General Earl Rudder American Freedom Avenue of the Flags Endowment
The Class of ’69 and friends now can secure the continued placement of 50 American Flags along the East Gate entrance to Texas A&M by creating an endowment. Through the support and generosity of A&M Administration—special thanks to President Banks and CFO John Crawford!—a University matching fund of $75K has been established to help complete a $150K endowment needed to insure placement of flags for three national holidays (Memorial Day, Independence Day, Veterans Day), Family Weekend, and seven home football games.
The Class of ’69 seeded this endowment with $20K from previous donors and an additional $5K anonymous gift to the Texas A&M Foundation. This was matched by the University funds, bringing the current total to $50,000. We then successfully raised another $50K from donations, matched with $50K from the University funds, to complete the $150K endowment.
This tribute and “beautification” of East Gate was initiated by General Rudder and conceived by our classmate Landis Cervenka at the end of our senior year. It continued for more than 30 years before encountering a lapse. In 2016 the Class of ’69 got it started again through ad hoc contributions, but now we can ensure its permanency through this endowment.
Those 50 American Flags placed along East Gate recognize the current students on campus who come from our 50 states and beyond. And without question, those beautiful flags signify how we value our American Freedom and cause us to remember the cost of freedom that has been paid for by generations before. We all know how General Rudder felt about the American Flag, the values it represents and the sacrifices made to preserve Freedom—and our Class also understands.