Attendees enjoyed a presentation from the Bush School exhibiting its intelligence studies program, which has placed approximately 300 graduates in intelligence careers. Guest speakers from the Bush School stressed the public need for dedicated young Americans to pursue intelligence careers in the interest of national security. Presenters also emphasized the school’s evolving intelligence initiatives in the aftermath of 9/11 and the impact that educators with real-world experience have on students within the program.
Professor James Olson, who was formerly Chief of Counterintelligence at the Central Intelligence Agency, participated in the presentation. “I don’t think many of our donors were aware before today that the Bush School is building an outstanding intelligence studies program,” Olson said. “I’m proud that the Bush School is doing its part in preparing Aggies for exciting and important careers in keeping our country safer.”
In a hands-on experience put on by the College of Architecture, attendees learned about the Learning Interactive Visualizations Experience (LIVE) Lab within the Department of Visualization. The LIVE Lab is a one-of-a-kind program that employs graduate and undergraduate students who build high-end educational video games for use in classrooms across the globe. André Thomas, director of the LIVE Lab, demonstrated two games created by students in the program, ARTe: Mecenas and Variant: Limits.
“It was such an honor to meet and present to our donors at Texas A&M,” said Thomas. “Words can’t describe the gratitude I feel toward every single one of our donors, because they help our students and faculty and allow us to be one of the best universities in the world for students and researchers.” Attendees gained an inside perspective on how student-produced titles in the LIVE Lab can teach subjects such as calculus and art history through intuitive gaming experiences impossible to replicate in a traditional classroom.
Representatives from the Health Science Center gave attendees an inside look at Disaster Day, the largest student-led interprofessional emergency response simulation in the country. Part of the presentation highlighted a former student from the College of Nursing who utilized skills she had developed through the program in the wake of the tragic 2017 Las Vegas shooting.
“Exploration Day was a tremendous opportunity for us to highlight how important it is for professionals from multiple disciplines to work together in times of tragedy,” said Dr. Angela Clendenin, instructional assistant professor in the School of Public Health. “We were honored to demonstrate the impact the Disaster Day training exercise has on preparing the next generation of healthcare professionals to be leaders in times of crisis. Through generous donor support, programs like Disaster Day ensure that the healthcare workforce of tomorrow will be equipped and ready to respond when disaster strikes.”
Finally, guests were brought on deck for a tour of the state-of-the-art ship simulator used by Aggies in the Texas A&M Maritime Academy at Texas A&M University at Galveston, one of only six state maritime academies in the United States. While they explored the simulator, representatives from the maritime academy explained how it allows cadets to test their naval navigation skills in a controlled and accurate environment before they go behind the mast of a real ship.
“We’re excited to have the opportunity to showcase the Galveston Campus and the Texas A&M Maritime Academy during the Foundation’s Exploration Day,” said Col. Michael Fossum, chief operating officer and vice president of Texas A&M University at Galveston. “The education and training we provide our students prepares them to literally drive the blue economy in the Gulf region. We’re grateful to be able to share the technology we use with our Aggie supporters.”
After guests explored all four experiences, Texas A&M President Michael K. Young gave a keynote address during lunch in which he thanked donors for their support throughout the Lead by Example campaign, a $4 billion fundraising effort for the university that recently reached its $3.8 billion point. The campaign is the largest higher education campaign in Texas history and one of the largest conducted nationally by a public university.
Texas A&M Foundation
The Texas A&M Foundation is a nonprofit organization that aspires to be among the most trusted philanthropies in higher education. It builds a brighter future for Texas A&M University, one relationship at a time. To learn more, visit txamfoundation.com.
Lead by Example Campaign
Launched in 2015, Texas A&M University’s third comprehensive fundraising campaign, Lead by Example, is a joint effort between Texas A&M and its affiliate fundraising organizations: the Texas A&M Foundation, The Association of Former Students, the 12th Man Foundation and the George and Barbara Bush Foundation. With a goal of reaching $4 billion by 2020, it is the largest higher education campaign in Texas history and one of the largest conducted nationally by a public university. For more information, visit leadbyexample.tamu.edu.