Perry names attorney Anthony Buzbee to A&M Board of Regents
By: T.J. Aulds
Galveston Daily News
March 16, 2013
Gov. Rick Perry announced Friday that attorney Anthony Buzbee will be the next member of the Texas A&M University Board of Regents. Buzbee, 44, is the first Galveston County resident to be named as a regent to the board that was founded in 1876.
“A&M honestly did everything for me,” Buzbee, a 1990 graduate of Texas A&M, said. “My success starts there. This is a great honor, and I will do my best to do my part in keep the university on its course to bigger and better things.”
Buzbee was among three appointments to the board by Perry on Friday.
Morris Foster of Austin, the former president of ExxonMobil Production Company, was reappointed to the board of regents. He was first appointed in 2007 and was chairman from 2009-11.
Joining Buzbee as a new member of the board is Houston attorney Charles Schwartz.
All three appointments to the nine-member board must have state Senate confirmation.
Buzbee said Perry had talked to him off and on about a possible appointment and recently called to make his decision final. The two are friends, and Buzbee even stepped in to help the governor prepare for debates during his 2012 presidential bid after some initial poor outings.
Buzbee’s coaching was noted for improved debate performances before Perry eventually withdrew from the race.
It’s an odd friendship given party politics. Perry, a staunch conservative Republican and a fan of tort reform, is close friends with the trial attorney Buzbee, a former chairman of the Galveston County Democratic Party who twice ran for office as a Democrat. One of those runs was for state representative against Larry Taylor of Friendswood, now a state senator. Taylor gave the appointment a thumbs-up.
The A&M bond brought Perry and Buzbee together as friends.
“I think a lot of him,” Buzbee said. “I think a whole lot of Rick and Anita. Despite what is reported about them, I know those folks, and they are really solid and good people.”
Buzbee goes from a high school graduating class of 70 at Queen City High School in 1986 to a regent for a university system that has 120,000 students at 14 campuses, including the main campus in College Station and the Texas A&M at Galveston campus.
He attended A&M on a Navy ROTC scholarship and a Sul Ross scholarship through the university’s Corps of Cadets.
During his senior year, he was battalion commander and earned honors as a distinguished student and naval graduate. Buzbee also was named an outstanding Navy ROTC senior and an outstanding commander in Texas A&M’s Corps of Cadets.
Last year, Buzbee and his wife, Zoe, also an A&M graduate, donated $3 million to the Texas A&M Foundation to support the Corps of Cadets’ Quadrangle renovation project.
In August, the university dedicated the Buzbee Leadership Learning Center, a 17,500-square-foot, four-story building connecting Harrell Hall and Lacy Hall. It provides modern learning technology and study spaces for cadets.
After getting a bachelor’s degree in psychology, Buzbee was in the U.S. Marine Corps for four years. He served in Desert Storm and rose to rank of captain.
After leaving the Marine Corps, Buzbee entered law school at the University of Houston Law Center where he was the editor of the Houston Law Review, elected Class Captain by his peers and was also a member of the Order of the Coif, Order of the Barristers and Order of the Barons. He graduated second in his law class.