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The University of Texas at Tyler Magazine, Fall 2009

Special Section
Paving the Way
UT Tyler Palestine Campus Prepares Region for Future Success

Group photo of groundbreaking ceremony
More than 14 years ago, civic leaders in Palestine saw a need for greater higher education opportunities locally.  The University of Texas at Tyler joined the community in providing a creative solution for that need – today’s UT Tyler Palestine Campus.

As a regional site, UT Tyler Palestine Campus offers the quality instruction and cutting-edge, educational resources of the university closer to home.  For more than a decade, hundreds of local students have passed through the UT Tyler Palestine Campus on their way to becoming nurses, teachers, engineers, managers and more. 

And now, with a brand new $8 million expansion project, the Palestine campus will be able to impact even more students. 

The new facility, set to open in May 2010, is located on a 48.3-acre wooded site next to the campus’ current location at Loop 256 and U.S. 287. The 17,484-square-foot facility will house five classrooms, a library, computer lab, offices, student lounge and conference room.

The expansion is a testament to local residents’ determination to find solutions and opportunity for the region through higher education. 

“It’s a crucial link to our future,” said Phil Jenkins, a member of the UT Tyler Palestine Development Council.  “For the citizens of Palestine and its service area, the campus will allow them to complete an education without having to leave the area.  That’s not just a convenience. It’s a necessity for most of its citizens who can’t afford the time, the gasoline or the baby sitters to leave for the education they want and need.”

Development council chair David Barnard said, “In planning to boost the economy of Palestine, higher education was one of the tools that was an important piece of the puzzle.  If Palestine was going to survive, we had to develop and grow. You need a university for your city to thrive. There is a group of people who take pride in Palestine and we decided we needed to work together to get this opportunity.”

Cad Williams, chair of Paving the Way, a Palestine community fundraising campaign for the effort, said, “There is a very significant need for higher education right in this area. Geographically, it’s not that well served. To many people, commuting the 50 to 100 miles to UT Tyler to study on campus is too expensive.”

This special section shares how these and other local visionaries partnered with government officials and educational leaders at UT Tyler to “Pave the Way” for future generations’ success in Palestine and throughout the entire region.



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