Over the weekend music icon Robert Earl Keen was recognized as the 2018 recipient of Texas A&M’s Distinguished Alumnus Award, considered the highest honor given to a former student of the university.

“We are looking for people who have risen to the pinnacle of their profession and made a difference in both their communities and our university,” said Kathryn Greenwade, vice president of The Association of Former Students. “[We want] people who truly represent the core values of Texas A&M.”

With 19 albums to his credit, Robert Earl Keen, class of 1978, is an accomplished musician. He came up through the Texas folk scene and was an Americana music pioneer. He was inducted into the Texas Heritage Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2012. He has received the BMI’s Troubadour Award for songwriting and plays countless benefit concerts for people in need.