Engineering Technology and Industrial Distribution former students receive 2017 Texas A&M University Distinguished Alumnus Award

Two Texas A&M University former students, John M. Yantis ’53 and General (Ret.) William M. Fraser III '74, were recently selected to receive a 2017 Distinguished Alumnus award from the Association of Former Students. 

ETID Alumni Award Fraser

ETID Alumni Award Yantis

Both Yantis and Fraser graduated with a degree from the Department of Engineering Technology and Industrial Distribution. Yantis received a Bachelor of Science in industrial technology in 1953, and Fraser received a Bachelor of Science in engineering technology in 1974. 

The Distinguished Alumnus Award is the highest honor bestowed upon a former student of Texas A&M, awarded since 1962 to only 271 of Texas A&M’s 469,000 former students.


Presented jointly by the university and The Association of Former Students, this award recognizes Aggies who have achieved excellence in their chosen professions and made meaningful contributions to Texas A&M and their local communities.

Yantis founded the San Antonio construction firm Yantis Co. in 1965, and was named the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 1988. He is deeply involved in philanthropy and service in San Antonio and at Texas A&M; he established a student assistance fund with The Association; and has served on the 12th Man Foundation board.

Fraser has served as vice chief of staff of the U.S. Air Force, assistant to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and commander of Air Combat Command and U.S. Transportation Command. He has served Texas A&M in numerous positions, including as a member of the President’s Board of Visitors.

“I am humbled and honored to have been selected,” says Fraser. “I am still awed when I see what others have done to be selected as a distinguished alumnus and never expected to be recognized this way.”

Yantis and Fraser will receive their awards from University President Michael K. Young at the annual Distinguished Alumni Gala on September 29.