COLLEGE STATION, April 29, 2011 - The historic, renovated and expanded Memorial Student Center at Texas A&M will reopen next April - several months ahead of schedule - University President R. Bowen Loftin announced today.
"I am extremely delighted to announce that the Memorial Student Center - a powerful and symbolic living memorial to all fallen Aggies - will officially reopen on April 21, 2012, several months earlier than previously announced. It is particularly fitting to reopen the building on the day Aggies will hold Muster ceremonies worldwide, a time-honored tradition to pay tribute to those who have passed away the previous year," Loftin said while speaking at a private construction milestone luncheon attended by hundreds of students, campus project planners and contract construction personnel.
The bigger and better MSC - as the facility is affectionately known to thousands of present and former students, as well as faculty, staff and visitors - was scheduled to reopen in the summer of 2012.
Loftin emphasized that opening the facility sooner than anticipated clearly reaffirms the promise made to students when the facility closed a year ago for construction that all currently enrolled students would have an opportunity to utilize, enjoy and embrace the tradition of the MSC for at least one year during their academic career at Texas A&M. The facility has been out of operation since construction began in 2009.
Senior Collin Laden, an international studies and Spanish major from The Woodlands, who is president of the MSC, said that while the project is still a year away from completion, it is gratifying to witness a student-led campaign that began two years ago come one step closer to fruition.
"Since the very beginning of this exciting project, students have played an active and integral role in all aspects of this endeavor, including participating in the decision-making process regarding architectural, design and other related matters," Laden said.
Hundreds of students, faculty and staff were also given a "sneak preview" inside the still-under-construction 12th Man Hall, one of the main focal points of the facility during the construction milestone celebration.
"As we walked through the building today and got a glimpse of what it will eventually offer, I can already envision that the countless Aggies and others who visit the MSC will quickly realize that it is much more than just a building - it echoes our rich history and traditions and is the heartbeat of Aggie life," Laden added.
When completed next year, the $120 million project will help meet the growing needs for education, leadership development and social activities for generations of Aggies to come. Student fees covered most of the $105 million cost, with the additional money coming from private fund-raising efforts. Through the Texas A&M Foundation, these eight donors made significant gifts to the project: Mary W. and James B. Crawley of Norman,Okla.; the Jean Deere Estate; Patti and Weldon D. Kruger of College Station; Dorothy and Artie McFerrin Jr. of Kingwood; the late Lt. Col. Jack H. Murray Jr.; Trisha and L.C. "Chaz" Neely of San Antonio; Alice A. and Erle A. Nye of Dallas; and Kay and Britt Rice of College Station.
The MSC was originally dedicated April 21, 1951, renovated in the early 70s, and again in the early 90s when student enrollment was approximately 32,000.
Loftin also expressed gratitude to Vaughn Construction and Tom Vaughn, the firm's CEO and a 1989 Texas A&M graduate, for their tireless efforts to advance the completion of the project that "has special meaning to Aggies around the world."
For more information about the project, to go to http://ourmsc.tamu.edu/