Oct. 23, 2013

COLLEGE STATION, Texas— Today, Gov. Rick Perry and Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp, announced plans for the opening of the branch of Texas A&M University at Nazareth – Peace Campus. It is the first comprehensive international university of the first class to open in the state of Israel.

The announcement was made at the residence of the President of Israel, Shimon Peres, along with the Israel Minister of Education, Shay Piron, Perry and Sharp. The signing ceremony also included other key education and administration officials who were key to making this vision a reality.

“This is a proud accomplishment that has been years in the making” said Sharp. “We are absolutely dedicated to making this one of the finest international universities in the world and open to all.”

The university will be constructed in Nazareth and funding for the construction will be provided entirely from private donations secured throughout the world. The student population of the university will be a combination of Arab, Jewish and international students. Similarly, the faculty will be drawn from Arab, Jewish, and international populations. The peaceful co-existence for the sake of education will be a hallmark of this university. In time, the school will offer undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degree programs in a wide-range of academic disciplines.

“Texas A&M and Israel make a good fit, as communities built upon the values of family, commitment and tradition,” Perry said. “That’s reflected in the goals we’ve established for this university. We want to see the Nazareth branch as a means to preserving peace and building understanding between cultures. We want to see students and instructors from a diverse array of nationalities, faiths and backgrounds within its classrooms, each student learning more about the world and what bright possibilities lie ahead for all of us.”

Building on a vision expressed by the Governor, Israeli President and Minister of Education, Sharp — supported by the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents and Perry communicated a desire to pursue establishing a first class University in Nazareth dedicated to enhancing education access in a common learning environment. The Council for Higher Education and the Texas A&M System reached an agreement in principle Oct. 11, 2013 and signed an agreement to begin pursuing this opportunity on Oct. 23, 2013.

“Today is a day of celebration; it is the day on which we are establishing a branch campus of Texas A&M University, one of the world’s leading universities, here in Israel,” said Piron. “Education in a setting that accepts everyone equally is an essential tool for internal and regional peace. I am certain that this splendid institution will have the power to enhance the vision of peace and equality, and the founding of this institution is a giant step in that direction. I wish to congratulate all of our partners, especially our partners from Texas A&M, for taking part in this important vision.”

The signing statement regarding the establishment of Texas A&M University at Nazareth – Peace Campus can be found here: Film from the announcement ceremony in Israel will be provided by the Texas A&M University System Office of Marketing & Communications.


About the A&M System

The A&M System is one of the largest systems of higher education in the nation, with a budget of $3.8 billion. Through a statewide network of 11 universities, nine agencies, two service units and a comprehensive health science center, the A&M System educates more than 125,000 students and makes more than 22 million additional educational contacts through service and outreach programs each year. Externally funded research expenditures exceed $780 million and help drive the state’s economy.


Contact: Steven B. Moore
(979) 458-6023