By Joseph Hamrick
The Commerce Journal
A lot can be celebrated over a 125 year history.
Wyman Williams, director of Development College of Business and Entrepreneurship at Texas A&M University-Commerce, wants the community to celebrate all 125 years of the university’s history.
Williams is showcasing the history for the first time by licensing all six names the university has used. The licenses will be used to create new memoribilia.
“This is the first time that our university has officially licensed these names,” he said. “I guarantee you that East Texas graduates will be elated to see the name they recognize.”
The new memorabilia was revealed during the kick-off event Thursday at the A&M-Commerce Amphitheater.
Williams said this is the first event of what is hoped to be a year-long celebration.
The university has operated under the A&M-Commerce name for 18 years now, and Williams said they licensed all the names in order to celebrate the legacy of the university and move on to a bright future.
“It’s hard to celebrate the 125 and ignore the first 107 years,” he said. “I get excited thinking about it.”
Members of the crowd ranged from current and former students, to Commerce City Councilmembers and members of the business community.
Williams has given speeches about the university in cities such as Rockwall, Terrell, Sulphur Springs, Greenville and in Commerce.
Williams said he has received nothing but positive responses from the crowds he has spoken to.
One thing Williams said he hopes to see come from this celebration is a renewed sense of pride from Commerce residents.
“We hope this 125 year celebration is used to motivate and educate about our history,” he said, adding he hopes alumni will see what the university continues to offer and “invest in the educational opportunities of the students.”
Wayne Chumley, a university alumnus, said he came to the event to see how the university has grown since he graduated.
“It is phenomenal that the university is still here and growing,” he said. “It is in good hands with Dr. Jones and he has great things in store for it.”
Other alumni said they are proud to see the diversity in the student body since the university desegregated in 1965.
“The diversity of the student body is great,” alumnus Dwight York said.
York has also served on the Alumni Board for 15 years and said he wants members of the community to see the positive effect the university has on students who attend.
“This university is great at offering degrees that are relevant to today’s careers,” he said. “I just want to be a part of it.”
During his speech at the kick-off event, A&M-Commerce President Dr. Dan Jones echoed the sense of ownership that attending the university has among the students and alumni.
“This is your university,” he said. “We want you to be a part of it.”