University Receives $500,000 Gift from LBV Trust
Trustees of the Lamar Bruni Vergara Trust presented Texas A&M International
University officials with $500,000, the final installment of a $2 million
pledge, in ceremonies at TAMIU Wednesday morning.
The funds will support the Lamar Bruni Vergara Science Center, now under
The Science Center, part of the University's Phase IV expansion, will
house a growing science program, labs, classrooms and faculty offices.
Some 30 labs will offer both research and teaching components and make
possible expanded programming in biology, chemistry, geology, earth sciences
Interest in the sciences at TAMIU by students is considerable, with
225 students declaring majors in biology.
The architectural highlight of the 77,920 gross square foot project
is an 85-seat planetarium sheathed within a glass pyramid that fronts
the Center. The pyramid is reminiscent of that designed by I.M. Pei for
the Louvre Museum in Paris.
University president Dr. Ray Keck lauded the efforts of the Trust, represented
at the function by Judge Solomon Casseb and J. C. Martin III.
"This Trust's impact on our University and our community is indeed
an inspirational legacy of giving. This building will be a beacon to the
visionary leadership of Lamar Bruni Vergara trustees who have bettered
lives, brightened futures and helped to realize dreams. Their efforts,
combined with the support of our State legislators, are redefining higher
education in South Texas. I am eager for the day when we welcome our community
to the stars and the heavens on our campus," Dr. Keck said.
The Science Center is expected to be completed in January of 2005. Programming
at the new planetarium will begin in February of 2005.
Only one other Texas A&M University System campus, Tarleton State
University in Stephenville, has a similar, though smaller planetarium
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