By Shelbi LeMeilleur with Shayley Swanson and Logan Kroll
Texas A&M University has one of the largest campuses in Texas. It can be overwhelming for outsiders, and sometimes for the people who know it best. While different campus tours through the visitors’ center can be beneficial, there are all sorts of interesting things to do and see on campus.
Founded in 1876, Texas A&M has never stopped growing and evolving. Current and former students often joke that the university has been under construction since 1876. However, that just means there are always new and exciting things to do and see on your visit.
The Memorial Student Center has the most diverse set of things to do. First and foremost, it serves as a memorial to Texas A&M students who have served in the armed service. It is important to note while visiting the MSC remember to remove your hat while inside and to not walk on the grass surrounding the building. While you’re there, check out the Hall of Honor, which features displays for each Medal of Honor Recipient that graduated from Texas A&M, as well as a list of every Aggie casualty from war.
Aside from the memorials, the MSC has several things for any visitor to enjoy. The Forsyth Galleries always have different displays going on throughout the year that are free to the public. The Flag Room is a great place to sit and relax while listening to some incredible piano music. The piano is open for anyone to play. For those who need to fine tune their skills, piano rooms are also available for anyone who wants to practice. Guests can even rent out pool balls and cues, air hockey pucks, or gaming systems. For more information about the MSC, visit msc.tamu.edu.
The MSC and other places on campus offer great dining services. The MSC offers five different dining options: Rev’s American Grill, Panda Express, and other cafeteria-style vendors. Sbisa Dining Hall, located on the north side of campus, has a buffet-style lunch and dinner; the menu changes daily. The Underground, located directly underneath Sbisa, has Chick-Fil-A, Papa John’s, Smoothie King, and sandwiches. Other great places to eat on campus include Duncan Dining Hall, Ag Café, Pi Are Square, Rudder Tower, Evans Library and Pavillion, and The Rec. For a complete list of places to eat on campus, hours, and menus, visitwww.dineoncampus.com/tamu.
All around campus, there are several parks perfect for any activity. Picnics, sports, or just relaxation, the options are endless. Simpson Drill Field, across from the MSC, doubles as a drill field for the Corps and a hot spot for students or visitors who just want to be active, or enjoy a nice picnic. Academic Plaza, in front of the Academic Building, is booming on beautiful weather days. Every tree is full of hammocks, the grass is covered in people studying, and Frisbees are flying everywhere. Spence Park, located between The Quad and Central Campus Garage, is the perfect place for any gathering. There are picnic tables, running trails, and tree shade perfect for hot summer days. Lastly, Research Park, near The Bush School of Government and Public Service, is picture perfect for any occasion.
One of the best places to visit on campus at any time of year is The George Bush Presidential Library and Museum. There are 31 permanent exhibits in the museum, and several other exhibits that change periodically. The Museum and Library sit right next to The Bush School and Research Park. In addition to the exhibits, the rich history travels outside the walls. A piece of the Berlin Wall sits outside of the museum for all to see. For more information about the library and museum, visit bush41.org.
One of the more somber places at Texas A&M is the Bonfire Memorial. A visit to this sacred spot clearly shows the true meaning of the Aggie Family, tradition, and spirit. The memorial stands to honor the 12 fallen Aggies who perished during the bonfire collapse on November 18, 1999. The Traditions Plaza, The History Walk, and The Spirit Ring are just a small part of what makes the memorial a place everyone should visit. To learn more about the Bonfire Memorial, visitbonfire.tamu.edu/memorial.
Texas A&M’s campus is the perfect place for any visit. It is one of the safest and friendliest campuses in the nation. So, if you are looking to change up your running trail, have a picnic, experience history, or just hang out, Texas A&M is the place to go.