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Spirit is published three times per year by the Texas A&M Foundation, which manages major gifts and endowments for the benefit of academic programs, scholarships and student activities at Texas A&M University.

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Also In This Issue

On Campus: News From Across Texas A&M

A Scientific Extravaganza  

Science lovers of all ages attended the annual Physics and Engineering Festival, hosted by the Department of Physics and Astronomy, on April 9. This entertaining, informative and free event boasts interactive demonstrations and lectures by prominent scientists and astronauts each spring. 

This year’s event drew more than 5,500 attendees who navigated hands-on experiments and displays illustrating basic scientific and engineering-related concepts and principles. Participants unleashed their inner scientists through cycling on a square-wheeled bicycle, running through a pool of cornstarch, trying their hands at generating electricity and shooting balloons with lasers, among other activities.

Student teams affiliated with the university-funded Discover, Explore and Enjoy Physics and Engineering Program built many of the 200 demonstrations.

Attendees also had the chance to meet Nobel Prize-winning Texas A&M physicists David Lee and Dudley Herschbach as well as NASA astronaut and professor Bonnie Dunbar, a veteran mission specialist who flew on five missions.

The festival concluded with a public lecture by internationally recognized theoretical physicist Sean Carroll from the California Institute of Technology, who discussed the nature of time and the Big Bang.

Research at Sea

Hosted every spring by the nautical archaeology program within the College of Liberal Arts’ anthropology department, Shipwreck Weekend informs the public about ongoing research into ships and shipboard life at Texas A&M.

Graduate students in the nautical archaeology program plan the daylong event, which took place April 9 and included guest speakers and interactive activities for attendees.

The day kicked off with a keynote lecture by William Murray, author of The Age of Titans: The Rise of Great Hellenistic Navies, which explored naval strategies during the Hellenistic age. Following him was Dave Ruff ’13, a master’s student in nautical archaeology, who spoke about the university’s affiliation with the Institute of Nautical Archaeology, a nonprofit international research organization based in College Station that conducts work around the globe on shipwrecks and submerged sites.

Events concluded with an open house featuring educational activities for children and adults to explore their archaeological interests. Attendees learned how to tie a sailor's knot and write underwater, and had the opportunity to try on diving gear and experience a virtual tour of an underwater wreck site with the help of 3-D goggles.

Career Couture

Aggies across Texas A&M University System institutions won’t have a problem dressing for success thanks to a new business attire rental service called the Texas A&M Career Closet.

A $70,000 donation from The Chancellor’s Century Council, in addition to donations from the Texas A&M Career Center and the Student Government Association, will fund closets at all 11 system institutions. The College Station Career Closet is already open for business in the Memorial Student Center.

Texas A&M students may make an appointment in person or online to visit the Career Closet and check out a suit in their size. The closet currently has 200 suits available for rent: 100 for men and 100 for women (50 skirts and 50 pants suits).

“Our goal is to ensure students are selected for intern and job positions based off of merit, not simply because of the professional attire they can or cannot afford,” said graduate student Mason Parish ’14, executive director of the closet.

Students can rent a suit for up to five business days for a $5 fee, which covers the cost of dry cleaning.

The Career Closet accepts donations of dress shirts, ties, jackets and other business attire items. A long-term goal is to generate a $100,000 endowment at the Foundation to cover future operating costs. To donate, visit give.am/TAMUCareerCloset

Aggie Memorabilia Wanted!

In an effort to preserve the traditions, history and legacy of Texas A&M, Cushing Memorial Library and Archives is seeking memorabilia pertaining to the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band, Texas A&M Yell Leaders and Aggie athletics. Cushing will accept donations of jerseys, equipment, jackets, banners, sweaters or any other related artifact. To inquire about donating memorabilia, contact University Archivist Greg Bailey at gtbailey@library.tamu.edu.

Class Notes

  • Wild, Wild West

    Texas A&M’s West Campus will get a little wilder in June 2017 when a new 80,000-square-foot Wildlife, Fisheries and Ecological Sciences Building opens for classes.
  • Secure Degree

    In fall 2016, a new cybersecurity minor in the College of Education and Human Development will prepare students to defend against cybercrimes such as intellectual property violations, child exploitation, and banking and finance fraud. Classes for the minor will range from programming to forensic investigative sciences.
  • New Master in Business

    In fall 2016, Mays Business School will accept its first class of students for a new 10-month master of science in business program. The program will prepare non-business undergraduates to enter the workforce with quantitative skills and an understanding of best leadership practices.
  • Maritime Online

    Texas A&M University at Galveston is the first U.S. institution to offer an online master’s degree program for maritime administration and logistics professionals.
  • Vet Expansion

    The Texas A&M University System will expand veterinary education and research beyond College Station to four system universities: West Texas A&M University, Prairie View A&M University, Texas A&M University-Kingsville and Tarleton State University. This will allow the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences to meet veterinary needs throughout Texas. Each institution is located in regions of Texas with unique animal health needs and strengths.
  • Women Leaders

    Two women will serve in high-ranking student leadership positions for the 2016-2017 school year: Meteorology major Cecille Sorio ’17 (left) was selected as Texas A&M’s second woman Corps commander, while human resource development major Hannah Wimberly ’17 (right) was elected the first female student body president in 15 years.