Texas A&M University at Galveston
|Texas A&M University at Galveston|
Branch of Texas A&M University
|President||Rear Admiral Robert Smith III, USN (Ret.)|
|Students||2,305 (Fall 2014)|
|Undergraduates||2,167 (Fall 2014)|
|Postgraduates||138 (Fall 2014)|
|42 (Fall 2014)|
|Location||Galveston, Texas, US|
|Campus||Suburban, 135 acres (0.546 km²)|
|Colors||Maroon and white|
||This article contains content that is written like an advertisement. (April 2015)|
Texas A&M University at Galveston (TAMUG) is an ocean-oriented branch campus of Texas A&M University offering both undergraduate and graduate degrees that are awarded from Texas A&M University in College Station. Students enrolled at Texas A&M University at Galveston, known affectionately as 'Sea Aggies', share all the benefits of students attending Texas A&M University (TAMU) campus in College Station. The by-the-sea island campus environment complements the unique curricular offerings, and includes ocean voyages, sailing in Galveston Bay, beachfront experiments and independent study that complement a traditional rigorous classroom experience. The overall campus atmosphere that is fostered by the faculty, staff, and students distinctly emphasizes the intimate relationship between the Texas-based university and the sea, thus attracting an international faculty and student community that all share a common interest in the ocean. TAMUG is nationally recognized for academic excellence, which is illustrated, for example, by Time Magazine’s Princeton Review ranking TAMUG among the top 650 colleges in the U.S. Only 8 other public colleges in Texas are included.
The ocean-oriented academic programs are accredited regionally and professionally. Academic programs are distinctively ocean-focused, and include marine biology, marine fisheries, marine engineering technology, marine sciences, marine transportation, maritime administration, maritime studies, maritime systems engineering, oceans and coastal resources, university studies (curriculum focused on marine environmental law and policy), and others (see below). It is the home of the Texas Maritime Academy and has a Navy-option-only NROTC unit on campus. (Marine Corps-option NROTC cadets must attend the main campus in College Station, TX.)
Texas A&M University at Galveston began in 1962 as a marine laboratory and as the home of the Texas Maritime Academy. The federal government donated the first training ship, the Texas Clipper, to the Maritime Academy in 1965. In 1968 the campus was expanded with a 100-acre (0.40 km2) donation by George P. Mitchell on Pelican Island. Land was donated again in 1993 with an additional 35 acres (140,000 m2) as well as 14 acres (57,000 m2) on Teichman Road to house TEEX, the sailing and rowing teams. Since then, the academics at Texas A&M at Galveston have been distinctively focused on the ocean: in the fields of marine biology, marine sciences and oceanography, administration, and engineering. Enrollment included 91 students in 1971.
Undergraduate and Graduate Programs
Student Body & Culture: A common trait of all TAMUG students is a desire to work and study amid an ocean environment. Enrollment at TAMUG increased from 551 in 1987 to more than 2000 students in 2012, with projected growth to 3000 students in the coming years. Students originate from 49 different states and the District of Columbia. Science and engineering majors number 75 percent of the student body; 43 percent are women; about 50 percent reported themselves to have been in the top 20 percent of their high school class. Fifty-seven percent plan to pursue a master’s or Ph.D. degree and about 65 percent receive some type of financial aid.
Undergraduate science programs offered by TAMUG include Majors in Marine Biology, Marine Sciences, and many others. Engineering programs include Marine Engineering Technology and Offshore Coastal and Systems Engineering. For students wishing to pursue programs in liberal arts and social sciences, you can pursue the major in Maritime Studies.
The A&M Texas Maritime Academy provides an opportunity for students to learn how to operate and maintain an ocean-going vessel. In addition to classroom and field training during the regular school year, students sail aboard the TMA training ship during three summer cruises to gain practical experience in seamanship, navigation, and operations. Cruises are varied to include Northern Europe, the Caribbean, the Mediterranean and the United States. At the conclusion of the program, Cadets are tested to become licensed as officers in the U.S. Merchant Marine and may seek employment in the exciting field of marine transportation as a licensed Third Mate or Third Assistant Engineer.
Minors in a separate subject area can also be pursued in addition to the declared undergraduate majors. Some Minors are administered solely by TAMUG whereas others are jointly administered by Texas A&M University in College Station. Minor fields of study include: Anthropology, Chemistry, Economics, English, Geology, History, Marine Biology, Maritime Administration, Military Studies, Ocean and Coastal Resources, Oceanography, SCUBA Diving Technology and Methods, and others.
Graduate programs at Texas A&M University at Galveston are administered by the Departments of Marine Biology, Marine Sciences, and Maritime Administration. In the Department of Marine Biology, students may pursue either a PhD or Master's (thesis or non-thesis) in Marine Biology. In the Department of Marine Sciences, students may pursue at Master's of Marine Resources Management that can be completed as either a course-based or thesis-based Master's program. The Department of Maritime Administration administers a Master of Maritime Administration and Logistics (MMAL).
In addition to the local graduate programs administered by the Texas A&M University at Galveston campus, many faculty hold joint graduate or joint appointments in other departments at Texas A&M University at College Station (TAMU). This allows graduate students to enrol in PhD programs at TAMU, yet complete the PhD in residence on the Galveston campus with the appropriate faculty advisor. Other common graduate programs completed at TAMUG include a PhD Oceanography, Master's of Wildlife and Fisheries, etc. As such, students can leverage the positioning of Galveston on the ocean to gain a unique graduate experience in ocean-related research.
Undergraduate students who immediately know they wish to pursue some graduate school may benefit from a "3+2" program, which allows students to concurrently pursue an undergraduate and master's degree. The duration of the program is 5 years, and the student will receive two Texas A&M University degrees (Bachelor's and Master's). These programs are 1 year less than it usually takes to complete these degrees separately (6 years), which provides considerable added value to your educational career. Two programs are currently offered at TAMUG in this fashion: (1) Bachelor of Ocean and Coastal Resources with a Master's of Marine Resources Management in the Department of Marine Sciences, and (2) Bachelor of Maritime Administration and a Masters of Maritime Administration and Logistics in the Department of Maritime Administration.
The Texas Clipper & Other Training Vessels
- TS Texas Clipper, ex-USS Queens (APA-103) — 1965–1996
- TS Texas Clipper II, ex-USNS Chauvenet (T-AGS-29) — 1999–2005
- Sirius, ex-USNS Sirius (T-AFS-8) — 2005-2009 
- S.S. Cape Gibson — 2009–2012
- TS General Rudder, ex-TV Kings Pointer — January 2012 – Present
The Texas Maritime Academy acquired its first training ship in 1965. Previously named the SS Excambion when sailed by American Export Lines, the vessel was renamed the Texas Clipper because of its rounded (or clipper) stern. In 1996 Texas A&M Galveston (of which Texas Maritime was now a part) retired the aging Texas Clipper. In its stead, the school acquired the decommissioned USNS Chauvenet. Built by Upper Clyde Shipbuilders of Glasgow, Scotland in 1970, the new vessel was named the Texas Clipper II as per tradition.
In the summer of 2005, the Texas Maritime Academy took delivery of the USNS Sirius. Built in 1966 as a replenishment ship for the Royal Navy and purchased by the U.S. Navy as a logistics ship, it supported two carrier battle groups in the Indian Ocean during the Iranian hostage crisis and continued its career in the Navy serving across the world, notably in the Persian Gulf. It was retired and given to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD), then assigned to TAMUG under an agreement that it can be activated by MARAD at any time. During the fall of 2005, the Sirius served in New Orleans for Katrina relief, from September 10 until November 29 and at Lake Charles, LA for Rita relief until March 2. Because of its extended relief effort the Sirius was unable to undergo a refit in 2006 to adapt its new role as a training vessel and comply with U.S. Coast Guard safety standards. Because the Sirius had not undergone a refit, it could not be formally commissioned as the USTS Texas Clipper nor could it be used for summer training cruises. This is forcing the University to look to the other state maritime academies (California Maritime Academy from 2006–present) to help fulfill the summer cruise requirements until the work on the Sirius was completed. In the winter of 2009 the US Coast Guard ruled that the Siruis was unfit for training and was prepared for decommissioning while the school looked for a new training ship. On June 25, 2009, the Sirius was returned to the U.S. Maritime Administration.
The Texas A&M Maritime Academy cadets of Texas A&M at Galveston get hands-on training on board the General Rudder.
Texas A&M University has many time-honored traditions, many of which began when the Agriculture and Mechanical College of Texas was established in 1876. Traditions continued to evolve as service in the Corps was no longer a requirement, causing a new generation of students an opportunity to alter traditions. Such traditions involve university sponsored events such as Silver Taps honoring students who have died, to student run events, which include the Student Bonfire.
Students attending TAMUG are known as Sea Aggies. They receive the same Aggie ring as TAMU-College Station students and have the option of attending the ring ceremony in College Station. Sea Aggies may also purchase tickets for all sporting events, fine arts performances, and concerts held in College Station.
Starting in the 1970s, the students of Texas A&M at Galveston created their own Aggie Bonfire, mirroring the traditions of the College Station student body. However, the Galveston campus ceased observance of the tradition after the structure in College Station collapsed on November 18, 1999; killing twelve students. (See Aggie Bonfire for more on the 1999 Bonfire Collapse.)
One tradition unique to the Galveston campus includes underclassmen students rubbing the anchor in front of the library prior to an exam for good luck. To walk beneath the arc of the anchor's chain is reserved as a senior privilege.
TAMUG / Texas A&M Maritime Academy is also home of the William C. Hearn Honor Guard, an organization composed of fifteen cadets. Commonly known as Hearn's Guard, the organization participates in events both on and off-campus. They present a highly visual presence at TAMUG ceremonies, campus events, Galveston parades, and local ceremonies and memorial services.
After disappearing in the late 70's, the Texas Maritime Academy band was resurrected in the Fall of 2010. Under the guidance of CMDR. James Sterling '71 US Navy (Retired), who originated the TMA band as a cadet, the newly established band debuted at the 2010 Parent's Day Pass in Review ceremony.
Silver Taps: Silver Taps is that final tribute paid to an Aggie who, at the time of his death, was enrolled in graduate or undergraduate courses at Texas A&M. It began in 1898 when the first Silver Taps was held in honor of Lawrence Sullivan Ross. Over time, new traditions have been added to Silver Taps. In the 1920’s, the flag was placed at half-staff the day of Silver Taps. The special music "Silver Taps," composed by Colonel Richard J. Dunn, was played by two buglers during the 1930’s. This haunting arrangement is not formally written; it is passed from bugler to bugler. Formerly, Silver Taps was observed as soon as possible after the death of an Aggie. Today it is held on the first Tuesday of each month from September to April, if necessary. Three volleys are fired. "Silver Taps" is played by six buglers three times – to the North, West, and South. It is not played to the East because the sun will never again rise on this Aggie. This concludes the ceremony, but not the feelings of respect and honor.
Response to Hurricane Ike
In preparation of Hurricane Ike, Texas A&M University at Galveston closed on Wednesday, September 10, 2008, at 5 p.m. and evacuation was ordered. Ike made U.S. landfall at Galveston, Texas, on September 13 at 2:10am. It was the third most destructive hurricane to ever make landfall in the United States. The campus was not severely damaged; however, the infrastructure of Galveston Island as a whole was. As a result of Galveston Island not being able to support the close to 1800 students the enormous challenge of relocating all students, administration, and staff began. On Wednesday, September 24, 2008 fall classes resumed in College Station. TAMUG resumed operations in Galveston in the spring of 2009.
- "Texas A&M University Enrollment Profile: Fall 2014" (PDF). Texas A&M University. p. 4. Retrieved October 25, 2014.
- "History". About Us- History.
- http://www.tamug.edu/news/2009SiriusDeparture.html Sirius "Texas Clipper III" returned to the Maritime Administration
- http://www.navsource.org/archives/09/13/135051.htm AK-5051 entry at Navsource.org
- Sirius Returned to Maritime Admin
- "William C. Hearn Honor Guard". Texas A&M University at Galveston website
- Kever, Jeannie (2008-12-14). "'Sea Aggies' return to Galveston for graduation". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2009-09-21.
- "TAMUG students come home to graduate".
- "Galveston students heading home".
- "TAMUG students to return island".
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