ROCKWALL – Over 100 people gathered to witness the opening and official ribbon-cutting ceremony for Texas A&M University-Commerce in the Rockwall Industrial Park last Friday afternoon.
According to Texas A&M-Commerce Public Relations Director, Andi Miller, the new, 25,500 sq. ft. state-of-the-art facility, fully integrated with technology, is designed to optimize students’ learning.
It will offer Masters in Business Administration (MBA), Masters in Education (M.Ed.) in Curriculum and Instruction, and a Doctorate in Education (Ed.D.) in Supervision, Curriculum and Instruction, among other degrees.
“It offers unique educational and business opportunities in a variety of available spaces,” she said. “It holds nine classrooms and multiple office spaces; a library with computer, printer and copier access; video- and tele-conferencing capabilities; an Atmos Energy conference Room; 80-inch smart boards; and glass white boards.
The new school is surrounding by L-3 Communications, Graphics Microsystems, Precision Sheet Metal, EZ-Flo International and Zotec Partners.
A program of distinguished speakers took to the podium including Congressman Ralph Hall; Dr. James R. Hallmark, Vice Chancellor for the Texas A&M University System; Dr. Dan R. Jones, President of A&M-Commerce; and Noah Nelson, Director of Community Engagement and Media Relations.
“We are so glad to have A&M here at Rockwall,” Congressman Hall said early in the program. “There’s nothing more important to me than education. If you have education you know what you’re doing, you have the right to do it, you know what your rights are, you know how to treat your fellow persons, and there’s nothing more important to this nation today in this hard day and time.”
While A&M-Commerce has offered educational services in Rockwall for over a decade, Dr. Jones said this event celebrated a lasting commitment to the Rockwall community through A&M-Commerce’s expanded presence.
“We’ve been in Rockwall for about 12 years now operating on a somewhat limited scale in partnership with Rockwall ISD,” he explained. “We outgrew our space, they needed more room, and we certainly needed more room to stretch our wings and grow, and that’s why we find ourselves here tonight. We’ve been long-time partners in education in the community, but this facility takes that commitment to a new and higher level of service.”
Dr. James R. Hallmark said he thinks A&M-Commerce is the most forward-thinking of the 11 university system.
“We are very proud, in the A&M System, of Texas A&M University-Commerce” he said. “In my estimation this university is the most forward-thinking of the 11 universities in the A&M system. It’s particularly true because of these kinds of events where they are going to great lengths to partner with communities in this region to bring educational opportunities, to bring economic foundations, and improve and further contribute to the cultural wealth of this region.”
Members of the Rockwall Chamber of Commerce joined the dignitaries for the cutting of the ribbon. Judging by the show of hands, most of those attending either attended or graduated from A&M Commerce or East Texas State University, which it was previously called.
By J.J. Smith