The Gold Blazer Award is presented annually to alumni who have provided outstanding service to the Alumni Association and the university.
Congressman Mike Conaway
(Class of 1970) came to A&M-Commerce after graduating from Odessa Permian High School. He received his BBA degree in Accounting. He was recently sworn in for his fifth term in the U.S. House of Representatives and represents 29 counties in central and west Texas. Conaway served in the Army from 1970-1972 and became a Certified Public Accountant in 1974. He has worked as a Chief Financial Officer at a bank, and from 1981-1986 was the Chief Financial Officer of Arbusto Energy, Inc. Soon after former President George W. Bush was elected Governor of Texas, Bush appointed Conaway to the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy where he served for seven years, the last five as chairman. He is the chairman of the House Ethics Committee, a deputy Republican whip and a member of the House Agriculture, Armed Services and Intelligence committees. He has sponsored legislation to create a simpler and fairer tax system, increase accountability in government funding, and protect small businesses and family farms from tax increases. Conaway’s background as a CPA motivates him to push for fiscal responsibility in Washington, including reducing the federal debt. On the Agriculture Committee, Conaway serves as the chairman of the Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management, working to protect the interests of rural America and its farmers. A Midland resident and an ordained deacon in the Baptist church, Mike and his wife Suzanne have four children and seven grandchildren.