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General Rudder Biographer Visiting Campus Thursday for Lecture & Book Signing Event     

February 3, 2020

Dr. Thomas Hatfield, photographed by Marsha Miller
Dr. Thomas Hatfield, photographed by Marsha Miller

By Andréa Bolt

Traditionally, the maritime community has for thousands of years believed that the name of a ship has a great role in bringing good fortune and safety to the vessel, its crew and anyone who sails upon it, thus; ships are not named arbitrarily. The Texas A&M Maritime Academy’s T/S General Rudder follows in this long-standing tradition. 

General James Earl Rudder was a man more than worthy of such an honor, says Dr. Thomas Hatfield, dean emeritus and director of the Military History Institute at the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History at the University of Texas at Austin, and president emeritus of Austin Community College.

Hatfield literally wrote the book on Rudder, a 2011 biography, "Rudder: From Leader to Legend." He will be visiting Texas A&M University at Galveston’s campus Thursday for a 6 to 8 p.m. lecture discussing the life and leadership of Rudder, as well as how he was instrumental in the creation of the Texas A&M-Galveston campus. 

“Numerous individuals and several organizations wanted to create a new institution, but they lacked a leader who had the ability to pull them together and to show them how to make their proposal to the Texas Legislature,” Hatfield explained. “With his guidance, they established the Texas Maritime Academy in 1962 and secured funding for it...with Rudder’s leadership, Texas A&M took responsibility for the new institution developing in Galveston.”

Among Rudder’s other noteworthy achievements were serving as president of Texas A&M University, upgrading TAMU from a regional land-grant college to a world-class research university, and aiding in the racial integration of the Corps of Cadets. 

The event will take place in the Aggie Special Events Center, room 201. Books will be on hand for purchase and the campus bookstore will remain open through the event to accommodate purchases. There will be a reception following the event. 


Media contact:
Andréa Bolt

Texas A&M University at Galveston is the marine and maritime branch campus of Texas A&M University which educates nearly 2,300 undergraduate and graduate students in science, business, engineering, liberal arts and transportation. It is driving the development of the blue economy in the Gulf Coast Region and is a critical contributor to Texas A&M's rare land-, sea-, space-grant mission with nearly $10 million in research expenditures.

Texas A&M-Galveston is also home to the Texas A&M Maritime Academy, one of six state maritime academies and the only one in the southern United States, which trains over 400 cadets annually for maritime service and employment around the world.

Texas A&M-Galveston is located in Galveston, Texas on the Gulf Coast where it is surrounded by industry, environment and programs essential to fulfilling its special-purpose mission. Aggies are known for their deep commitment to the success of each other and their strong desire to serve.