Alumni

Alumni Stories

Passion for Politics 

Griffin Rubin

Griffin Rubin  remembers the eighth grade class trip and leadership retreats at SAA. He said, “My time at The Academy influenced my life in innumerable ways. Most importantly, SAA taught me how to be courteous, diplomatic and disciplined. These assets have been so helpful in many different facets of my life already and will continue to be useful in the future.”

Last summer he participated in a Congressional Internship, in which he worked for the Office of U.S. Congressman Michael T. McCaul in D.C. Griffin is currently a candidate for a B.A. in Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania (2017). He is a member of the Editorial Board for the university’s official undergraduate political science journal called Sound Politicks. A Conference Committee member of the Wharton Business and Law Association, Griffin has also published an article in Penn News Today entitled “Para Formar Todo Hogar.”

Griffin encourages SAA students, “Take full advantage of all the opportunities and advantages The Academy has to offer. If you give all that you can to The Academy, the school will give you all that you need and more.”


A Poet and He Knows It 

Since graduating from SAA, Tyler Richard has “observed time and time again that The Academy’s values of honesty and kindness inspire respect more effectively than any amount of skill or knowledge can.”

Tyler credits Mr. Moore as being the first person to kindle within him a love of language and literature that eventually culminated in his decision to study, write, and edit poetry for the rest of his life. He said, “Mr. Moore taught me that fiction and poetry are vast treasures of shimmering, awesome wonders.”

Tyler’s love of poetry has taken him to Harvard College, where he received a B.A. in Philosophy & South Asian Studies. Currently, Tyler is a PhD student at Harvard, where he studies Sanskrit and Tamil Poetry and Poetics. He has also studied poetry with John Ashbery in Hudson, New York.

Tyler served as President and Poetry Editor of The Harvard Advocate, Harvard’s undergraduate literary magazine. He now serves as the Associate Editor of NAT.BRUT, an online art and literary magazine based in Dallas.


His World is a Canvas  


During his time at SAA, Sean Knoll won the Joseph C. Mellard award for Creativity. He believes, “The Academy cemented his love of art and made it possible for him to make a career in the art field.”

Upon graduation from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Design, Sean was the Chief of Staff for the Coppini Academy of Fine Arts, where he was twice awarded the Artist of the Month. Now he serves on the Executive Board of Directors at both the Coppini Academy and the International Museum of Contemporary Masters of Fine Art.

Outside of nonprofits, Sean is the Owner and Principle Director of Greenhouse Fine Art Inc., whose art galleries are now located in San Antonio, Houston and soon to expand to two new cities. Greenhouse Fine Art represents artists worldwide and has become one of the largest and most respected galleries in the country.

Sean advises SAA students, “The Academy is a fantastic place to find your strengths. Through a balance of academics, athletics and the arts, you can find what you truly enjoy doing and pursue it. Take full advantage.”


Petroleum Landman  

Chris Ford (Class of 1997) says, “Through the classroom, the military aspect, and athletics, SAA instilled discipline, proper manners and a strong work ethic in me. All of these skills continue to be extremely important to successes throughout my life. Without them, I would not be where I am today.”

Chris graduated from Texas Tech University with a degree in Psychology. An independent Petroleum Landman, Chris works for Thomas W. Schleier & Associates. His main area of focus over the last six years has been in South Texas, particularly the Eagle Ford Shale area. Much of his time has been spent on highways and in old courthouses researching mineral rights back to the early 1800s. He enjoys playing golf, tennis, basketball, football, hunting, fishing, cooking, carpentry, and many other hobbies.

Chris advises current SAA students to “find a way to make yourself and the people around you better every day. It could be going out of your way to help someone out in the classroom, or spending extra time after practice to work on your skills. Whatever you do, just keep moving forward in a positive way.”


I Can't Believe It's Yogurt 

Jonathan Delmer played Wildcat football and remembers the 1979 basketball “A” team going undefeated. Now he serves on the SAA Alumni Council.

After graduating from SAA, Jonathan graduated from Alamo Heights High School and Texas Tech University. Currently, he is owner and operator of “I Can’t Believe It’s Yogurt” franchises.

Jonathan says, “Many people have influenced me in the journey throughout the life adventure. I would certainly have to list Col. Bondurant, Prof. Kennedy and Prof. Bradley as incredible influences as well. I cannot give one more credit than the other. They all have had a profound impact on my life. I love and respect them more than I can express.”

As for advice to current SAA students, Jonathan says, “Have respect for your parents. Do not be quick to judge. Do not let your friends slip away. Do not ever hold grudges. Do not seek revenge.”


Financial Planner 

David Akright, “The Academy taught me the most important values that I still take pride in today -- ‘Be honest. Be kind. Be the best you can be.’ I constantly remind myself of these values as I continue to develop as a young professional.”

After graduating from The Academy, David attended Winston Churchill High School, where he was the captain of the varsity soccer team in 2008 that was a 5A State Semi Finalist. Then he received the Chancellor’s Achievement Scholarship at the University of Colorado at Boulder. David is currently pursuing an MBA at University of Texas at San Antonio while he works as an Associate at the Covenant Multi-Family Offices. He works with high net-worth families on financial and estate planning.

David advises current students, “Don’t take for granted the high quality of teachers and administrators you currently have. They truly care about your development as a young boy. They’re as good as it gets!”


A Novel Banker 

Houston Frost received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder (2003). In 2007 he earned a PhD in Chemical Engineering at Northwestern University. Then Houston worked at JP Morgan in New York as an Associate in Fixed Income Strategy until 2009.

In 2010 Houston and a fellow SAA classmate, Tom O. Turner (Class of 1995), co-founded Akimbo, which is a novel bank alternative and debit card
built for budgets, allowances, and instant money sharing. Houston has also been published in seven peer-reviewed publications in well-known academic journals and had three publications cited over 100 times. 

San Antonio Academy has influenced Houston throughout his life. He said, “In a word, leadership. The Academy taught me leadership skills at a very young age.” Houston advises current students, “Find your strengths, and focus your energy and efforts on what you’re best at. We’re all good at something. You can waste a lot of time trying to improve at things that may not come naturally to you. You can always partner with someone that has strength where you may be weak. Ultimately, you will accomplish much more by focusing on your strengths.”


Power Broker  

Gardner Peavy remembers being on the battalion staff and conducting pass and reviews. Gardner says, “SAA added a significant amount of self-esteem, independence, and pride in my life that definitely set me on the right course.” 

Gardner earned a BBA at Baylor University and an MBA from Texas Christian University. From 1998-2002, Gardner was Vice President at Trammell Crow Company in Dallas-Ft. Worth before served as President of the Cambridge Realty Group (2002-2012). Currently, he is the San Antonio partner for Peloton Commercial Real Estate. 

Gardner has been featured in San Antonio Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” and “Largest Office Sale.” He was highlighted as having the “Top Office Lease” in the Dallas Business Journal. He is a Leadership San Antonio Alumni (Class 30) and has received the CoStar Power Broker award.

He advises current SAA students, “Realize the opportunity being offered to you at SAA and the life lessons you are learning that most will never fully understand. Your charge is to appreciate this advantage. Your responsibility is to do something impactful with it through your life for others.”


The Spy Who Loves Us 

William Negley graduated from the University of San Diego with a BA in History & Political Science and an MA in International Relations. Then William served as a Legislative Aide to U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison on national security issues. 

In 2009, William joined the Central Intelligence Agency as an Intelligence Officer with the National Clandestine Service. He spent time in Afghanistan and has managed counterterrorism, counterintelligence, foreign intelligence and covert action efforts worldwide with a focus on South Asia. He was awarded the CIA Exceptional Performance Award. The Center for a New American Security has selected William as one of the 20 emerging leaders to join its 2015 Next Generation National Security Leaders program, which fosters future national security leaders. 

William has also founded an IT-based non-profit called “Sound Off,” which is reforming the way U.S. military veterans seek out and receive mental health support.

William says, “The Academy was instrumental in convincing me of the ‘requirement’ that I strive to do great things.” He encourages SAA students, “Believe that you can do anything in the world, and you will.”


 

Urban Ventures 

Patrick Shearer said, “Without question, SAA helped me build a strong foundation in my education and character, which has lasted to this day.”

Patrick earned a BA in Philosophy from Baylor University and a MBA in International Business from Thunderbird School of Global Management. Then at age 23, Patrick secured his first commercial real estate syndication, in which he is still a partner. He was also on the leasing team at the launch of the Pearl Brewery redevelopment. Patrick has launched his company called Crockett Urban Ventures, a commercial real estate investment and development firm. To top off his success, Patrick was featured as one of the ‘40’ in the 2013 San Antonio Business Journal’s “40 under 40.”

Patrick advises SAA students, “Your character and integrity are some of the most important things in business and in life. People want to work with people they can trust to always do the right thing. Be kind and compassionate to others – especially to those who haven’t had the opportunities that you have. Accept the opportunities and the gifts that you have been given with great responsibility. To whom much is given, much will be expected.“


The Learning Never Ends  

Alberto Arredondo  remembers “all of us who were lucky enough to travel the Western U.S. with Prof. Bradley remember our trips with a smile. We saw Yosemite, Glacier, Yellowstone, Mt. Rainier and so many other places. One can’t forget Eddie’s and their Bear Paw Pie. We rafted the Snake River, saw the view from Half Dome, and stayed at the Old Faithful Inn. Those Academy summers are full of memories.”

When reflecting how San Antonio Academy shaped his life, Alberto says, “There is so much in all of us that comes from our family, culture, and experiences, it’s difficult to separate the effects each one has on us. I give equal credit to The Academy and to my parents who nurtured me to think big. Hand-in-hand, both taught me not to expect things to come to fruition without putting a lot of effort into them. The camaraderie I had with my classmates, as well as the lasting relationships with the faculty, makes me strive to reproduce such experiences with the people I work with.”

Today Alberto is living in Manhattan Beach, California. He manages a team of engineers who build and test prototypes for space-related applications for the Air Force and other government organizations. He also helps friends mature their entrepreneurial ideas.

Alberto holds a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin, and in the summer of 2011, he earned an MBA from UCLA. He says, “The learning never ends.”


Respecting the Rule of Law 

The Honorable Richard E. Price was appointed by the Governor of the State of Texas to serve as District Judge in the 285th District Court in Bexar County, Texas in January 2011. Cases before his Court include Family Law, Business Litigation, Personal Injury, Oil and Gas Litigation and the list goes on. Judge Price also mediated over 700 cases during his practice at Ball & Weed, P.C. of San Antonio.

In 1972 Judge Price was the first recipient of The Academy’s Colonel’s Cup (also known as the Joseph Rubin Trophy) for possessing outstanding qualities of leadership, ethics and personal concern for others. He recalls, “The Academy influenced my life by making me learn early in my life that you have to work hard to achieve your goals. It also taught me to respect everyone and to treat every person no matter what your position in life with dignity and respect."

Since then Judge Price has recently been awarded high ratings of all Civil District Court Judges by a poll taken of attorneys in Bexar County for his Good Temperament, Punctuality, Follows Laws, Rules Impartially, Performance, and Hard Work. He was recognized as one of the “Best Attorneys in San Antonio” in 2005, 2008 and 2009 by Scene in S.A. Magazine.

Judge Price advises current students, “The biggest piece of advice I can give is to treat every person you meet in life with dignity and respect.”


 

Three Purple Hearts 

Fearing the impending revolution in Cuba, Mike’s parents sent him to San Antonio Academy in 1954. Mike O’Farrell made friends quickly, won the “Best Athlete” Award and was grateful for the sense of belonging that SAA gave him – the “sense of coming from somewhere,” he calls it. Today he proudly says, “I was not a global gypsy, I was from San Antonio, Texas.”

Mike was a member of Colonel Liddy’s “Lightning Brigade.” A science teacher at SAA and a veteran of WWII, Colonel Liddy formed a team of small infantrymen to teach basic infantry tactics. Using wooden replicas of rifles, they practiced war by crawling around in ‘skirmishes’ in San Pedro Park and on campus. Mike says that the group is to be commended for giving him his first combat training and bringing a new page into the history of “Academy Achievements.”

On May 18, 1966, ten years to-the-day since his graduation at SAA, 2nd Lieutenant O’Farrell arrived in Vietnam to begin his first tour of duty as a platoon leader. Later, he returned to Vietnam and was badly wounded during his second tour of duty. Mike had to learn how to walk again. He received three Purple Hearts for his service in the United States Army.


Top Chef 

He returned home to Cancun, Mexico, where he opened his own restaurant called Peppermint. Despite the category five winds of hurricane Wilma in 2005, Peppermint survived and peaked in creative culinary delights, crowds and success. Chef Marco also wrote wine pairings and articles for a popular gastronomy magazine called Sabor e Arte. Now he resides in Austin and is currently cooking up plans to open a new restaurant.A professional gourmet chef fluent in four languages, Chef Marco Gonzalez began his career in France at the prestigious universities in the culinary world, L’institut Paul Bocuse and the Universite du Vin. He prepared creative dishes in restaurants across Europe in France, Italy and Spain. 

Marco recalls walking into Mr. Webster’s office and wondering, “how mean could a guy be with so many toys and gags in his office?” As a kid Marco used to play soldier games, but he attributes The Academy’s military program as a way to implement discipline into his life today. He said, “Discipline has been a vital part of my success and my everyday life. A professional kitchen is very much like the military – there are ranks and hierarchy and when people follow it, a restaurant just works like a clock.”


Will You Marry Me?  

On bended knee, Richard said, “The Academy has laid the foundation for who I am today, which is why I brought you here. I would like you to be a part of the foundation for who I am tomorrow. Emily, will you marry me?” His most memorable San Antonio Academy moment was the day he returned to campus to propose to his wife under the big oak tree.

A student from 1992-1997, Capt. Richard Holt says San Antonio Academy rightfully placed God at the forefront of its values during Chapel with Mr. Webster – to love God with all your heart, soul and mind and to love your neighbor as yourself. Richard credits SAA for creating in him a strong foundation in God, education, respect and love for all people, which helped pave the way for him to successfully lead people in
the Air Force.

As Air Battle Manager in the U.S. Air Force, Capt. Richard Holt has flown over 1,200 combat hours in Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Unified Protector. Now stationed at NATO Air Base in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, Richard is an Instructor Weapons Controller aboard the E-34 AWACS. He was awarded the 2011 “Wing Air Weapons Officer of the Year” for the NATO Airborne Early Warning & Control Force.


An Earful of Confidence  

In 6th grade, Dr. Arturo Bonilla (Class of 1976) won San Antonio Academy’s spelling bee with the word “adhesion.” Little did he know what an impact he would make today by using a tool, like an artist, to “adhere” new ears on his young patients.

“Microtia” means “little ear,” and this birth defect affects one in every 6,000 children. Years after graduating from The Academy, Dr. Bonilla is a Pediatric Microtia Surgeon who has treated thousands of children with ear deformities. Since 1996, he has developed the largest exclusive Pediatric Microtia Center in the U.S. called the Microtia-Congenital Ear Deformity Institute.

Dr. Bonilla lectures to physicians worldwide. Community service is a big part of the mission at his center. His patients have volunteered to speak to other children about their experiences with microtia, demonstrating the improvement in self-esteem and confidence that ear reconstruction gives a child with microtia.

Dr. Bonilla recalls how the encouragement he received from the SAA faculty esteemed him to succeed. Now he pays forward that encouragement to thousands of children in giving them new ears and, more importantly, an earful of confidence.  


The Merits of Inspection

Boarding at San Antonio Academy in the mid 1950’s, Charlie Anderson (Class of 1957)couldn’t wait for the weekends. He bought his uniforms at Frank Bros. downtown by the Alamo, shopped at Woolworth’s and went to the Aztec to see “Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier.” That was fun, but dorm inspections came first on Saturdays. “Gunsmoke” blared on the radio while the boys prepared their rooms and polished floors with Old English until they shined like mirrors. His bed was made military style so you could bounce a quarter off the blanket. Rooms were inspected with white gloves, and the best room earned merits for its occupants. 

Charlie credits the discipline of those meticulous inspections and the reward of merits at SAA that benefitted him in the Marine Corps until 1964, during which he was awarded a Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts for his service in the Vietnam War. Then he returned to Vernon, TX to help his father run their family ranch. He also helped build water systems in small villages in Mexico and Central America, where he narrowly escaped the bombing of a hotel in El Salvador. 

Today he cherishes those merits and his 60+ year friendship with boarder Mike O’Farrell ‘56.

A Longhorn Legend 

Louis Jordan (Class of 1911) carved a Longhorn legend at the University of Texas as his athletic skills were superior to those players of his time. He lettered three years in track and four years in football as a 6’4”, 225 pound right guard in 1911-1915. He was the first Texas player selected as a “Walter Camp All-American” and the only former athlete later inducted in the first class of the Longhorn Hall of Honor in 1957. 

In 1915 Louis returned to San Antonio Academy to teach math and science and to coach the football team with an amazing ability to create “spirit and a winning team.” In the 1918 Academy Record, an article records a full account of Lieutenant Louis Jordan’s death during World War I as both the first SAA graduate and the first Texas military officer killed in action. He died from shrapnel from a German artillery shell on the fields of Luneville, France.

In 1924 when UT dedicated the football stadium as “Texas Memorial Stadium” in honor of war veterans, the people of Fredericksburg erected a flagpole called the “Louis Jordan Flagpole” at the southeast corner of the stadium, where it still stands today. Louis remains a giant in stature and spirit.


He's Got GAME! 

In 2001 Jason Conley (Class of 1995) became the first freshman in NCAA history to lead the nation in scoring, averaged 29.3 points per contest, was an Associated Press Honorable Mention All-American, and led the Southern Conference in steals (82). Jason plays professional basketball in Finland and has been playing professionally in Europe for several years. During the summer months he travels back to the U.S. to work at the Premier Athlete, his company that focuses on brand management for student athletes. 

His love for motivating and training top basketball players in the Washington, D.C. area was shaped by SAA math teacher Karl Graf. Jason said Mr. Graf would say, “Don’t be a hero, be right!” when referring to math problems that required hard work to get correct answers. Jason still uses that saying with himself on the court and to inspire the athletes that he trains.

In addition to many top honors in his professional career, Jason was the first recipient of SAA’s “Big Brother Award,” and he said this award has meant more to him than any trophy because it was about how he treated “the little guys.” Jason still calls The Academy a recipe for success and nothing less.


The Candy Man Can! 

Jeremy Jones (Class of 1994) is the fourth generation to work in his family’s Atkinson Candy Company. Current yearly production is over 2 million pounds of candy exported to Canada, Central America, Dubai, Belgium, Germany, Indonesia and South American markets. Atkinson Candy Company, which makes Chick-O-Sticks, Peanut Brittle, Coconut Long Boys, Mint Twists and Gemstones, has been featured on The Food Network shows “Kid in a Candy Store” and “Wrapped.”

As Director of International Sales, Jeremy has helped his company create a global footprint, and the first step was to open Atkinson Candy de Guatemala in 2011. Jeremy attributes Mrs. Bolen’s Spanish class as being very helpful to him when he opened the factory in Guatemala. San Antonio Academy taught Jeremy the value of being a good leader with a strong work ethic through academics, sports and the military program. He attributes these values to the successes he has garnered to date in work and family life.

Some of his favorite SAA memories were playing lacrosse, wrestling and reading presentations in Mr. Moore’s class; but his favorite memory was the six months he was home for an injury and personally tutored by Colonel Bondurant.


Lights! Camera! Action!

After hitting 42nd Street, Justin Blanchard (Class of 1994) made his debut in the award-winning ensemble cast of Journey’s End as 2nd Lieutenant Hibbert, which swept the American Theatre Wing’s Tony Awards for “best revival of a play” in 2007.

Justin has had exciting opportunities in theatre, film and television. He starred alongside Antonio Banderas in the pre-Broadway workshop of Zorba. Justin made his television debut as the dapper “Agent Mayhem” in “Law & Order: SVU.” He played Henry V on stage last summer and also completed a successful run in the role of his dreams as Hamlet in Hamlet, Prince of Denmark.

Justin credits San Antonio Academy for giving him an understanding of respect, duty and honor. He fondly recalls Mr. Moore’s English class and writing the life stories of residents at the Chandler Retirement Home. He advises SAA students that, “There’s no set path in life. Do what you love, and treat others the way you want to be treated.”


Radio Broadcaster 

Tom Turbiville’s (Class of 1962) list of fondest SAA memories include being named drum major of the band, when tops season turned into marbles season, being around both Col. Bondurant, Sr. and Col. Bondurant, Jr., Prof Giambruno's bee-buzz, and kissing Pam on the review field at his first Academy dance.

After six years with the Southwest Conference Office and four years as the Texas A&M Sports Information Director, Tom spent 24 years as a Sports Director and morning show co-host for several radio stations in Bryan/College Station. Tom hosted radio broadcasts of Texas A&M basketball, football, and baseball and high school football games. One of his career highlights was interviewing President George H.W. Bush on the A&M football sidelines on October 14, 2006. 

Tom says, “The Academy helped shape my life in every way. I credit SAA and the Bondurants for every correct turn and proper decision I've made in my life. I consider myself a gentleman and a good husband, father and grandfather. Without the values instilled in me by SAA, it may have been a different story. If every young person had the opportunity for an SAA experience, this country would be in much better shape.”


Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

Congressman Lamar Smith (Class of 1961) held his first position of leadership as C Company Commander and learned to appreciate self-discipline and the first rudiments of leadership from his exposure to leaders he admired and respected – his teachers and administrators. He says, “Their example gave me a model to follow in later years.”

In 1987 his leadership led him to Washington, D.C., where Congressman Smith has represented the residents of the 21st Congressional District of Texas ever since. National Journal named Congressman Smith one of the 100 most influential people in Washington, D.C. In 2011, Congressman Smith was named “Policy Maker of the Year” by POLITICO for his work on patent reform legislation bill called the America Invents Act. Currently, he serves as Chair of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee.

Congressman Smith says, “My advice to current students is to appreciate where you are and the opportunities you’ve been given. Look to learn from those leaders around you, study hard, and take advantage of the great teachers who are available to you. Embrace, don’t resist, leadership opportunities, and realize that the friendships you make at the San Antonio Academy will last a lifetime.”


 

 

Eugenio “Keno” Urquiza (Class of 1994) remembers sharing his love for space with Professor Kennedy and gaining confidence in math with Mr. Graf. He says, “San Antonio Academy gave me great confidence in math, which motivated me to continue to pursue math along with physics and eventually engineering. More broadly, The Academy taught me to take pride in my work, my appearance, and the mutual rewards in teaching and mentorship.”

Keno earned a PhD in mechanical engineering from the University of California at Berkeley, and published original research on heat transfer in nuclear power and aerospace applications in several technical journals. He worked in thermal and cryogenic engineering at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory of NASA at Cal Tech in Pasadena, California. Today Keno is the Founder and Chief Engineer at Thermotive LLC, which makes thermal control components for scientific instruments.

To Academy students, Keno advises, “In truth, there is no destination, and there are only a few clear milestones along the way. The Bondurant Gate is one of them. Learning how to think, communicate, and feel true empathy is a constant and worthy pursuit.”


A Salute to Leadership, Loyalty, and Love 

David Rothe (Class of 1987) has proudly served for twenty years in the U.S. Army. He has been stationed in Alaska, Louisiana, Korea, Washington, and Germany. David served on two combat deployments to Iraq and was in Baghdad during the surge in 2006-2007 and in Najaf in 2008-2009. Over the course of his military career, David has earned numerous awards, including the Combat Infantryman's badge, given for taking fire from the enemy.

David says, “SAA has influenced my life in such an amazing way. The discipline and values that I learned at SAA are the same ones that are emphasized in the military, which are duty, honor, and country with a foundation under God. I learned to believe in myself and to look for the best in all people. I learned to respect others and, without hesitation, take care of those who need help.”

David’s advice for current Academy students is to enjoy the time at SAA while you are there. He adds, “I have always said that the Academy is built on three basic principles: Leadership, Loyalty and Love. The friendships built at SAA are for a lifetime and the memories that you build will always be with you long after you leave. Whenever I visit, I can close my eyes, and still hear the laughter, feel the love, and remember what it was like to feel so special for the time I was there.”


Fly Me to the Moon  

David Scott (Class of 1946) was selected as an astronaut in October 1963. In 1966, he and command pilot Neil Armstrong were launched into space on the Gemini 8 mission, where they performed the first successful docking of two vehicles in space. Scott went on to serve as command module pilot for Apollo 9, was designated backup spacecraft commander for Apollo 12 and was spacecraft commander of Apollo 15.

Scott has received many awards including: two NASA Distinguished Service Medals, the NASA Exceptional Service Medal, two Air Force Distinguished Service Medals, the Air Force Flying Cross, the Air Force Association’s David C. Schilling Trophy and the Robert J. Collier Trophy in 1971. He is one of three astronauts who has flown both earth orbital and lunar Apollo Missions.

He was the first recipient of the Col. W.T. Bondurant, Sr. Distinguished Humanitarian Award in 1977.


The Flying Tiger  

David Lee “Tex” Hill (Class of 1928) was a decorated World War II fighter pilot and a member of the famous Flying Tigers, where he fought in Burma, China and Thailand. He shot down 18 ¼ enemy aircraft during the war. The American Volunteer Group was made famous in the 1942 film, Flying Tigers, in which John Wayne portrayed Tex Hill. 

The youngest Brigadier General in the history of the Texas Air National Guard, Hill received many awards including: The Distinguished Service Cross, the Silver Star, the Legion of Merit, four Distinguished Flying Crosses, six Chinese combat decorations and the Order of the Cloud and Banner.

Tex Hill was inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame in 1968. In 1999, he was inducted into the Texas Aviation Hall of Fame located at the Lone Star Flight Museum in Galveston, Texas. In 2002, Tex was awarded an honorary lifetime member of the U.S. Air Force Auxiliary with a squadron of the Civil Air Patrol named in his honor – the Tex Hill Composite Squadron, of San Marcos, Texas (SWR-TX-435). 

Former Head of School, John Webster, recalls the last time Tex Hill spoke to SAA students in Chapel when he said, “I am so proud of you boys! You are our nation's future leaders. Work hard and stick to your values.” 

In 1987, BG Hill received the Colonel W.T. Bondurant, Sr. Distinguished Humanitarian Award and the San Antonio Academy Distinguished Alumni Award in 2007 (posthumous).


Guardian of the Lone Star Legacy  

Appointed by Governor Rick Perry in May 2009, Dr. Light T. Cummins III (Class of 1960)recently served as the official State Historian for Texas. During his appointment, Light drove over 34,000 miles by car, crisscrossing the state to lecture and discovered close to 5,000 historical societies, museums and libraries in the state that are dedicated to preserving Texas history.

After teaching history for 34 years at Austin College in Sherman, Texas, he became an expert on the Anglo-American westward movement into Spanish-speaking Texas and authored several academic books on Texas and Louisiana history. His recent biography of Stephen F. Austin’s sister, entitled Emily Austin of Texas, 1795-1851, won the 2010 Liz Carpenter Award as the “Best Book about a Texas Woman.”

Light’s great uncle attended The Academy in the 1890’s, and his father graduated from SAA in 1929. Light fondly recalls spit-shining his shoes to a high gloss and passing in review for King Antonio, but it’s The Academy’s values of diligence, doing the right thing and always being prepared to go the extra mile that have spurred him on to always get the job done at the highest level of quality in both life and work.


The Real American Cowboy  

James E. “Jim” Deutsch (Class of 1940) was the National Champion Bull RiderChampion Bareback Bronco Rider and All-Around Champion Cowboy. After leaving college and the rodeo behind, he began working in home construction and founded his own company, Stylecraft Homes, Inc. in 1967.

Later, Jim made a radical leap into the art world as a Sculptor of western, rodeo and wildlife bronzes. His bronzes found their way into many private collections as well as libraries and museums. The book, Contemporary Western Artists, featured Jim’s bronzes, but he is most proud that his work is part of the permanent art collection of the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame and The Museum of the American Cowboy.

One of the great “Four Horseman Backfield,” Jim loved to play Academy football in the early 1930’s – 1940. He said there is no doubt that Academy football, under the leadership of Coach Stuart Pearce, enhanced the inner character of each player. On the field he learned that team effort is more important than winning the game, and, off the field at San Antonio Academy, he learned the value of life-long friendships.