Nearly half a century after African-Americans were admitted to predominantly white Texas A&M University, a black student has finally reached the pinnacle of one of its signature organizations.


Next school year, Marquis Alexander, an African-American student from Houston's Fifth Ward, will make history when he takes command of A&M's Corps of Cadets - the highest position of student leadership in the storied organization.

As Commander of more than 2000 cadets, Alexander will be expected to lead his fellow cadets by example in all aspects of cadet and student life.

Corps Commandant Brig. Gen. Joe Ramirez says the Commander of Cadets must be the best of the best, and Marquis Alexander measures up in every way.  Ramirez says he exemplifies all the qualities of a great leader and commander.

Marquis Alexander had a leg up on the other applicants. He was in the Marine Corps Reserves for a year and a half before he enrolled at A&M in 2009.  As a Marine Corps Reserve Corporal, he was thoroughly grounded in military life before joining the Corps of Cadets.