Science Building To Be Named After Former President
Commerce, Texas (Aug. 13, 2012)—The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents approved the recommendation by current President Dan Jones, Ph.D. to name the science building in honor of former President Keith McFarland, Ph.D.
“It came as a complete surprise to me, and I don’t know anything that the university has done for me over the years that was more gratifying than that,” McFarland said. “I was just thrilled and honored at the same time.”
McFarland’s retirement in 2008 came two years after formal dedication of the $28 million stat-of-the-art building. When he found out during the design process that there might not be a planetarium added, McFarland interjected thoughts echoing his original statement at the dedication that individuals, businesses, institutions, and governments that do not keep up with the times are doomed to failure. As a historian, McFarland was then aware of the importance of and need for change, and stood by this belief when commenting about the building plans.
“I said I won’t interfere,” McFarland said. “But then when the plans were drawn, they had the planetarium as an optional piece of construction, I said ‘I told you I wasn’t going to, but I am.’ It is absolutely essential that we have a planetarium in there because it’s going to be so important for our outreach to the school districts in this Northeast Texas area.”
No date has been set for a formal dedication of the Keith D. McFarland Science Building.
McFarland was the university’s 10th president. Prior to his presidency in 1998, McFarland served in various roles at A&M-Commerce as a history professor, department head, and dean of the graduate school.
For more information, please visit http://www.ketr.org/post/am-commerce-science-building-bear-mcfarlands-name.