COLLEGE STATION, Texas—More than 80 guests from the community and the university gathered in the beautiful weather to celebrate the grand opening of the new Rollins Urban and Structural Facility on Monday, May 4.
Located at the corner of F&B and Agronomy Roads, the 10,000-square-foot facility houses laboratories, conference rooms, offices, and training rooms that help support the vision and mission of the Department’s Urban and Structural Entomology program.
The luncheon featured several remarks by Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp, Vice Chancellor and Dean of the College of Agriculture Life Sciences, Dr. Mark Hussey, Professor and Department Head, Dr. David Ragsdale, and John Wilson, president and chief operating officer of Rollins, Incorporated.
“The Rollins Urban and Structural Entomology Facility sets Texas A&M apart from every other university and system in the nation,” Sharp said. “It provides world-class amenities to train graduate students, conduct research on insects that are pests in and around structures through the partnership with industry professionals and Texas A&M AgriLife Research. In addition it sponsors in-service training to pest management professionals throughout Texas through its affiliation with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension.”
The facility is named in honor of the O. Wayne Rollins Foundation, whose $2 million gift helped stimulate the giving that topped the $4M mark, made the long-awaited dream a reality, officials said.
“We are thankful for the Rollins family’s generous gift,” Hussey said. “The Rollins Urban and Structural Entomology Facility will ensure Texas A&M remains at the forefront of urban entomology. This state-of-the-art facility will aid our faculty, staff and students in the discovery, development and implementation of the research findings needed to control insects in and around homes and businesses.”
The endowed chair of the Urban and Structural Entomology program, Dr. Ed Vargo is proud of the facility and noted that this will help with his research to carry out the vision that previous chair Dr. Roger Gold had when the new facility was a mere drawing on paper.
“The Rollins Urban and Structural Entomology Facility played a major role in my decision to come to Texas A&M as the new endowed chair,” said Vargo. “This first-rate building, made possible by the generosity of the Rollins family and other donors, is head and shoulders above any urban entomology facility in the country. It’s an inspiring place to conduct research, mentor students and hold training sessions. It’s truly an exciting time for urban entomology at Texas A&M.”
Short tours of the facility were also given following the luncheon.