The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Gates to return to Aggieland for Muster as keynote speaker

After being away for two and a half years, Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates will be returning to College Station as the keynote speaker for Muster at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Reed Arena.
Before serving as Texas A&M’s 21st president from August 2002 to December 2006, Gates filled the position of Interim Dean of the George Bush School of Government and Public Service from 1999-2001.
The position of keynote speaker is normally reserved for a distinguished former student and though Gates did not attend Texas A&M, he and his wife Becky received honorary doctoral degrees from A&M on Aug. 10, 2007.
“Secretary and Mrs. Gates are very much looking forward to returning to College Station next week,” said Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell. “They are anxious to see old friends, visit with students and dedicate the expansion of the Becky Gates child care center. But most of all they are honored to be participating in Muster. They greatly admire that uniquely Aggie tradition and are pleased to be able to pay tribute to all Aggies who have died this year.”
In the Dec. 8, 2006 issue of The Battalion, Gates said, “There is nothing like the traditions of Texas A&M. I’ve lectured at 30 or 40 other schools over the years, and I’ve never found anything remotely comparable.”
Students have expressed appreciation that Gates is returning to A&M for such an important event.
“Dr. Gates was one of the most impressive presidents in Texas A&M history,” said freshman communication major Robert Scoggins. “His talents and passions have been recognized by two different presidents as represented by their desire to put them on their respective executive cabinets. It means a lot to me that despite all the distance that was put between him and the school, he still comes to recognize one of our most sacred traditions.”
While still acting as president, Gates recognized what was most meaningful to him at A&M, emphasizing the traditions unique to the school.
“What’s most significant for me is the celebration of family and closeness of Aggies, with Muster and Silver Taps, saying ‘howdy,’ friendliness, family, 12th Man and sticking together, all representing that,” Gates said in the Dec. 8, 2006 issue of The Battalion.
Gates was employed by the CIA for 27 years, two of those in which he was Director. He is the only career officer in the CIA’s history to rise from an entry-level position to Director. He has been awarded the National Security Medal, the Presidential Citizens Medal, twice the National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal, and three times the CIA’s highestreward, the Distinguished Intelligence Medal.

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