Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Spotlights Community Partnerships, Record-Breaking Successes during State of the University

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – One plus one equals two. It’s the simplest of math equations and one that’s taught to the youngest of learners in their grade school classrooms.

But, what if one plus one could yield far more than two?

That was the scenario presented by Dr. Kelly M. Miller, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi President and CEO, during her annual State of the University address on Sept. 13. Speaking to a capacity crowd of over 500 community and state leaders, supporters, and Islander community members, Miller celebrated the university’s remarkable milestones and lauded its dynamic partnerships for their power to amplify Islander Impact.

“The Island University is setting a standard for excellence in all areas, and we are achieving that excellence at every turn, which allows us to become leaders in higher education,” Miller said. “As we do that, I want you to know that nothing happens in isolation. There are no silos, but instead, we achieve this greatness because of collaboration across campus and partnerships across our community. And in that togetherness, in that collaboration, the sum is always greater than its parts. We are greater because of all of you.”

In her speech, Miller shared highlights from the university’s recent successes which included record-breaking graduation rates and Southland Conference championships wins, along with a milestone of $40 million in research awards.

“When you have a mission and commitment to student success, you get record-breaking results. We had 2,785 students graduate last year, which is the third year in a row with an increase,” Miller said. “We are extremely excited and extremely proud that we’re not only enrolling increased numbers of students, but we’re graduating them and they’re becoming successful members of our community.”

Miller also spoke of the immeasurable successes of the institution.

“You cannot measure the impact that a first-generation college graduate has on their family or their community when they break down barriers and become a role model for people in their lives,” Miller said. “You cannot measure the power of a student who earns their degree and then stays in this community to become a leader adding to our educated workforce.”

Miller went on to share how the Island University’s unique location, combined with its top-quality academic programs, award-winning faculty and staff, and high-achieving Division I Athletics programs garner national recognition not only for the campus but also for the entire Coastal Bend.

“University athletics are the front porch of an institution, and our Islanders Athletics bring prestige and positive recognition to us all,” Miller said. “We’re also listed as America’s No. 1 College by the Sea, and that’s in competition with every university on the coast.”

Miller then gave thanks to the university’s legislative delegation, which in the most recent 88th session, helped the university receive $6.7 million and worked to help the university hold tuition and fees steady.

“They helped us get to zero,” she said. “And when I say zero, that’s a zero increase in tuition and fees for a total of four years.”

Miller went on to describe what she believes is the university’s role in elevating the community’s profile.

“At the Island University, it is our purpose to help students become innovators, problem solvers, critical thinkers, and leaders in their field and in their communities,” Miller said. “It is also our purpose to set a standard of excellence in everything we do so that we can produce the kinds of students that make an incredible workforce here in our community. We produce leaders for the future who help Corpus Christi and the Coastal Bend reach the next level of excellence.”

Miller ended her speech by inviting guests to “be a part of the equation.”

“When it comes to one plus one, you are a very important part of what we do. You can sponsor an event, you can recruit a student to attend TAMU-CC, you can come to an athletics event, concert, or play,” she told the audience. “You can hire an intern, you can name a building, you can become a mentor, or you can bring us a problem that needs a solution. If you do nothing else, share what you learned here today. Show your Islander pride. This is your university, and you are part of its success.”

Two TAMU-CC students emceed the luncheon — Reese Drezins ’24, an Islanders Women’s Golf player and political science major, and Jesse Soliz ’25, a member of the Islander Brass Quintet who is majoring in music industry studies.

This year’s State of the University Islander sponsors are American Bank, Corpus Christi Medical Center, Del Mar College Foundation, Driscoll Health System, Frost, Gulf Coast Growth Ventures, Gloria Hicks, IBC Bank, Kleberg Bank, Port of Corpus Christi, Drs. Veena and Vishnu Reddy, Snyder + Associates, Susser Family, Texas State Aquarium, Turner | Ramirez Architects, Karen and Larry Urban, and Valero.

Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Spotlights Community Partnerships, Successes at State of the University '23

Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi hosted a sold-out State of the University luncheon on Sept. 13. Guests learned about the Islander Impact being made by TAMU-CC students, faculty, staff, and alumni, which ranges from research, economic growth, innovation, entrepreneurship, athletic excellence, and volunteerism.