New Alumni Center Open, Student Center Move-In Dec. 1

COMMERCE, Texas – The new Texas A&M University-Commerce Alumni Center is open and this month welcomed graduates back to campus at Homecoming.

The $1.2 million red brick building on Stonewall Street complements the campus and the nearby Wathena Temple Fine Arts Building and the Ferguson Social Sciences Building.

“It’s a beautiful facility,” President Dan Jones said of the Alumni Center in his remarks to faculty and staff at the second in a series of University Community Updates held recently.

Housed in the building are the Alumni Relations Office and facilities for meetings and university and alumni events.

With the completion of the new building, the Alumni Relations staff will now focus on reconnecting with graduates and former students, including recent alumni and those who graduated in the 1990s after East Texas State University joined the Texas A&M University System and changed its name to A&M-Commerce.

“We want to reconnect with alumni and former students through the Pride magazine and the events hosted in various counties that alumni and former students are invited to attend,” said Stephanie Peebles, 2005 A&M-Commerce graduate who serves as events coordinator in the Alumni Relations Office.

Another new building on campus — the Sam Rayburn Student Center — will soon be open with move-in day on Dec. 1. The grand opening is set for late January, Jones said.

The $25.4 million facility will feature a student club, an expanded student organization suite, eating places, and wireless internet throughout. The 92,000 square foot building is located across from the Science Building on West Neal Street.

During the University Community Update, Jones announced that A&M-Commerce will gain an additional $1.8 million in incentive funding, which is based on an increase in the number of degrees awarded from 2004 to 2007.

There will be funding challenges for Fiscal Year 2010 and 2011 due to a revision in funding formulas from the state, Jones said. The potential impact is a $4 million reduction for those two years, he said.

With enrollment steady at about 9,000, the President has established a Strategic Enrollment Management Committee with the charge to look for ways to promote growth in student numbers.

Searches are being conducted for Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Vice President for Institutional Advancement, and Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. Dr. Mary Hendrix, interim provost and vice president for Academic/Student Affairs, will be named to a new post after the provost is hired. Hendrix will head the Division of Student Affairs as Vice President for Student Access and Success.

NEW A&M-C ALUMNI CENTER — The Texas A&M University-Commerce Alumni Center opened this fall. This red brick building on Stonewall Street houses the Alumni Relations Office and includes meeting rooms and facilities for university and alumni events.