Dr. Charles W. Graham ’53 was selected as one of 12 recipients of the 2016 Distinguished Alumni Award, the highest honor bestowed upon a former student of Texas A&M University. Since the inception of the award in 1962, only 261 of Texas A&M’s 440,000 former students have been recognized with the Distinguished Alumnus Award. Awarded jointly by the university and The Association, this award recognizes those Aggies who have achieved excellence in their chosen professions and made meaningful contributions to Texas A&M University and their local communities.
Dr. Graham is one of the world’s top equine veterinarians, a leader in Texas’ horse and cattle industries and a tireless volunteer, advocate and youth mentor. A member of the Texas A&M Equine Research Committee, he was an influential participant in funding and construction of the new veterinary and biomedical education complex. He has helped recruit leaders for A&M’s equine initiative and the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVM). He is a former director of the American Association of Equine Practitioners and was a founder of Frontier Bank of Texas in Elgin; a director of the American Quarter Horse Association; a member of the Board of Managers of Kalon Biotherapeutics; and a founding member of Rodeo Austin.
Graham is the only individual to serve as president for both the Texas Quarter Horse Association (TQHA) and the Texas Thoroughbred Association (TTA). He is also the only person to be selected as Horseman of the Year by both associations.
Graham’s other honors include the 2013 Texas A&M; AgriLife Distinguished Texan in Agriculture Award, the 2010 COALS Outstanding Alumni Award, and the CVM Outstanding Alumnus Award.
He was also inducted into the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) Hall of Fame in 2009, the Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame in 2008, as well as the Texas Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 2002, and the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame in January 2016.
Graham earned his bachelor of science degree in animal husbandry in 1953, his bachelor of science degree in animal science in 1954, and his doctorate in veterinary medicine in 1961, all from Texas A&M.;
In the early 1960s, Graham and Dr. W. H. Cardwell built the Elgin Veterinary Hospital and grew the practice into one of the largest equine veterinary facilities in the nation. Graham is now owner of a number of other businesses, including the 1,300-acre Southwest Stallion Station in Elgin, which has bred some of the top stallions and broodmares in the quarter horse industry.
Congratulations to Dr. Charles Graham, a great Aggie and a great friend to our college.