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Texas A&M University-Central Texas land transfer agreement with Fort Hood signed today in U.S. Capitol

Office of University News & Information
&dingbat8232;Randy McCauley, Public Relations & Marketing Manager&dingbat8232;
254-519-5491&dingbat8232; 

&dingbat8232;FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
&dingbat8232;April 30, 2009

TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY-CENTRAL TEXAS LAND TRANSFER AGREEMENT WITH FORT HOOD SIGNED IN U.S. CAPITOL

As Tarleton State University System Center-Central Texas moves to independent status

COLLEGE STATION, Texas – In a special ceremony today at the U.S. Capitol, Army Secretary Pete Geren and Texas A&M System Chancellor Michael D. McKinney signed an agreement to transfer 662 acres from Fort Hood to The Texas A&M University System.

The land transfer is the culmination of five years of work by Congressman Chet Edwards (D-Waco) and Congressman John Carter (R-Round Rock).

“This is an important day for Central Texas. We have taken another step to invest in our economy, improve educational opportunities and make a significant difference in the lives of troops and their families,” said Edwards, chairman of the House subcommittee on military construction and veterans affairs appropriations.
Texas A&M University-Central Texas’ enrollment of 1,204 full-time equivalent students for the spring semester exceeded the benchmark required for independent university status. Texas A&M-Central Texas is the 10th independent university in the Texas A&M System.

“We are very pleased that the Army has completed the transfer of its land to the A&M System. This is a plan that the community has been working on for many years and is another step in helping us function as an independent campus,” Tarleton-Central Texas executive director Garry Ross said.

In payment for this permanent campus site, Texas A&M-Central Texas will provide classroom space to Fort Hood and the Army for the next 16 years.

“The expansion of the A&M System is already having a profound impact on the economy, academic excellence and access to higher education for all Texans,” said McKinney. “Since its doors first opened a decade ago, the Killeen campus has been poised to make Central Texas a vital part of our overall vision. This land makes that vision a reality and ensures that Texas A&M University-Central Texas commands a strategic position for upcoming advances in research and commercialization in collaboration with the A&M System, Fort Hood and our many partners.”

The signing in Washington today continues a rapid period of growth for the A&M System:

· With the addition of Texas A&M-Central Texas and the new Texas A&M University-San Antonio, the A&M System now consists of 11 universities, seven state agencies and a health science center. The system educates more than 109,000 students.

· In January, the system was awarded a grant from the state’s Emerging Technology Fund to revolutionize production of drugs and vaccines to fight diseases from cancer to influenza and counteract bioterror threats such as anthrax or Ebola.

· The system’s capital improvements plan has grown to $2.5 billion in construction.

· In March, the A&M System advanced its Mission Military Friendly program as all system universities achieved full “military friendly” status from the Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges, which sets national standards for the designation.

· On April 28, the A&M System and the Port of Corpus Christi Authority entered a historic arrangement for the A&M System to develop a 1,009 acre-site at and adjacent to Naval Station Ingleside. The NSI site, which includes a deepwater port, will become a major national center for academic research and the development of wind power and other renewable energy resources.

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