Murdock honored as Tillman Scholar

September 30, 2015

Carrie_Murdock-webTexas A&M University School of Law third-year student Carrie Murdock has been recognized as a Tillman Scholar.

The Tillman Scholar program is named for Pat Tillman, who left a promising NFL career as a safety for the Arizona Cardinals to enlist in the Army in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. “At times like this you stop and think about just how good we have it, what kind of system we live in, and the freedoms we are allowed. A lot of my family has gone and fought in wars and I really haven’t done a damn thing as far as laying myself on the line like that,” he said the day after the attacks.

On April 22, 2004, Tillman was killed in action in Afghanistan. Shortly after, his friends and family founded the Pat Tillman Foundation, and in 2008 the mission was “refocused” to “invest in military veterans and their spouses through academic scholarships – building a diverse community of leaders committed to service to others,” creating the Tillman Scholars program.

From the thousands of applicants each year, the Tillman Foundation selects "up to 60 of the best-poised leaders, who show strength in character, academic excellence and incredible potential … . They are individuals who will apply the best lessons they’ve learned in life and the military to impact our country for years to come in medicine, business, law, science, education and the arts," according to their website.

This year, Murdock was among the 60 scholars selected, including six law school scholars.

In 2002, Murdock, a 1999 graduate of the United States Naval Academy, broke her back while training for a deployment. Unfortunately, her back didn’t heal properly, and her career as a Marine was over.

She said no longer being in the military was a difficult adjustment because it had been her lifestyle and something by which she was constantly surrounded. She found herself a job at a corporation and was back to a comfortable lifestyle, but something big was still missing, the reason she joined the military: giving.

“That’s exactly what Pat Tillman did,” she said. “He joined the military thinking of it as public service, not a sacrifice.”

Murdock plans on using her law degree to assist veterans, focusing on issues such as PTSD, depression and coping skills. As a legal advocate, she hopes to better serve communities of injured and struggling veterans, helping them find their voice and a new sense of purpose as she has done.

Murdock said this recognition is huge honor because of the support network that comes with it.

“We all stand out because we’re non-traditional students,” she said.

“Carrie’s service to this country is a huge accomplishment in itself,” said Andrew Morriss, Dean and Anthony G. Buzbee Dean’s Endowed Chair. “And to receive this recognition among many selfless men and women as a TAMU Law scholar makes us very proud.”

“In their own unique ways, the 2015 Tillman Scholars stand apart for their humility and selfless service in and out of uniform. We are proud to fuel their passion for learning and action, so they can make their mark as leaders for our country and communities,” said Marie Tillman, President and Co-Founder of the Pat Tillman Foundation.

Since its inception, 1​4 Texas A&M students have been named as Tillman Scholars. Murdock is the first Aggie Law student ​selected. The 2015 class includes Michael Wiepert, a Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine student.

For a full list of scholars, visit

- Article by Jennifer Nassar, Communications Specialist, Texas A&M University School of Law