In March of 2003, the George Bush Presidential Conference Center was renamed the Walter and Leonore Annenberg Conference Center. Subsequently, the two auditoriums and presidential dining room were named after distinguished figures.
Walter H. Annenberg
Walter H. Annenberg (1908-2002) was an editor, publisher, broadcaster, diplomat and philanthropist. He served as United States Ambassador to the Court of St. James’s from 1969 to 1974.
Mr. Annenberg was named Honorary Knight Commander, Order of the British Empire, by Queen Elizabeth II, and was awarded the Medal of Freedom by President Ronald Reagan. He received the National Medal of Arts from the National Endowment of the Arts and the Alfred I. DuPont Award for pioneering education via television. He received honorary degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, Harvard University, Brown University, University of Southern California, Howard University and Brandeis University, among others.
Leonore Annenberg (1918-2009) served as a chief of protocol for the United States of America. She was trustee emeritus of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, University of Pennsylvania and Philadelphia Orchestra Association. She was chairman emeritus of Friends of Art and Preservation in Embassies and a managing director of the Metropolitan Opera.
Among her awards are the Honorary Commander, Order of the British Empire; Grand Officio Order of Orange-Nassau from the Netherlands; National Medal of Arts from the National Endowment of the Arts; and Andrew Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy. Mrs. Annenberg was a graduate of Stanford University and holds honorary degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, Brown University, University of Southern California and Brandeis University.
Rania and Jamal Daniel
Rania and Jamal Daniel established the Levant Foundation, a private, tax-exempt, nonprofit organization committed to furthering knowledge about Middle Eastern culture and history, specifically the Levant Region, and the complex interrelations of the three monotheistic religions: Judaism, Islam and Christianity. The Foundation is committed to sponsoring artist, academic and educational programs.
Mrs. Daniel, an artist, was co-founder and a board member of the Texas-French Alliance for the Arts, which promotes artistic and cultural exchanges and educational programs between Texas and France.
Mr. Daniel, chairman of Crest Investment Company, had twenty years of experience managing investments in oil and gas, high technology, manufacturing and real estate. He was a member of the International Advisor Council of the American University of Beirut; co-founder and board member of the Center for the Gibbal South at the American University in Washington, D.C.; and a member of Texas Press Advisory Council. Mr. Daniel was an honorary member of the board of trustees of Balamand University in Lebanon, a university of the Antiochian Orthodox Church. He was also a member of the Board of Directors Alumni Association for the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management and served on the board of directors of Pepperdine University.
Mr. Daniel was active in philanthropic causes. He served as co-founder and trustee of the Foundation for Interreligious and Intercultural Research & Dialogue based in Geneva, Switzerland.
Thomas Robert “Bob” Frymire
The Frymire Auditorium was named after Thomas Robert “Bob” Frymire, who was enrolled at Texas A&M University in 1941. After three years of service in WWII, he resumed his studies and graduated in 1947 with a degree in aeronautical engineering. He earned the Distinguished Student Award and his Aggie ring in the Class of ‘45. In 1950, he established Frymire Engineering Company in Dallas, Texas, which has been recognized as one of the largest mechanical engineering and contracting firms in the Southwest.
Mr. Frymire established several permanently-endowed scholarships and served as president of the 12th Man Foundation and on the boards of the Free Enterprise Center, the President’s Council, the Chancellor’s Council and the Cotton Bowl Athletic Association. In recognition of his contributions, Mr. Frymire received the Jimmy Williams Distinguished Service Award and the Engineering Technology Award and was named Distinguished Alumnus. He was inducted into the Letterman’s Hall of Honor and Cadet Corps Hall of Honor.
Jon L. Hagler
The Hagler Auditorium was named after Jon L. Hagler. His personal motto is, “Live a purposeful life.”
Following his 1958 graduation from Texas A&M, Mr. Hagler furthered his training in the Aggie Corps of Cadets through his service in the U.S. Army. Since acquiring his MBA from Harvard University in 1963, he has had a successful career as an investment manager for organizations such as the Ford Foundation and the World Bank. His professional experience renders him a valued resource for the philanthropies for which he serves, including the Hagler Foundation.
Mr. Hagler has dedicated himself to educational causes at his alma maters. A loyal Aggie, he has served on the boards of the Texas A&M Foundation and the Association of Former Students and was named a Distinguished Alumnus.
Mr. Hagler recognizes that society’s success as a whole is “inextricably tied” to the effectiveness of its public education system. Moreover, he cites academia’s responsibility “to build minds, to build a responsible citizenry and to build community” as its fundamental duty.