BRYAN-COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Earlier today, RELLIS Academic Alliance and Blinn College District officials gathered to celebrate the Fall 2021 graduating class of the partners within the RELLIS Academic Alliance.
This fall over 35 graduates received their bachelor’s degree from a regional university partner. Thirty-two of those students gathered to mark the occasion by participating in the ceremony held at the Brazos County Expo Center.
“We are honored to gather together to celebrate the achievements of this amazing group of graduates,” said John Sharp, Chancellor of The Texas A&M University System. “It is exciting to see bright minds take advantage of the unique educational experience that is the RELLIS Campus and we look forward to seeing how they impact their communities for the better.”
Founded in 2016, the RELLIS Academic Alliance consists of ten Texas A&M System regional universities and Stephen F. Austin State University. Together, they offer a combined 28 bachelor’s degree programs in subjects ranging from criminal justice, social work and public administration to biology, health sciences, and computer science. To date, over 125 students have received bachelor’s degrees from a regional university partner at the RELLIS Academic Alliance.
In fall 2018, 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 the community college partner in the RELLIS Academic Alliance, Blinn is proud to work collaboratively with each member university to provide students a seamless pathway to an affordable bachelor’s degree,” said Dr. Mary Hensley, Chancellor of the Blinn College District. “It has been an honor to support these students on their way to academic and career success.”
Among the group of students celebrating today is Tashra Lewis, a non-traditional West Texas A&M University graduate. Lewis grew up in the area and was inspired by her father’s work as a sheriff’s deputy to pursue a criminal justice degree at RELLIS. After a chance meeting with a WTAMU representative, she realized she could continue her work in the public health sector by pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences degree.
“I have been working as a community health worker doing outreach to the community in an effort to resolve health disparities for many years, and I really love my job” said Lewis. “Once I realized I could continue with that type of work and further my career with a degree I knew I had found the right program for me.”
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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