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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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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

President’s Office donates $50,000

Texas A&M University President Elsa A. Murano presented the Children’s Center Director Di Fontenot with a $50,000 check as a gift for the new Becky Gates Children’s Center and Multipurpose Building from the president’s office at the ribbon cutting Wednesday morning.
“Within these walls we are helping to develop the leaders of our Aggie future,” Murano said.
Becky Gates, who was at the ceremony with her husband, former A&M president and Secretary of State Robert Gates, said she was “delighted to see the fruition of the ’10 year’ plan happen.”
The building was founded in part by a $1 million donation from Arthur McFerrin Jr, Class of 1965, and his wife Dorothy.
“If it wasn’t for Becky’s interest in the children’s center a lot of us wouldn’t have known about it or gotten involved,” Dorothy said.
Those who spoke at the ceremony agreed that the Children’s Center is important to the future of A&M.
“It gives students and faculty peace of mind that their children are safe,” said member of the Board of Regents Morris Foster. “It also gives [the children] the best opportunity to succeed in life.”
At the end of the ceremony, the children from the center gathered outside and recited a phrase, “We’re building a better future.”
Opened in 1998, the center is a child care and preschool program that provides care for children of Texas A&M students and faculty.
The center’s mission statement, as stated on childrens-center.tamu.edu, is to promote access to higher education through affordable, accessible, quality developmental child care for university parents and was created to provide support to A&M families, including undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and staff.
An affiliate of A&M, the center is under the guidance of the Division of Student Affairs and is certified by the Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services. It is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children.
After being approved by the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents, the groundbreaking for the 2,880 square foot multipurpose building was on Sept. 23, 2006.
The center, which has had more than 2,000 children enter and has granted more than $500,000 of scholarship money since it opened, now serves more than 150 children ranging in age from 12 months to five years. There are 250 children on the waiting list.
Open year-round, the center’s schedule matches the A&M staff calendar with the exception of two days. All tuition and fees are reinvested in the mostly self-supporting
center to “provide a quality program for children and families,” the Children’s Center Web site says.
The center is now working on a project that will make the facilities more environmentally friendly called “Gates Goes Green.”

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