Senator Hutchison to Dedicate Texas A&M International University's New Western Hemispheric Trade Center March 26

Texas A&M International University's Western Hemispheric Trade Center will celebrate its formal dedication ceremonies on Tuesday, March 26, 2002 at 11 a.m.

Keynote speaker for the event will be U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison.

A&M International president Dr. Ray Keck said the opening of the new Center signals the University's continued research prominence in trade issues of the Western Hemisphere.

"The dedication of this 55,000-square-foot facility is part of the University's Phase III expansion, and will facilitate research, promote education and provide relevant information on the hemisphere's most dynamic world market," Dr. Keck said.

The dedication ceremonies will be open to the public and in addition to local and state dignitaries, will include members of The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents. Also invited are national and international government representatives. A special reception will follow the opening.

The WHTC will regularly attract some of the world's top researchers on trade issues and will host a variety of conferences focusing on the Western Hemisphere and its social, business, political and cultural components. Its public conference and classroom spaces are state-of-the art and feature distance and multi-media capabilities.

In addition, the WHTC will be home to the Western Hemispheric Trade Information Center (WHTIC) which includes a constantly updated electronic database; the monthly Western Hemispheric Trade Digest and the quarterly International Trade Journal: Western Hemispheric Studies.

Hutchison, no stranger to South Texas, became the first woman to represent her state in the U.S. Senate with her election in 1993. She was elected to a second full term in 2000 with the largest number of votes ever garnered in Texas, more than 4 million.

With her election as Vice Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, she became one of the top five leaders of Senate Republicans in the107th Congress. She has emerged as one of the Senate's leading voices on foreign policy and national security issues and is a U.S. delegate to the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the Helsinki Commission.

She is a member of the Defense Subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations

Committee, and also serves as Ranking Republican on the Military Construction Subcommittee.

Her opinion pieces on tax policy, transportation, foreign policy and national security issues have been published in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, and London's Financial Times, as well as every Texas daily newspaper.

Hutchison grew up in La Marque, Texas, and graduated from the University of Texas and UT Law School. She was twice elected to the Texas House of Representatives. In 1990, she was elected Texas State Treasurer, trimming the agency's budget more than any other state official while increasing returns on Texas' investments to an historic $1 billion annually.

She was named Border Texan of the Year 2000 and was the recipient of the 2000 Green Key Water Resources Environment Award and the 2000 CLEAT Award for Support of Law Enforcement. She was also the recipient of the 2000 Eagle Award for Valued Commitment to the Nation's Hispanic Community, and was awarded the MANA National Latina Organization's "Hermana Award" in 2001.

Senator Hutchison lives in Dallas with her husband, Ray, an attorney, and their daughter, Bailey, and son, Houston.

For additional information on the March 26 dedication of the Western Hemispheric Trade Center, please contact the Texas A&M International University Office of Public Affairs and Information Services.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at