BRYAN-COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Earlier today, RELLIS Academic Alliance and Blinn College District officials gathered to celebrate the first in-person graduation ceremony hosted by the RELLIS Academic Alliance.
This spring over 40 graduates received their bachelor’s degree from a regional university partner. Twenty-five of those students gathered to mark the occasion by participating in the ceremony held at the Brazos County Expo Center. Two additional graduates from Spring 2020 also returned to campus for the ceremony.
“After an unprecedented year we are honored to gather in-person to celebrate this group of graduates,” said John Sharp, Chancellor of The Texas A&M University System. “This historic relationship with our regional university partners and Blinn has provided the ideal place for students to develop the foundations needed to be successful and we look forward to seeing how they impact their communities for the better.”
Founded in 2016, over 90 students have received bachelor’s degrees from a regional university partner at the RELLIS Academic Alliance. Currently, ten Texas A&M System regional universities and Stephen F. Austin State University offer a combined 25 bachelor’s degree programs in subjects ranging from criminal justice, social work and public administration to biology, health sciences, and computer science.
In fall 2019, the Blinn College District opened the Walter C. Schwartz building on the RELLIS Campus. The first students on campus utilized the 83,000-square-foot facility until the A&M System completed the 117,000 square-foot Academic Complex. The proximity of the Schwartz building to the RELLIS Academic Complex makes this unique collaborative relationship possible, combining a major university system and a community college at a single location.
“As some of the first students who chose to pursue their bachelor’s degrees at the RELLIS Campus, these graduates have demonstrated the fearless spirit and innovative attitude that makes RELLIS unique,” said Dr. Mary Hensley, Chancellor of the Blinn College District. “It is an honor to help them celebrate their achievements and their many accomplishments to come.”
Among the group of students celebrating today is Margaret Woodard, a non-traditional West Texas A&M University graduate. Woodard returned to the classroom in 2016 after many years working full time to support her husband as he earned a bachelor’s degree and raising two children.
“Returning to school and earning a degree has been a life-long goal of mine, and the experiences and time I’ve spent at RELLIS have opened so many doors for me,” said Woodard. “I am looking forward to returning to the workforce and using my skills learned here to help others.”
For more information about the RELLIS Academic Alliance visit https://rellis.tamus.edu/academicalliance/.
About the RELLIS Campus:
Founded in 2016 by The Texas A&M University System, the RELLIS campus in Bryan, Texas, fosters cutting-edge research, technology development, workforce training and two- and four-year college degrees by tapping the System’s state agencies and multiple universities, along with academic, corporate and government partners outside the System.
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