Looking Back on Summer, Forward to FallMICHAEL K. YOUNG
August 26, 2019
On this first day of fall classes, I’d like to welcome you to Texas A&M for another semester of learning, discovery and camaraderie. To our Aggie students, faculty and staff here in College Station, at our campuses in Galveston, McAllen and Qatar, the School of Law in Fort Worth, and our Health Science Center locations across the state, I wish you a successful and enjoyable academic year.
If you were in Aggieland this summer, you may have seen the many new students and their families here for New Student Conference, which this year drew more than 10,000 incoming freshmen, 2,500 transfer students, and 16,500 family members to College Station. New Aggies – we welcome you,we are here for you and I wish you a most wonderful first year of college.
Just over 24,000 Aggies attended summer sessions on our campuses and nearly 2,200 graduated at summer commencement ceremonies. Congratulations to those who earned their Texas A&M degree, one of the most valued in the nation.
In July our new Director of Athletics Ross Bjork assumed the helm. Ross came to us from Ole Miss, where he was highly successful in integrating athletics into the broader university, as well as working to ensure student athletes achieved both in sports and academics. I am excited to see how his leadership will add to our already superb athletics programs.
On the faculty front, Texas A&M has recently opened a new frontier in the study of spinal cord injury in partnership with the Institute for Rehabilitation and Research (TIRR) by hiring four new professors, including Drs. Dylan McCreedy and Jennifer Dulin ‘05 in the Department of Biology, who are investigating the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying innovative methods to improve long-term recovery for injured patients. They are collaborating with researchers from colleges across the university, including Medicine, Engineering, Liberal Arts and Veterinary Medicine, as well as the Texas A&M Institute for Neuroscience, and are on a very promising path to success in this critical area of health care. I wish all those involved the best as they move forward with this exciting initiative.
Much fun outside the classroom unfolded this summer: our former Viz Lab students’ outstanding work in yet another blockbuster movie hit the big screen, a Bush family reunion on campus captured our attention, the annual BBQ summer camp was a big hit, and the College Station fire departmentput its Aggie Spirit on full display.
It was so exciting to see our students enjoying campus activities during Howdy Week, and by all accounts Move-in Day was a success – we welcomed over 11,000 students who moved on to campus.
And as fall semester begins, we have even more great things to look forward to, including later this week when our one-of-a-kind Music Activities Center opens to house all of our Aggie musicians, including the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band.
Looking forward into 2020, new student-centered buildings will further enhance the Aggie experience. Our beautiful Student Services Building, located in the heart of campus near the MSC and Military Walk, will open early in the spring semester. It will bring key student services that are part of the Division of Student Affairs together: Disability Services, Residence Life, Counseling and Psychological Services, the GLBT Resource Center and a variety of other student programs. Additionally, in the fall of 2020 we anticipate the opening of our 21st Century Classroom Building on the corner of Wellborn Road and Old Main Drive next to the Cain Parking Garage. This state-of-the-art facility will feature around 2,200 seats in 10 classrooms, collaborative study spaces and more.
I truly hope you stay connected to the university and follow these campus developments, along with the amazing work of your fellow students, faculty and staff.
Here’s to another terrific academic year at Texas A&M. My best wishes to you all.
Thanks and Gig ‘em!
Michael K. Young