McALLEN — John Sharp, chancellor of the Texas A&M University System, was named the 2018 Border Texan of the Year Monday at PlainsCapital Bank.
Sharp, from Victoria, said there’s “not an award anywhere that could mean more to me than this one.” He was flanked by last year’s winner, State Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr., D-Brownsville, and former winner, State Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, D-McAllen.
Hinojosa praised Sharp for always helping the Rio Grande Valley, whether it was during his time as a state representative, senator or comptroller, or with the railroad commission. Sharp also talked about the soon-to-open Texas A&M campus in McAllen.
But ultimately, he said he was proud to receive an award from the area that, when he dies, “most of my pallbearers will be from.”
“When I was running for statewide office, whenever I’d get in a bad mood and somebody would piss me off in another part of the state, my secretaries would automatically schedule me for something in the Rio Grande Valley,” Sharp said. “They would call one of these guys, or they’d call (former Hidalgo County Judge) J.D. Salinas, or they’d call (Glen) Roney, or they’d call somebody and say, ‘Get him back in the Valley, get him back in a good mood, and then we’ll send him back to Dallas.’
“And the reason for that is, this is where all my friends are. This is the place that I almost wish I were from. We say Victoria’s in South Texas, the Valley, but you know it’s a long way from here. But we claim it anyway because we wanna be a part of it. There is no place in Texas I love more than the Rio Grande Valley. I just love the place.”
Members serving on the Border Texan of the Year Committee are Roney, who serves as chairman, Joe La Mantia and Val La Mantia Peisen of L&F Distributors, attorney John David Franz, Paul Moxley of Texas Regional Bank and Gary Gurwitz of Atlas, Hall & Rodriguez LLP.