TAMUG's New Training Vessel to be Dedicated and Named

Texas A&M University at Galveston to dedicate and name new training vessel in honor of Texas war hero, statesman and Aggie.

Training vessel

(Galveston, TX --- May 23) Texas A&M University at Galveston (TAMUG) will name its new ocean-going training vessel — General Rudder — during a ceremony at 9 am, June 6. The ceremony will take place at the waterfront dock of the TAMUG campus located on Pelican Island adjacent to Galveston Island. Dr. Richard Box, Chairman of Texas A&M System Board of Regents and John Sharp, Texas A&M University System Chancellor along with Dr. Bowen Loftin, Texas A&M University President and Rear Admiral Robert Smith II, TAMUG President will be presenters during the dedication. James E. “Bud” Rudder Jr. will make remarks representing the family. A senior representative from the U.S. Maritime Administration is also scheduled to speak.

The General Rudder training vessel is vital to the Texas A&M University’s Texas Maritime Academy (TMA) in training future mariners. The academy is one of only six state maritime academies in the U.S., and the only one in the South. The new training vessel will help provide TMA cadets with practical experience in seamanship, navigation, and engineering operations.

Rudder was a native Texan and 1932 graduate of Texas A&M University in College Station. During World War II, he led the Rangers up the cliffs of Pointe du Hoc on D-Day, June 6, 1944. General Rudder continued his military service in the Army Reserve retiring as a Major General. He went on to serve as head of the Texas Land Office, and then became president of Texas A&M University and of the Texas A&M University System from 1959 until his death in 1970 at age 59.

He is credited with initiating the process that would take Texas A&M from a small all-male predominately military college to a comprehensive teaching, research and service university with nearly 50,000 students, a 2800-member faculty and an annual research budget exceeding $630 million.

General Rudder’s creative tactical solutions enabled the authorization and funding of the Texas Maritime Academy and the founding of Texas A&M University at Galveston, which is now celebrating its 50th anniversary.

The General Rudder training vessel was provided through the U.S. Department of Transportation Maritime Administration (MARAD) in January. The U.S. Maritime Administration supports the training of merchant marine officers at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and all six State Maritime Academies by providing these National Defense Reserve Fleet training vessels for use in at-sea training and as shore side laboratories.

For more information about the dedication and naming of the General Rudder, contact Cathy Cashio at (409) 740-4830 or at cashioc@tamug.edu.