The Texas A&M University Higher Education Center in McAllen. (Mark Guerrero/Texas A&M Marketing & Communications)
Abbott said the center is part of his “60 by 30” plan in which he hopes that by 2030, at least 60 percent of young adults in the state will be enrolled in college to meet the demands of a robust Texas economy.
“This new center will be a starting point for many,” he said. “If students want to go to College Station to earn their Aggie degree, that’s great. And if they want to earn their degree down here in McAllen, that’s great, too.”
John Sharp, chancellor of The Texas A&M University System, praised Abbott and the Texas Legislature for funding the new facility, which has 61,000 square feet of space for classrooms, labs, offices, conference rooms, coffee shops and other special-purpose areas.
“This is a dream come true for us,” Sharp said. “Students here in McAllen will be part of the Aggie family and wear their Aggie rings just like students in College Station. I want to thank Gov. Abbott and our Texas leaders for making this day possible and for creating new educational opportunities for the entire Rio Grande Valley.”
Texas A&M President Michael K. Young said the new center “represents great vision from our chancellor and our state leaders.
“We have developed a unique partnership with South Texas College and the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley and together, we can offer students in this region exciting new educational programs,” Young said.
“We have been welcoming students from the Rio Grande Valley to our College Station campus for well over 100 years. We had planned to enroll about 50 students for our first classes recently, but today we have 202 students enrolled here to be Aggies and 18 faculty members. So this is a dream come true for all of us.”