'Dream' Gala Starts University's Year-long 30th Anniversary Celebration

An opportunity to celebrate the lasting legacy of dreams realized with Laredo's hometown University is the focus of "Swingin' on a Dream," a gala evening at the Laredo Country Club scheduled Friday, Sept. 15 from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m.

The event serves to initiate Texas A&M International University's year-long celebration, dubbed "Dreams to Reality," which highlights the University's 30th Anniversary of service to higher education in South Texas.

Featuring the Glenn Miller Orchestra, the event is a shared initiative between the University and the Laredo Philharmonic Orchestra with proceeds supporting the University's Student Scholarship Fund and the LPO Program Fund.

Tickets for the event cost $100 per person and will cover dinner and music.

In addition to individual tickets, participants can also consider a number of sponsorship levels that include the following:

* Golden Baton ($5,000) - Table for ten at the Gala in the first tier,

* Conductor's Circle ($2,500) - Table for ten at the Gala in the second tier,

* Encore Circle ($1,000) - Table for ten at the Gala in the third tier.

A&M International President Charles Jennett encourages community members to attend and share in observing three decades of higher education success by a University that has become a legacy for Laredo, South Texas and beyond.

"We would not have been here if it were not for the hard work and kindness of thousands of people who, little by little, have contributed their knowledge and resources to touch the life of this University," Dr. Jennett said. "This Gala is an opportunity for us to recognize them and to further strengthen our partnership in ensuring the future well-being of our vibrant community."

Lisa Morales, director of development, said the Gala will include a silent auction, scheduled from 7p.m. - 11p.m.

"Items include a painting by Lejeune Whitworth; a basketball autographed by all members of the Spurs Championship Team; two, one-week stays at Colorado condominiums; a one-week stay at a Port Aransas condominium; American Airline round trip tickets, jewelry, and much more," said Morales.

Morales thanked members of the Gala Committee, chaired by sisters Dody and Susan Foster, for their tireless efforts in helping to bring the event to life.

"These University supporters have taken time from their busy schedules to commit countless hours to this event," Morales said, "They exemplify the volunteer spirit that has always made our community proud."

Gala Subcommittee members include Dr. Charles and Linda Jennett. Committee members include Celita Borchers, Randy Blair, Gabriel C. Castillo, Altagracia García, Shirley Greenblum, Maria J. Hermann, Dr. Ray and Patricia Keck, Elmo and Connie López, Margaret Martin, Marissa Martínez, Hortense Offerle, Toni Ruíz and Gabriela Valentín.

While now known as Texas A&M International University, the University was originally known as Texas A&I University at Laredo and was founded in 1970 as an upper-level institution offering junior, senior and graduate instruction.

It became Laredo State University in 1977 and joined The Texas A&M University System in 1989. Its name was changed to Texas A&M International University in 1993.

With authorization by the 74th Legislature, the University expanded to four-year status in 1995. It then moved to its 300-acre campus in northeast Laredo, on land donated by Sue and Radcliffe Killam, and welcomed its first freshman class.

The University is currently completing its Phase III expansion and is working closely with its legislative team of Senator Judith Zaffirini and State Representatives Henry Cuellar and Tracy King to secure Phase IV of the campus' master plan.

For further information on the "Swingin' on a Dream" Gala, ticket purchase or sponsorship opportunities, please contact Lisa Morales at 326 2175 or visit offices located in the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library 262. University office hours are 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through 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