Texas A&M University-Commerce conducted a groundbreaking ceremony on Friday, Dec. 9, to kick off construction of its new Welcome Center. Dubbed the “front door” of the university, the Welcome Center will be located at the main entrance of A&M-Commerce, serving as an inviting first stop for campus visitors.
To open the ceremony, A&M-Commerce President Mark Rudin recognized special guests Bryan Slaton, State Representative, Texas House District 2; Don Montgomery, System Facilities Planning and Construction, The Texas A&M University System; Sarah Butler, Regional Director, Office of United States Senator John Cornyn; Bobby Stovall, Hunt County Judge; and representatives from Satterfield & Pontikes Construction Company.
“We're very excited about today,” Rudin said. “It represents yet another new chapter in A&M-Commerce's future.”
Rudin emphasized that the Welcome Center will create a positive first impression for university guests, hopefully inspiring future students to say, “This university is for me.” He described the Welcome Center as “ground zero,” where the university's core values—like student preparedness, innovation, inclusivity and academic excellence—will be on full display for prospective students and their families.
In his remarks, Rep. Slaton said the Welcome Center is an exciting addition to the university.
“This is a great day for Texas A&M University-Commerce,” Slaton said. “We all know how important it is to make a great first impression on new students and their parents who are going to trust you with the education of their young adults.”
Rep. Slaton also presented a signed resolution to President Rudin from the Texas House of Representatives, commemorating the groundbreaking for the new Welcome Center.
A 3D model of the Welcome Center was displayed at the event, featuring modern architecture designed to visually complement surrounding campus buildings. The center's expansive first-floor Interpretive Center will invite visitors to explore the university's culture and traditions through interactive media installations and digital displays. In addition, huddle rooms will provide comfortable spaces for prospective students and their families to engage with university staff.
“This Welcome Center project will represent the best of who we are as an institution and facility, an opportunity for visiting students and families to learn of our best accomplishments and our proudest moments in scholarship and student success,” said Vice President of Enrollment Management Nechell Bonds.
Photo caption: Representatives break ground for the new Welcome Center (L to R): Tammi Vacha-Haase, VP for Academic Affairs/Provost; Dr. Brent Donham, VP for Research and Economic Development; Judy Sackfield, VP for Student Success/Dean of Students; Nechell Bonds, VP of Enrollment Management; Mark Rudin, A&M-Commerce President; Bryan Slaton, State Representative, Texas House District 2; Tina Livingston, VP for Finance and Administration/CFO; and Devin Girod, VP for Philanthropy and Engagement.