Tenth Anniversary of A&M Presence in South Texas to be Celebrated

Faculty, students, staff and alumni of the universities of The Texas A&M University System will join citizens from throughout South Texas for a celebration noting the 10th anniversary of A&M's presence in South Texas July 22 in Corpus Christi.

Dubbed "10 Years of South Texas Traditions," the event will be held in Corpus Christi at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi's (TAMU-CC) new University Center.

A&M International president Dr. Charles Jennett, along with Dr. Robert Furgason, president of TAMU-CC, and Marc Cisneros, president for Texas A&M University-Kingsville (TAMU-K), will host the event.

The celebration will include a pinata-breaking ceremony, performances by mariachis and the A&M International Ballet Folklorico, and the presentation of a special video highlighting the past 10 years for the South Texas universities.

In addition to invited guests, members of the A&M System Board of Regents, member universities' administration and community leaders and university partners from throughout South Texas will attend.

The universities' alignment with the A&M System has been credited with changing the face of higher education in South Texas, resulting in new program development, resource augmentation, campus construction and remarkable student enrollment growth.

Dr. Jennett said the partnership with A&M has brought quality education to South Texas, making dreams and aspirations real.

"We consider this a partnership that has brought unparalleled advantage to what was long an educationally underserved area. Our students and students for generations to come will continue to benefit from membership in one of our country's finest University systems. Their advantage will be returned to their home communities ten-fold," Dr. Jennett said.

In the case of A&M International, Jennett noted that the University now has a new home and an expanded mission offering programs at the bachelors, masters and doctoral level.

"We have the first and finest new University campus constructed in Texas in over 20 years, have expanded to become a traditional four-year University and now award over 50 undergraduate and graduate degrees. The change has been a quantum leap in the quality of education offered to the citizens of South Texas," he said.

He noted that this last legislative session provided the A&M System with the greatest funding increase in absolute dollars for higher education in the history of Texas.

"This 76th Legislature has provided the A&M System with $1.2 billion in general revenue appropriations for the 2000-01 budget cycle, up 11.3 percent from 1998-99 years. The A&M System continues to maintain its leadership position in addressing the educational needs of the country's fastest growing region. We are proud to be a part of this important leadership for Texas," Jennett said.

All three universities became part of the A&M System in 1989 with the dissolution of the former University System of South Texas.

The A&M System includes 9 universities, 8 agencies and the new Texas A&M University System Health Science Center.

For additional information on "Ten Years of South Texas Traditions," the celebration of the 10th Anniversary of the South Texas universities of The Texas A&M University System, please contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at 956.216.2180.

University office hours are from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

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