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Ray B. Nesbitt '55 headshot with an overlay of the Texas A&M University College of Engineering logo.
Ray B. Nesbitt ’55 was posthumously named Distinguished Alumnus for excellence in his chosen profession and meaningful contributions to Texas A&M and his local community | Image: The Association of Former Students

Since the inception of the Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1962, only 306 of Texas A&M University’s 547,000 former students have been recognized with the award. Presented jointly by Texas A&M and The Association of Former Students, this honor recognizes Aggies who have achieved excellence in their chosen professions and made meaningful contributions to Texas A&M and their local communities.

One of these honorees now includes Ray B. Nesbitt ’55, a Texas A&M College of Engineering former student, now deceased.

Nesbitt retired in 1998 as president of Exxon Chemical Co. after a 43-year career there. Previous positions included vice president of Exxon Chemical Europe and president of Exxon Chemical Americas. A recipient of the Texas A&M Engineering Outstanding Alumni Award, he and wife Sarah created various Texas A&M chemical engineering scholarships, a chair, a faculty endowment, a professorship currently held by Dr. Arul Jayaraman, department head in chemical engineering, and an engineering study classroom. They also co-chaired capital campaigns for St. Francis Episcopal Church and The Women’s Home in Houston.

Nesbitt served on industry councils and boards, as director of the Houston branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas and on boards for Hibernia Bank and Marshall National Bank. He supported The Association of Former Students, the 12th Man Foundation and Texas A&M Foundation, and was a member of the chemical engineering advisory council and A&M Legacy Society. He also served on the executive committee for Texas A&M’s “One Spirit, One Vision” capital campaign.

“As we join with The Association of Former Students in presenting the Distinguished Alumnus Award, we honor three whose lives embodied each of Texas A&M’s core values,” said Texas A&M University’s interim president Dr. John Junkins. “Throughout their lifetimes, each of them made a lasting impact on Texas A&M, their communities and our state.  They are all deserving of the highest honor bestowed upon a former student.”

Association president and CEO Porter S. Garner III ’79 echoed the sentiments of Junkins and offered his congratulations on behalf of The Association of Former Students. “Our 2021 honorees join an elite and noble group who inspire us all with their service and achievements,” Garner said.

The Association of Former Students will further honor all recipients of this award during its annual Distinguished Alumni Gala on Oct. 1. In addition, the 2020 and 2021 recipients will be recognized during the Oct. 2 Texas A&M football game against Mississippi State.

More information can be found on the Texas A&M Association of Former Students website.