TAMIU Killam Historical Marker
The Texas Historical Commission’s Recorded Texas Historical Landmark was submitted by the Webb County Historical Commission (WCHC), Dr. José Roberto Juárez, chairman, WCHC Marker Committee.
Radcliffe Killam and the Killam family name are synonymous with support of higher education in South Texas and beyond. Killam and his wife, Sue Spivey Killam, helped fulfill Laredo’s long-cherished dream of a campus TAMIU with their generous gift of 300 acres of prime land in northeast Laredo for TAMIU.
Born in the small town of Grove, Oklahoma, Radcliffe Killam followed in the footsteps of his father, O.W. Killam, a legendary independent wildcatter in the oil and gas business.
Killam graduated from Laredo High School, and often toiled in the oilfields as a teenager. He received a Bachelor's degree from the University of Texas and went on to earn a law degree from Harvard Law School.
His military service included time as a Lt. Commander in the U.S. Navy and Mediterranean Area Commander, Pacific Theater Boat Base.
He was a guiding hand in much of the nation’s oil and gas industry's growth in the past 50 years. His business focused on discovering oil and gas in South Texas.
His diversified businesses included extensive ranching, real estate, and banking and financial investments.
With wife Sue at his side, the couple assisted greatly in the growth of TAMIU, providing primary support for the University’s Center for the Study of Western Hemispheric Trade, in addition to student scholarships.
In recognition of their long-standing support of higher education, The Texas A&M University System conferred on Mr. and Mrs. Killam the first honorary doctorates from Texas A&M International University in 1998.
Radcliffe Killam passed away in 2007 at age 97.
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