School News
Donation leads to creation of College of Science and Engineering Makerspace
By Texas A&M University-Commerce
Jan 9, 2019
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Commerce, Texas -- Jimmy Shirley, a 1967 graduate of East Texas State University, now A&M-Commerce, and his wife Sherroll donated $25,000 to assist in the creation of a Makerspace in the College of Science and Engineering at A&M-Commerce.  The Makerspace will enable engineering and technology students to explore and create beyond the classroom. 

“The Makerspace creates a space for creativity and innovation,” said Dr. Andrea Graham, department head for engineering and technology.  “It’s a place where students, faculty and staff of the university get to explore their ideas, learn to use tools and materials, and develop creative projects.” 

Shirley, who majored in math and physics while at ETSU, never imagined that he would be able to make this donation.  “When I was growing up in the cotton field, I never thought this was possible.  To be able to do something like this is a miracle.” 

“The generous donors who allowed this space to be created are tinkerers at heart. They clearly understand that in order to succeed, you have to be willing to try something and fail,” Graham said. 

Jimmy Shirley (left), a 1967 graduate of East Texas State University, now A&M-Commerce, and his wife Sherroll donated $25,000 to assist in the creation of a Makerspace in the College of Science and Engineering at A&M-Commerce. The Makerspace will enable engineering and technology students to explore and create beyond the classroom.

In the longer term, with future expansion of the current space, the Makerspace will open to a broader audience, including the Commerce community, to create an environment of collaborative learning and sharing. 

The Makerspace will also help the Department of Engineering and Technology achieve its primary mission of focusing on practical ingenuity.  According to Graham, “The framework of the Department of Engineering & Technology, built upon instruction, research and infusion of real-world experiences, fosters the development of effective problem solvers.”

“In this department, we want to educate the next generation of innovators,” Graham concluded.

About Texas A&M University-Commerce: A&M-COMMERCE serves rural and metropolitan Northeast Texas with distinction, consistently delivering on a promise that our founder, Professor William Leonidas Mayo, made more than a century ago: “No industrious, ambitious youth shall be denied an education if I can prevent it.” Since our university’s humble beginnings, the mission to provide a high-quality, personal, accessible and affordable educational experience for a diverse community of learners remains unchanged.

Programs are delivered on-site at the Commerce campus as well as in Corsicana, Dallas, McKinney, Frisco and Mesquite. Many courses are also available online. Students may choose from more than 135 degree programs at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels. A vibrant student life experience includes 14 NCAA Division II athletic teams, a thriving Greek system and more than 120 student organizations.

About the A&M System: The Texas A&M University System is one of the largest systems of higher education in the nation, with a budget of $4.2 billion. Through a statewide network of 11 universities and seven state agencies, the Texas A&M System educates more than 150,000 students and makes more than 22 million additional educational contacts through service and outreach programs each year. System-wide, research and development expenditures exceeded $946 million in FY 2015 and helped drive the state’s economy.