Chancellor John Sharp—Texas A&M University System

Posted by on Tuesday, August 28th, 2018 in Blog

Reported by Ann Marie Ellis

President Julie Benkoski called the meeting to order at noon. Past President Dale Lowe led the pledges and Amy Moehnke (from St. David’s Church) gave the invocation. Laraine Lasdon led us in reciting the “FOUR WAY TEST.” Our Greeter was Fara Ranjbaran and our Host was Carl Noble.

President Julie presented a Blue Badge to Heather Toolin, sponsored by Laraine Lasdon.  Congratulations, Heather! She then exchanged banners with two visiting Rotarians from Goulburn, Australia.

A special Paul Harris Fellowship Award was presented to Ashish Gadnis by Past President Harold Ingersoll.


  • Perfect Attendance Awardees will be recognized at the Club’s next meeting on September 4th.
  • Hosts are needed for the October 30th Cluster Meetings.
  • Tickets are available for the annual Champions for Children Luncheon at the Hilton Austin on Thursday September 27th benefitting Helping Hand Home for Children. Tickets are $175.
  • Our annual fund drive to ensure eradication of polio, “Pints for Polio,” will be held on October 18th. This year’s P4P will also include a Membership event.

Edis Oliver introduced our program speaker, Chancellor John Sharp, graduate of Texas A&M
University and Texas State University. Chancellor Sharp has served in both houses of the Texas Legislature, on the Texas Railroad Commission, as Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, and was the Democratic Party’s nominee for Lieutenant Governor of Texas. Since 2011 Sharp has been Chancellor of the Texas A&M University System.

Chancellor Sharp gave members an update on the A&M University (TAMU) System including:

  • TAMU’s role in prevention, coordination, action and recovery from Hurricane Harvey,
  • A new award to TAMU, teaming with University of California, to maintain the Los Alamos test site to ensure an effective nuclear response,
  • Providing a way for Blinn College students to further their degrees at a TAMU campus when they have
    completed their first two years at Blinn,
  • TAMU’s work to develop autonomous vehicles,
  • The College of Medicine’s “In Med” program, a partnership with Baylor College of Medicine and
    MD Anderson, to create a premier and high tech medical research center,
  • A new focus of the College of Agriculture on high tech research.

President Julie thanked Chancellor Sharp and presented a library book for his autograph, which will be donated in his honor to Fulmore Middle School. She thanked our featured sponsors for the day, Bill Koen (Joe Koen & Son Jewelers) and Louis Williams (Baker Hill Farms). Our next two speakers are:

  • September 4th, Mark Updegrove, CEO of the LBJ Foundation,
  • September 11th, Emily Hawthorne, STRATFOR.

President Julie ended the meeting with this Pearl of Wisdom by Helen Keller: Alone we can do
so little. Together we can do so much. The meeting was adjourned at 1 pm.

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