Town & Gown

Ice House on Main in Bryan will host the Town & Gown celebration, which will include live music.

Advent GX is hosting its second annual Town & Gown celebration Thursday evening at Ice House on Main in Bryan. It’s an event that organizers said strives to showcase area “doers” and promote collaboration and partnership between Texas A&M scholars and students and the larger Bryan-College Station community.

Joan Quintana, communications director for Advent GX — a company with a focus on community-building and economic development in rural areas  — said Tuesday that the event will highlight the work and missions of the Texas A&M College of Architecture, Voices for Children, Degallery in College Station and the Biodiversity Research and Teaching Collections at A&M.

Quintana described the gathering as a celebration of collaborations taking place in the community between A&M personnel and those beyond it.

“Sometimes it feels like there is the university community and the rest of us, and so this is to bring everybody together and celebrate the community — and that we as a community are so fortunate to be the host of Texas A&M University,” Quintana said.

Quintana said that the “town and gown” notion goes back to the Middle Ages, and that it points at the differences between people who were and are present in towns and cities influenced in some way by a sizable and/or prestigious university.

Jorge Venegas, dean of the College of Architecture at A&M, said the event gives the college an opportunity to engage with local partners and showcase their work. He named urban planning, landscape architecture and construction and visualization as examples of that work, which he described as striving to improve quality of life and place in “the natural, built and virtual environments.”

The College of Architecture will celebrate its 50th anniversary with a series of events in November.

“This initiative of our friends at Advent GX … provides our college with a unique opportunity to highlight the talent of our students and faculty; our infrastructure for learning and teaching, for discovery and innovation through research and scholarship, and for engagement with practice and society through outreach and service,” Venegas said Tuesday afternoon via email.

AJ Renold, Voices for Children’s executive director, said Tuesday afternoon that her organization’s relationship with Texas A&M and with those directly affiliated is one of mutual respect and benefit.

“Voices for Children as a community organization interacts with Texas A&M University on many levels,” Renold said. “We are interested in providing real-world work experience to students interested in advocacy and nonprofit work. In turn, we have access to some of the best and brightest minds in the country who are also eager to serve because they are Aggies.”

Quintana said that Reynolds & Reynolds have underwritten the event, which also will include live music.

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