A&M Central Texas celebrates opening of Heritage Hall
A&M cuts ribbon on Heritage Hall
By PAMELA GRANT
Texas A&M University – Central Texas celebrated the official grand opening and offered tours of its newest building, Heritage Hall, on Friday morning.
The building may be the smallest of the university’s three buildings, but many of those who attended the ribbon cutting predict that it will have an enormous impact on the community and offer great opportunities for staff, students, and the surrounding community.
The new building offers more classroom space including the ROTC Cadet Learning Center and the Human Performance Labs. It has creative teaching and learning spaces including science and research laboratories and will house their historical archives.
There are also several spaces for students and teachers to meet for both social purposes as well as for meetings and projects.
“I predict that this space, and frankly this entire building, is going to be in high demand by our faculty, staff, students, and community members said Peg Gray-Vickrey, Vice President and Provost.
Texas A&M University – Central Texas was established in 2009 as a member of The Texas A&M University System and will soon celebrate its 10th anniversary.
Marc A. Nigliazzo, Inaugural President, said that in that time, they have graduated 6,700 students. About 40 percent of the school’s students are military affiliated. The college is unusual in that the average age of graduates is 34. They also boast a high percentage of first-time graduates.
“One of the things that almost guarantees that you go to college is having somebody at your dinner table that has been to college,” said John Sharp, Chancellor of the Texas A&M University System. “First-time graduates are not just bettering their own lives, they, from that moment on, for the rest of the history and generations to come in that family, forever change what’s going on. They change the conversation at the dinner table from ‘Are you going to go to college?’ to ‘What college are you going to go to?’”
The university has worked to link itself with the military, and they hope to bring all of the local communities together.
“I personally think that at our system, we do a lot of great things. We do a lot of great things for the people of the state of Texas. We do a lot of great things for our students, and we do a lot of great things for our communities,” said Charles W. Schwartz, Chairman of the board of regents of the Texas A&M University System. “What we do here is important…We have fulfilled a need in this community that was not being fulfilled.”
As part of the grand opening, Sara Fox, Student Body President, presented the school with a gift of a Promise Oak Tree meant to stand as a symbol of standing tall like a warrior. The tree is the progeny of the Treaty Oak from Austin, a tree which, despite being poisoned, still stands strong.