Also In This Issue


Sober Reflections

I deeply appreciate the Postscript by Andrew Nelson ’92 in the summer issue of Spirit. Of the Aggie war heroes he mentions, several have their stories documented in books published by Texas A&M University Press. See, for example, the profile of Turney Leonard ’42 in Col. James Woodall’s Texas Aggie Medals of Honor: Seven Heroes of World War II; the in-depth story of Gen. Earl Rudder ’32 in Tom Hatfield’s Rudder: From Leader to Legend; and the gripping, eyewitness account of Bastogne in Rich and Brooks’s Glider Infantryman: Behind Enemy Lines in World War II.

Seeing an exhibit like the one presently at Bastogne, as described by Nelson, or reading about the astounding acts of bravery performed by the men portrayed in these books, can certainly generate sober reflection on the sacrifices of those who have gone before us, and our responsibility to honor their memories.

Thom Lemmons
Acquisitions Editor
Texas A&M University Press
College Station, Texas

John R. Stephenson '55

The Walton Six

Editor’s note: This is an abridged version of a note used to open the Wichita Falls, Texas, muster this year. 

In September 1951, a group of 18-year-old men met by luck of the draw as freshmen members of the Corps of Cadets. Six of them became the Walton Six.

Our first week at Texas A&M, we were ushered into a small area of Walton Hall, which became our new home. We were made to sit in our undershorts on the bare, cold floor with our backs to the wall and our knees under our chins. A senior cadet told us to look at the man on either side of us and then around the room. We were told to try to remember who we saw, because only one in four of us would graduate from Texas A&M.

As it turned out, five of the Walton Six beat that one-in-four success rate and graduated in four years. Our members were Al Koury ’55, Dr. Martin Burkhead ’55, Bill Manning ’55, Charles C. (C Square) Richie ’55, myself and Tommy Cahall ’55, who never returned to school during our third year.

One could easily say that none of the Walton Six came from highly advantaged beginnings, and indeed we funded our Texas A&M education through various odd jobs. Even so, we later enjoyed successful careers and many accomplishments. Without Texas A&M, there is no way we would be where, who or how we are today.

Al and C Square have since joined the ranks in the great beyond. We three who remain miss them, but it helps to remember that anyone truly loved is never totally lost. We have not totally lost C Square, Al or Tommy, and when we pass, we will not be totally lost, either.

In the great bye-and-bye, we will all muster in the great beyond. We will answer that heavenly roll call with a final hearty, robust, resounding and respectful “HERE” for one another. That is what Aggies, as true friends, do for one another.

It is generations of men and women the likes of Walton Six who are, in fact, the true Spirit of Aggieland.

John R. Stephenson ’55, Col. USAF (Ret.)

Kudos from a First-Time Reader

I feel inspired to write the editorial staff about the positive impact of Spirit on a first-time reader and, through my recent marriage to a Class of ’62 graduate, a newcomer to the Texas A&M scene. As I read, I became tremendously impressed at the faculty, students, former students and the value system to which they are so bound together.

Texas A&M is obviously much more than just an educating institution. It not only educates the mind but instills wonderful character traits, ideals, leadership and relationships that serve well throughout life’s journey. I had no idea a university could have such impact and be such a shaper of citizens in our state and country. Page after page of the magazine displayed positive, healthy, balanced and happy faces in all walks and stages of life…from the young student to the still vital and contributing 77-year-old! Bravo! Together in spirit, they make a difference to the world around them!

Kudos to the editor and staff for producing such a rich magazine that recognizes the contributions of so many. The layout, features and pictures made this a most enjoyable, easy and uplifting magazine to read, and I look forward to the next issue.

Sandra Hicks Carothers
San Antonio, Texas

Dr. Joe R. Feagin

We Are All Aggies

I am extremely disappointed with Bob Locke ’78 and Matt Poling ’99, who wrote letters published in the summer issue of Spirit. Both rail against Dr. Joe R. Feagin, the subject of an article by Dunae Crenwelge ’15. Mr. Locke chastised Miss Crenwelge for failing to claim Dr. Feagin has a membership in imaginary racial and/or liberal fan clubs. Mr. Poling demeaned Dr. Feagin by belittling his endowed professorship. Both Mr. Locke and Mr. Poling proceeded to denigrate Dr. Feagin’s research because they disagreed with conclusions that they decided were overtly liberal. Mr. Locke and Mr. Poling have no way of knowing the background or beliefs of their chosen audience other than the fact that we are all Aggies or Aggie supporters, but they chose to ridicule and offend anyone who disagrees with them. 

My disappointment is because Mr. Locke and Mr. Poling don’t care if their rants offend their fellow Aggies. Aggies are supposed to be better than that. The Texas A&M Foundation is, and should be, an advocate for and a fundraising arm for Texas A&M. The Foundation is not advocating any political party or philosophy by publishing an article on Dr. Feagin. The Foundation should not be used by any reader as an outlet for divisive agendas.

B. F. (Bill) Coker ’51
Dallas, Texas

Digital Dialogue

Proud of Student Government

During the 1960s, I was proud that our student government played a huge part in student life. We ran things our way so there was nothing to riot about, and when we wanted change, we worked with James Hannigan, dean of student life, and Gen. Earl Rudder ’32, university president, to get it. I am so proud that 50 years later, the student senate and class officers have built a bigger and better student government based on the same “we run it, get it done” attitude. Gig ’em!

Louis Sabayrac ’66
Houston, Texas

God Bless June

I served on the development council for the College of Education and Human Development with Dick and June, which was a wonderful experience. June’s life and work reinforce my belief that no matter how bad the situation, there is always within it the sight of a blessing. God bless you, June.

Norman York ’57
Houston, Texas


Remembering Mrs. Scobee

June Scobee was my seventh grade English teacher, and her son Richie was in my class. We all loved her. I remember well when Dick Scobee was named an astronaut and the family moved to Houston. I was an undergrad at Texas A&M when the Challenger exploded and was devastated. Although I knew them for many years, this article revealed so much about “Mrs. Scobee” that I did not know. She is just as genuine, real and warm as the story reveals. Thank you for this article!

Joan Lucera ’86
Williamsburg, Virginia

Challenger Center Inspires Youth

I was leading the shuttle entry aerodynamic flight testing at Johnson Space Center when Dick Scobee came to NASA. He was a friend and a very exceptional person to work with. I can't say enough about the mission of the Challenger Centers, which have inspired so many young people as they face their futures.

Doug Cooke ’73
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania