Partnerships & Philanthropy

Texas A&M-Galveston Celebrates 60th Anniversary and Honors the Mitchell Family


Texas A&M University at Galveston kicked off a year-long series of events celebrating their 60th anniversary with a scholarship fundraiser honoring the legacy of the Cynthia & George P. Mitchell family this past Saturday evening. The 7th Annual Mardi Gras Parade & Viewing Party continues Mitchell’s legacy of giving back with proceeds supporting at least four, four-year undergraduate students enrolled at Texas A&M University-Galveston.

Mitchell, a Galveston native and 1940 distinguished petroleum engineering graduate of Texas A&M University, is the all-time most generous donor in Texas A&M history. Mitchell’s visionary support included the 135 acres on Pelican Island that Texas A&M-Galveston and the Texas A&M Maritime Academy call home. As such, it is a fitting tribute that students, faculty, staff and visitors are greeted by Mitchell’s statue when they arrive to the Galveston Campus.

“We wouldn’t exist without the generosity and philanthropy of Mr. Mitchell. When we talk about legacy, that ‘Old Ag’ represents the best of everything we aspire to be. I was happy to don the same Corps of Cadets khaki he did forty years before me, and I’m honored now to help provide purpose and pride to his vision for the Galveston Campus. His spirit continues to drive everything we do in Galveston and beyond,” said Col. Michael E. Fossum ’80, Chief Operating Officer of the Galveston Campus and Superintendent of the Texas A&M Maritime Academy.

Students are also choosing to honor Mitchell’s dedication to selfless service. Student volunteers from the Black Student Alliance, Freshman Leadership Organization and Texas A&M Maritime Academy support events around the island for the duration of Mardi Gras. Maritime Academy cadets also lead parades throughout Mardi Gras, including the Knights of Momus Grand Night Parade pictured above.

For over 30 years, Mitchell hosted Galveston’s premier Mardi Gras Ball and Parade Viewing Party at The Tremont House. This event historically coincided with the grand opening of The Tremont House on February 16, 1985. In 2015, this traditional Mardi Gras event ushered in a new era in memory of Mitchell when Texas A&M-Galveston hosted the first official university-affiliated Mardi Gras parade viewing party.

The annual event benefits the George P. Mitchell Society (GPMS), which in turn provides funding for a permanent undergraduate scholarship each year. The GPMS is comprised of individuals and organizations committed to the wellbeing of the world’s oceans by supporting marine and maritime research, education, training, and more at Texas A&M-Galveston.

Details on upcoming events hosted by the Galveston Campus will be available on

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