. He and his research group have accounted for many firsts in bioinorganic chemistry, as evidenced by his five-year National Science Foundation Young Investigator Award and recent election by his peers as chair of the Bioinorganic Subdivision of the American Chemical Society. An in-demand speaker and author, Riordan has made presentations at both industrial research laboratories and the most prestigious academic institutions in the country as well as published extensively in many of the world's most rigorous and prestigious research journals. He is a member of the American Chemical Society, the American Institute of Chemists, Phi Lambda Upsilon, Sigma Xi and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

"Dr. Riordan has been an active leader within his field," said Dr. A.S. Borovik, professor of chemistry at the University of Kansas and former colleague at Kansas State. "I know first-hand that he is well respected in this community for both his work and service, which is indeed rare. He is a wonderful example of the excellence in scientific training at Texas A&M University."

Members of the Academy receive a commemorative award and have their names placed on a perpetual plaque in the College of Science's Dean's Office.

For more information regarding the Academy or its 2005 inductees, visit http://www.science.tamu.edu/giving/adfs.php or contact Sidney Zubik at (979) 845-9642.


Contact: Shana K. Hutchins, (979) 862-1237 or shutchins@science.tamu.edu

Hutchins Shana

  • Exemplary Aggie

    William W. Gordon, Class of 1967

  • Young Gun

    Charles G. Riordan, Class of 1990

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