COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Two iconic Texas brands are merging together for the first time to benefit the next generation of entrepreneur students in the Brazos Valley.
From a wide array of gas pumps, the cleanest restrooms in Texas are coming to Texas A&M in a new facility centered around hospitality over the famous beaver brand.
Buc-ee’s founder Arch “Beaver” Aplin has gifted his former alma mater Texas A&M $50 million dollars to build what Aplin says to be “the next immersive learning laboratory for Aggie students."
Dennis Jansen, director of the private enterprise research center at Texas A&M told 25 News how the future Aplin Center will majorly benefit students once established.
“The goal is to be one of the top hospitality programs in the nation,” said Jansen. “With such a gift and big plans, I believe that’s a goal to be aiming for, and A&M will be well-positioned to head in that direction.”
Jansen says he believes the Aplin Center will offer additions to two of its academic partners; the Mays Business School and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
“I believe there will be new degree programs,” he said. “Currently, Texas A&M has a certificate program as part of a degree program in the Department of Recreation and Tourism Sciences Center, and those are all in the college of [Agriculture]. I believe the Mays Business School will play an expanded role in these degree programs with this new center.”
According to a study by College Factual, ranking “the Best Entrepreneurial Studies in Texas”, A&M ranks fourth with more than 45 percent growth of graduates in this field. Jansen believes the Aplin Center will grow that number even more.
“This will make our hospitality degrees all the more valuable, I just imagine that this is going to be quite important to firms...that are looking to hire new graduates in this industry,” he said.
The Aplin Center will house product development laboratories and food tasting centers which can be utilized in partnership with related industries like Buc-ee’s to bring the founder's vision to Aggieland very soon.