Innovation At It’s Best
by Cheval John
The Woodlands, Texas- “Today is an historic day for our institution and yet another example of why Sam Houston State is a great name in Texas education.”
That were the opening remarks of Sam Houston State University (SHSU) president, Dr. Dana Gibson to the audience in attendance at the Grand Opening Ceremony of Sam Houston State University-The Woodlands Center on the campus of Lone Star College-Montgomery.
Among those who were in attendance were members of The Texas State University System’s (TSUS) Board of Regents, TSUS Chancellor Brian McCall, Vice Chancellor of Lone Star College System Rand Key, LSC-Montgemery President Austin A. Lane, U.S. Congressman Kevin Brady, Texas Representative Lois Kolkhorst and representatives from the South Montgomery Woodlands Chambers of Commerce.
The event was streamed lived through SHSU Online for those who could not make it to the ceremony.
The Center is a 144,164 square foot, four story facility that has an auditorium that seats 120, three lecture rooms that holds a seating for 64 students, a five-story parking garage, an 80-seat computer lab and a whole lot more.
It also increases the chance for area residents, who graduated from LSCS with their associate degree and can’t make it onto the main campus, to continue their education at the center to complete their bachelor’s degree.
“The potential for the Woodlands Center is endless,” Dr. Janet Mullings, Executive Director of SHSU-The Woodlands Center said. “As an extension of our main campus, we are bringing the culture of SHSU here.”
“We will enrich this community and in return, they will enrich SHSU through this campus.”
Prior to the opening of the Woodlands Center, SHSU, in conjunction with five area universities, offered classes in the University Center, in partnership with LSCS.
Over time, it became apparent they needed their own building because they were offering 80% percent of the classes.
In 2005, they entered into an agreement that would move the process toward reality.
With the help of Congressman Brady and State Representative Kolkhorst, they secured the funding and in 2009, the deal was finalized that allowed LSCS to donate seven acres of land to Sam Houston, with the understanding that they will be able to teach their classes at the center and use the parking garage for their students, faculty and staff.
They broke ground in the fall of 2010 and in the spring of 2011, they began construction on the property and completed the center in one year.
“Sam Houston State is our top transfer school,” president Lane said. “We are looking forward to offering even more classes out here for our students so that they can transfer seamlessly from Lone Star College-Montgomery.
With the center completed, SHSU have positioned themselves to have a strong presence in the Woodlands and expand their undergraduate and graduate degree programs to the community.
For those students who start their education at a community college, like Lone Star and live in Montgomery County, they do not have to travel long distance to further their education thanks to the Woodlands Center.
“LSCS has been an important partner for us,” Dr. Gibson said. “We realized that many students today need to start at a community college and then transfer….we are really an phenomenal example of that type of partnership with the two of us together.