A&M-Commerce Hosts Luncheon to Celebrate Lyon Center for Gamebird Research

Texas A&M University-Commerce hosted a luncheon at the Hilton hotel in Rockwall, Texas, on Tuesday, April 16, to celebrate the university's planned Ted and Donna Lyon Center for Gamebird Research.

This is a photo of a poster that advertises the new Lyon Center. The left side of the poster shows a computer generated image of the center. The right side of the poster shows a quail chick.
A poster commemorates the Lyon Center project. Photo by Matt Strasen | Texas A&M University-Commerce Office of Marketing and Communications

The Lyon Center, which will be located along Highway 24 in Commerce, Texas, approximately 1.5 miles south of the university campus, will feature a state-of-the-art quail research and production facility, a wetland research station, an interactive Quail Encounter experience for visitors, classrooms and meeting spaces, wetland and upland nature trails, and office space for gamebird faculty and students.

Special guests at the luncheon included John Sharp, chancellor of The Texas A&M University System and his wife, Diana Atchison, Senator Royce West, Congressman Chet Edwards, Congressman Bill Sarpalius, the Honorable Tonya Parker, the Honorable Tina Clinton, Representative John Bryant, Representative Keith Oakley, the Honorable Joe Parnell, Senator Ted Lyon, Donna Lyon, friends of the university and The Lyon Center, and A&M-Commerce alumni, faculty, staff, and students.

Chancellor John Sharp stands behind the podium, addressing the audience with his right hand raised. An A&M System flag stands to his right. Vases of sunflowers are in the foreground on the stage.
Chancellor John Sharp speaks to guests at the Lyon Center luncheon. Photo courtesy of DallasEventPhoto.com.

The Lyons kickstarted the Lyon Center in 2022 with a transformational gift, the largest all-cash gift with immediate impact in university history.

At the luncheon, Chancellor Sharp thanked the Lyons for their support and predicted that the new facility will become the leading gamebird research center in the United States.

Dr. Mark Rudin (left) and student Major McBride (right) face the camera and smile. The man on the left has his hand on the shoulder of the man on the right.
A&M-Commerce President Mark Rudin and student Major McBride at the Lyon Center luncheon. Photo courtesy of DallasEventPhoto.com.

Senator Ted Lyon also addressed luncheon attendees, emphasizing that the North American bird population in the U.S. is down almost three billion since 1970.

“My hope is that the scientific research that emanates from this center will lead to revelations that will result in long-term improvements to our environment and to the birds that we all love,” he said.

Dr. Kelly Reyna, director of the Lyon Center, noted that the future looks bright for gamebirds.

“Today marks a new chapter for the future of gamebirds,” he said. “We gather today, not only as bird hunters and conservationists, but also as trailblazers and as changemakers with a clear mission to transform the future of gamebird populations, to produce the next generation of gamebird professionals, and to safeguard a future for the younger generation…”

View photo galleries of the luncheon at the A&M-Commerce Photo Archive and Dallas Event Photo.

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Featured Photo: Senator Ted Lyon and Donna Lyon accept an award at the Lyon Center luncheon. L to R: Dr. Mark Rudin, Senator Ted Lyon, Donna Lyon, Dr. Kelly Reyna. Photo courtesy of DallasEventPhoto.com.