Quintanilla laments delay of new SAMC building, but celebrates achievements during State of the University


Matthew Tamez/ISLAND WAVES – Quintanilla engages attendees during her speech at the State of the University.

President Kelly Quintanilla addressed a capacity crowd during this year’s “State of the University” luncheon held in the University Center on Oct. 2.

The event is not only a way for the President to update the community on what’s happening at TAMU-CC, but to also reach out to university boosters.  She used the luncheon to make a direct appeal to the audience when she announced the university is seeking non- academic space in the downtown area of Corpus Christi.

“For those of you who may be interested in exploring opportunity zone funding opportunities,” she said, “it’s a federal program. If you’ve got some capital gains, and you’re trying to decide where to put it, we’ve got a project for you.”

After the luncheon, Quintanilla spoke to Island Waves about another project in the planning stages, the new convocation center the university plans on building.

“(The fee increase) would be a small portion of the cost of the building,” said Quintanilla. “So, we are looking at many other revenue sources, public, private partnerships and donor support to be able to make that convocation center become a reality. It would house men and women’s basketball and volleyball, but it would also have a lot of other benefits.”

Quintanilla made sure to share recent successes with TAMU-CC supporters, including the university’s recent R2 doctoral university with high research activity designation, putting it in a class that only 135 other universities around the country have been awarded. She also highlighted TAMU-CC’s number one ranking for Best College by the Sea for the second year in a row.

“This wasn’t a Texas thing,” said Quintanilla, “it was Florida and California and Hawaii, and we beat them all. We are very, very proud.” Quintanilla said.

But not all the news was applause worthy. Quintanilla lamented that they were not able to secure a new tuition revenue bond for a new Comm & Media Arts building.

“I do want to stress that is not for lack of trying,” she said. “We had so much support from our delegation, and I look around this room and see many people who walked the halls with us and for us in support of this new facility. We will certainly be able to secure this next time. … It will remain a top priority.”

Quintanilla also acknowledged the relationship that the luncheon is designed to celebrate.

“Our community is really highly supportive of this university, … so we want them to know all the things that are happening so they are excited to stay engaged with us and excited to see what their partnerships and collaborations with us have grown into.”

Finally, Quintanilla also had a message targeted more to students.

“Is college worth it?” said Quintanilla. “Yes. Totally, completely, absolutely worth it. … We at Texas A&M Corpus Christi are committed to keeping costs low, and when it comes to keeping costs low, we have made some commitments like only raising tuition by the rate of inflation.” TAMU-CC also waived $7 million in tuition fees to support veterans and their families through the Hazlewood program.