Donald "Don" Carter
Marching to the beat of his own drum, and "giggin' 'em" all the way is how Don Carter is remembered by many of us in TACRAO. However, there is a serious side to Don which was well-respected. It is quite awe-inspiring to think that he spent 45 years in the Registrar's Office at Texas A&M, presiding over the presentation of about 340,000 Aggies who received their diplomas at over 300 commencement ceremonies. Texas A&M University estimates that Don was instrumental in the awarding of approximately 88 percent of degrees ever awarded at Texas A&M University.
Don began his career there in 1966 and watched the university grow from a student body of about 10,000 to nearly 50,000. He was very proud of the fact that each Texas A&M graduate receives the actual diploma on the day of the graduation ceremony, and he helped make that happen. Don received both his BBA in Marketing in 1965 and a Master's degree in Management in 1966 from Texas A&M University. He truly bleeds maroon.
Don's service to TACRAO was varied and long-standing as well, serving on numerous committees such as: Certification and Legal Issues Committee, Core Curriculum Select Committee, Nominations Committee, Registration and Records Management Committee, Honorary Membership and Awards Committee and chairing the Local Arrangements Committee for TACRAO in College Station. The College Station meeting of TACRAO is very special in my memory, because it is the first conference I got to attend "full-time" rather than as a day attendee.
Don "moderated" if that is the way we can describe it, the Registrar's Hot Topics session for many years. Paige Bussell of A&M Commerce once introduced him as being older than the dirt Texas A&M was built on, or something of that nature. Don took the ribbing all in stride in the Hot Topics sessions, where he never let us forget, that we were welcome to ask more questions, and discuss more topics, or to be done with it and get on to the hospitality room. I for one, enjoyed his friendly competition with those of the burnt orange lineage, and how, if the Longhorns beat the Aggies, in a given year, he would claim that Texas A&M was focused on Academics rather than athletics like UT. He is one of the few people in TACRAO, who can say an award was named after him, as we all know, the TACRAO Golf Tournament Don Carter, Dead A** Last Trophy was named for his golfing prowess.
Don sent his regrets that he could not be with us this evening, but said he could not let TACRAO stand in the way of hunting season in his retirement. I only wish he were here so I could personally present this legendary figure his Honorary Membership to TACRAO.