Also In This Issue

On Campus: News From Across Texas A&M

A Healthier World 

A new Human Clinical Research Facility (HCRF) located on West Campus centralizes research and education in human health, performance, nutrition and well-being at Texas A&M University.

The 21,500-square-foot facility provides ample room for conducting human clinical research trials through an exercise and rehabilitation training facility, a metabolic kitchen for nutritional studies and a clinical research unit with 12 overnight beds. The building also includes an education unit for collaboration and student mentoring.

The HCRF houses two research groups from the Department of Health and Kinesiology in the College of Education and Human Development: the Exercise and Sport Nutrition Laboratory and the Center for Translational Research in Aging and Longevity, which focus on the role of exercise and nutrition in relation to performance and aging, respectively.

“Exercise and nutrition are two keys to human health,” said Richard Kreider, professor and department head of health and kinesiology. “A facility like this will help Texas A&M make strides in improving individuals’ quality of life.”

Synthetic Surgery

Thanks to a new, ultramodern surgical model, doctoral students in the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences can practice an endless number of surgeries without fear of harming live animals.

The SynDaver Surgical Canine, a new component of the college’s surgical training program, is a synthetic yet lifelike animal that will better prepare students for their veterinary careers. Composed of water, fiber and salt, the surgical canine can breathe and bleed like a real dog. It has individual muscles, bones and organs and can be operated on repeatedly, allowing students to practice invasive procedures that would not be practical to perform on a live animal.

“Innovation is at the forefront of all we do, and providing our faculty and students with this futuristic surgical model is another way we are teaching with the latest technologies in surgery,” said Dr. Eleanor Green, the Carl B. King Dean of Veterinary Medicine. “We are pleased to participate in the advancement of state-of-the-art surgical procedures as we train our students to make a positive impact on veterinary medicine.”

New Entrepreneurship Program Launches

A new campus entrepreneurship resource, Blackstone LaunchPad (TAMU), is adding to the growing startup atmosphere at Texas A&M University.  

Officially launched in spring 2017, Blackstone assists students of all majors who have a business idea. Through one-on-one mentorship, online courses, workshops, software and networking tools, the program helps students understand how to form and execute their business ventures. It also assists students who have already formed a company in achieving growth.

The program was created by the Blackstone Charitable Foundation, which works to establish entrepreneurship as a viable career option across American universities. The Foundation has selected 20 U.S. schools for its programs, including two other Texas universities: The University of Texas at Austin and The University of Texas at Dallas.

The LaunchPad has a permanent location in the John J. Koldus Building for meetings and mentorship sessions, a mobile kiosk, and an online platform—the Ideator—that allows student entrepreneurs to connect with other Aggies and students from other universities in the Blackstone network. Former students interested in mentoring future entrepreneurs either virtually or in person should email

“We are excited that Blackstone LaunchPad can act as a central touchpoint for entrepreneurship on campus,” said Don Lewis ’86 ’92, director of the program and executive professor at Mays Business School. Learn more by watching this short video.

Music Activities Center Breaks Ground

Texas A&M University administrators and key donors gathered Sept. 8 for the ceremonial groundbreaking of the new John D. White ’70—Robert L. Walker ’58 Music Activities Center, which featured performances by the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band and the Singing Cadets.

The 70,000-square-foot facility will undergo construction on south campus and open in fall 2019. As the new home to Texas A&M’s 14 bands, choirs and orchestras, the facility will feature amenities including soundproof rooms, lockers for instrument storage, an artificial drill field and four state-of-the-art rehearsal halls.

The facility’s construction is jointly funded through university funds and private gifts to the Texas A&M Foundation. To learn more about available naming opportunities or how you can support the new center, contact Cindy Munson ’99 at (979) 845-7558 or

CLass Notes

  • New Winemaking Certificate

    Texas A&M students of any major can now earn a certificate in winemaking. The new 15-hour enology certificate opened this fall and focuses on viticulture, wine etiquette and sensory evaluation.
  • The American Dream

    The New York Times placed Texas A&M University as one of the top 25 colleges doing the most for the American Dream, based on factors including its freshmen class size, Pell grant share and net price for low- to middle-income students.
  • Excellence in the Cyber World

    The National Security Agency (NSA), along with the Department of Homeland Security, designated Texas A&M University a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations, Education and Research, making it one of only a handful of U.S. academic institutions to hold all three NSA distinctions.
  • Singing Cadets Tour Northern U.S.

    The Texas A&M Singing Cadets made several noteworthy stops on a summer tour of the Northeastern United States. In addition to performing on Fox and Friends and at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, the group visited the Kennebunkport home of former President George H.W. Bush and former First Lady Barbara Bush in celebration of the president’s 93rd birthday in June.

Dunae Reader '15

Assistant Director of Marketing & Communications/Spirit Editor/Maroon Co-Editor