DATE:  November 1, 2004
CONTACT: Heather Guerrero, Director, Foundation and Donor Relations, (361) 825-3320; Melissa Goonan, Public Affairs Manager, (361) 825-2337
Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi President to be honored with ‘Tribute to Bob’ Dinner at Ortiz Center
Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst will speak at event benefiting the Gloria and Robert R. Furgason Series for Visual and Performing Arts

Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi President Dr. Robert R. Furgason will be honored for 14 years of service to the University and the Coastal Bend Community with a special “Tribute to Bob” dinner on Thursday, Nov. 4 at the Solomon P. Ortiz International Center.

A reception for Dr. Furgason and his wife Gloria will be held at 6 p.m. followed by dinner at 6:30 p.m. Guest speaker for the event will be Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst. At the dinner, the University will announce the total contributions to date for the Gloria and Robert R. Furgason Series for the Visual and Performing Arts. The endowment will help the University bring distinguished performing artists and national lecturers to the Performing Arts Center, as well as traveling exhibits to the South Texas Institute for the Arts.

“Throughout his tenure as president, Bob Furgason and his wife Gloria have been champions for the visual and performing arts,” said Dr. Trent Hill, vice president for Institutional Advancement at A&M-Corpus Christi. “Their persistent efforts led to the expansion of the South Texas Institute for the Arts and the $18 million world-class Performing Arts Center. With these facilities comes the opportunity and responsibility to bring first-rate performances, lectures and exhibits to the South Texas Community.”

Furgason, who has overseen unprecedented growth in enrollment, programs and facilities since becoming the University’s president in December 1990, will relinquish his position to become director of the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies.

During his tenure, the University has won numerous awards for its academic programs. In 2004, A&M-Corpus Christi became the first two-time recipient of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Star Awards for outstanding programs geared toward student development.

When Furgason took over as president of then-Corpus Christi State University it was an independent upper-level university with an enrollment of less than 4,000 students. Today, A&M-Corpus Christi is a four-year institution with approximately 8,000 students in 39 undergraduate, 26 graduate and four doctoral programs offered through the University’s five colleges.

Prior to becoming president at the University, Furgason, 68, was vice president for Academic Affairs and professor of chemical engineering at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He earned his B.S. and M.S. in chemical engineering from the University of Idaho and holds a Ph.D. from Northwestern University.