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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Checking In

Chancellor+John+Sharp+awarded+University+President+Michael+K.+Young+a+ceremonial+key+to+the+Texas+A%26amp%3BM+Hotel+and+Conference+Center.
Photo by Photo by Jesse Everett

Chancellor John Sharp awarded University President Michael K. Young a ceremonial key to the Texas A&M Hotel and Conference Center.

Texas A&M leaders came out Monday morning to celebrate the grand opening of the Doug Pitcock ‘49 Texas A&M Hotel and Conference Center, which has begun welcoming guests in time for Thursday’s football season opener.
While the 250,000 square-foot hotel and conference center was set to be completed in time for the Sept. 8 Clemson game, vice chancellor of business affairs Phillip Ray said the process ran ahead of schedule. The hotel project is one of many utilizing the university’s public-private partnership program, used to complete other major developments such as the adjacent Cain parking garage.
“This is just another in a long legacy of projects that we’ve built on behalf of the benefit of Texas A&M without using a single dollar of university money or student tuition money,” Ray said.
Also in attendance were Texas A&M System Chancellor John Sharp, University President Michael Young, chairman of the board of regents Charles Schwartz and the namesake of the hotel, Doug Pitcock.
A long-time supporter of the university, Pitcock graduated with a degree in civil engineering and went on to become one of the nation’s leading transportation infrastructure developers.
During his career, Pitcock co-founded the major highway construction firm Williams Brothers Construction, became part of the National Transportation Policy Study Commission under Gerald R. Ford’s administration in 1976 and served as president of Associated General Contractors of America in 1984. Before becoming the namesake of the new hotel, Pitcock made his mark on Aggieland by funding numerous scholarships, fellowships and research projects.
Schwartz said A&M’s hotel is the leader among similar buildings at other college campuses, and the facility brings a host of new opportunities.
“We are so proud that this is on our campus, and it’s going to mean so many things for us,” Schwartz said. “It will allow us to recruit faculty. It will help us recruit students. We will hold national and worldwide conferences in this conference center and people will always talk about this hotel, this facility, this stadium, this campus.”
The Texas A&M Hotel and Conference Center has been certified by the International Association of Conference Centers (IACC), a group of more than 300 meeting venues in 23 countries. Sharp said earning the IACC certified designation places A&M’s hotel in the top one percent of hotels around the world.
“One of the things you strive for in the hotel business is to get this designation, and this hotel has received this designation last week,” Sharp said.
Sharp said he is proud to use Pitcock’s name on campus, emphasizing the former student’s philanthropy and business ventures.
“He is a true Aggie,” Sharp said. “There isn’t anyone that deserves the honor of having this hotel named after him [more] than one of our greatest benefactors.”
Accepting the ceremonial key to the hotel, Young said the facility reflects the quality and excellence for which the university is known.
“There’s no place on any beach that compares to this location we have here,” Young said. “We want to represent to the world that this is what we look like, and we want everyone who walks across this hotel to know that Doug Pitcock is an alumnus of this university and what he stands for in this state and what he has done in this state.”
Over half of the hotel staff is comprised of current and former students. Recreational, parks and tourism services junior Amber Crawley said working at the hotel gives her the opportunity to educate others about A&M’s culture.
“You really get to capture the ‘howdy hospitality’ that we have here,” Crawley said. “You get to see what A&M is all about and you get to be the difference in those people that come in and ask what is A&M is all about and show why we do what we do.”

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