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Galveston Campus Lets The Good Times Roll    

February 12, 2024

Statue of George P. Mitchell '40 at Texas A&M University Galveston Campus
Statue of George P. Mitchell '40 at Texas A&M University Galveston Campus

By Taylor Bounds, Division of Marketing and Communications

Texas A&M University at Galveston's 9th Annual Mardi Gras Parade Viewing Party was Saturday, February 10, hosted at and underwritten by the Tremont House, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel. The sold-out event benefits the George P. Mitchell Society, which provides support and funding for scholarships for Texas A&M-Galveston students. 

Students and guests of the annual Mardi Gras party under the historic Powell Arch.
Student volunteers with faculty, staff and guests of the annual Mardi Gras party under the historic Powell Arch.

Mardi Gras in Galveston dates back over 150 years, starting with a masked ball in 1867. These celebrations paused in the early 1940s, as the country entered World War II, and returned in 1949 only to fade away again in the mid-1950s. In 1985, after a decades-long hiatus of Mardi Gras celebrations, George P. Mitchell '40 and his wife, Cynthia, hosted the grand opening of The Tremont House hotel, the perfect occasion to usher in a new era of Mardi Gras on the island. 

Galveston now hosts the third largest Mardi Gras celebration in the country, with the weeks leading up to Fat Tuesday making for one of the liveliest seasons, bringing fun and festivity to the island. The Texas A&M Mardi Gras Parade Viewing Party, established in 2015, is built from Mitchell's legacy. The party is one of dozens of events, as the entire island community celebrates with parades, concerts, balcony parties and more, many of which feature student volunteers.

Students and volunteers at a Mardi Gras float den
Current and former students with Reveille X volunteering at a float storage warehouse in 2023.

"It's become a tradition for our student groups to volunteer with Mardi Gras here on the island," said Shelly Fordyce '99, the campus's director of student activities. "From set up to clean up, students are involved in it all, and we are so proud that they are out serving the community." 

Guests at Texas A&M's annual party enjoyed dinner, dancing and the Knights of Momus Grand Night Parade, complete with the Texas A&M Maritime Academy cadets marching down the Strand. Though the balcony was closed for renovations this year, attendees watched the parade from the street-level private patio. 

"Mardi Gras gives the entire corps the opportunity to come together," said Cameron Henderson '24, who volunteers each year as part of the Hearn Honor Guard. "It's great to see the smiles on peoples' faces, to have kids asking for photos and to see the reactions of the crowd. I really like the happiness you feel while marching Mardi Gras," Henderson joked, "And the beads."

The Mardi Gras Parade Viewing Party is made possible thanks to friends and supporters of Texas A&M-Galveston:

Galveston Texas City Pilots
Dr. Leon Bromberg Charitable Trust
Comeoux & Morris Family
Houston Pilots
The Laird & Ehmann Family
Moody Bank
Trudy Rea
Roberta Avery
Bay Houston Towing
Blue Water Shipping Co.
The Burleson Family
Deborah Busby
Caravella Coastal 
Templeton Brothers Construction
Richard Coleman
Galveston County Aggie Moms' Club
GIA Insurance
Hale Brothers
Bill Hearn
Councilwoman Marie Robb
Phyllis Milstein & Keith McFatridge
Ports America
Sabine Pilots
Seaboard Marine
Texas International Terminals
Renae Turnbaugh
Julie & Johnathan Whitworth
This event is generously underwritten by the Tremont House, A Tribute Portfolio Hotel.
Beads for sale donated by Councilwoman Marie Robb.

The George P. Mitchell Society is comprised of individuals and organizations committed to the well-being of the oceans, seas and waterways through maritime and marine research, education and training. The society supports student scholarships, faculty and various programs and activities at Texas A&M-Galveston.


Media contact:
Taylor Bounds

Texas A&M University at Galveston is the marine and maritime branch campus of Texas A&M University which educates nearly 2,300 undergraduate and graduate students in science, business, engineering, liberal arts and transportation. It is driving the development of the blue economy in the Gulf Coast Region and is a critical contributor to Texas A&M's rare land-, sea-, space-grant mission with nearly $10 million in research expenditures.

Texas A&M-Galveston is also home to the Texas A&M Maritime Academy, one of six state maritime academies and the only one in the southern United States, which trains over 400 cadets annually for maritime service and employment around the world.

Texas A&M-Galveston is located in Galveston, Texas on the Gulf Coast where it is surrounded by industry, environment and programs essential to fulfilling its special-purpose mission. Aggies are known for their deep commitment to the success of each other and their strong desire to serve.