2013 was another extraordinary year for Texas A&M. Not only did A&M become the largest institution in Texas, moving ahead of the University of Texas by a few hundred students, but it also became one of the most diversified universities in the nation. Fall semester enrollment totaled a record breaking 58,809 students. The Texas A&M Corps of Cadets attracted the largest number of students since 1970, making them the largest uniformed student organization in the nation. Outside of the armed service academies, the Corps provides more officers for the armed services than any other institution. Another huge accomplishment for A&M was a record of graduating 12,289 students during the 2013 calendar year, not including degrees at branch campuses or the health science center. That puts the university very close to its goal of graduating 12,500 students in an academic year by 2015.
With high enrollment numbers and more research programs, came growth. Students and faculty at Texas A&M now boast an exclusive building for the College of Liberal Arts, a new facility to service the health and kinesiology programs of the College of Education and Human Development and a new residence hall. In addition, plans for more residential halls were announced to accommodate the growth of the university. The equestrian team, along with the related education, research and outreach programs, and Parson's Mounted Calvary will be getting a new equine complex located outside of Bryan on Hwy 47. A new athletic training facility will be built near the softball and soccer fields, and the university golf course underwent a multi-million dollar renovation that was completed in the fall. As we all know, Kyle Field is being renovated and expanded over a three-year period. It is with no surprise that other football teams acknowledge Kyle Field as one of the most intimidating stadiums to play in, and with this renovation, Texas A&M will make a statement to amplify and honor the Aggie traditions. When the project is completed in 2015, Kyle Field will be able to accommodate more than 102,000 fans. Kyle Field will be the largest stadium in, not only Texas, but the SEC as well.
A&M's athletic department had a great year, finishing 5th in the NACDA Learfield Directors Cup and 2nd in the men's Capital One Cup. Johnny Manziel won the Heisman Trophy and led the Aggie football team to a victory over the University of Oklahoma at the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic. The 2013 season ended with an exciting second half come back victory against Duke at the Chick-Fil-A Bowl. The men's track and field team won the NCAA outdoor championship with the women's team placing second.
The Bryan/College Station area is the best place to live and work, in my opinion. With a great community and growing university, there is no other place like it. I cannot wait to see what 2014 has in store for the university and community. I know we will all be anticipating more excitement from the Kyle Field renovation and the sports teams.
Photos Courtesy of The Campus Course & KyleField.com