Join us on Friday, July 4, 2014 at 9:30 a.m. in Heritage Park at 30th St. and Hutchins in Bryan for our annual Old-Fashioned Independence Day celebration. We will offer our traditional flag-raising ceremony, patriotic music, children’s parade, and refreshments at yesteryear’s prices. As in the past, a number of exhibitors will set up booths showcasing their organizations, and we will hold a silent auction. The auction will feature wonderful items from local merchants and craftspeople, along with some fantastic new items from Texas sports teams and Disneyland, California! Mark your calendars and check back for additional information as the time draws near.
On Saturday, February 22, 2014, the Brazos Heritage Society held their annual meeting. Randy Haynes, Project Planner for the City of Bryan, gave an excellent presentation titled “Preservation Partnerships,” that highlighted historical organizations in Brazos County.
After hearing reports from officers and committees, the Society held their annual elections for a new slate of Executive officers. I am honored to have been chosen as the next president of the organization, along with Isabel McPartlin returning as Vice President, Sheila Fields joining us as Secretary, and Beverly Myer serving again as Treasurer. I am looking forward to working with my executive board members, as well as our various committee chairs over the coming year.
For the benefit of members that I might not have met yet, I’ll provide a brief bio. My husband, Randy, and I have lived in Bryan several different times since I started at Texas A&M University in the fall of 1985; our daughter was born here in 1991. We moved back permanently in 1998, buying a brick cottage in the Eastside Historic District in 2002. I have worked at the Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine as staff support since 1998. Randy has worked for Saint-Gobain Norpro, first in maintenance and later as an industrial controls programmer, since 2003.
As most of you know, Randy’s mother, Nat, served as President of the Brazos Heritage Society for two years. We joined in 2012, during her first term, serving that year as Co-Chairs for Heritage Park and the next year as Events Co-Chairs.
Randy is a native Texan and has lived in the state most of his life. While I’m not originally from Texas, history is a strong interest of mine, and I’ve enjoyed learning more about both Texas history and local events over the past couple years while serving in the Society. I especially appreciate talking with Society and community members who are wonderfully knowledgeable about the area’s historic past.
I am dedicated to helping the Brazos Heritage Society preserve our local and regional heritage, and to educating future generations about the value of history and historic preservation.
Over the past couple years, I’ve developed a vision for the Brazos Heritage Society that — while serving our mandate of historic preservation and education, and valuing the spirit of the organization’s past efforts — will hopefully help raise community awareness of who we are and what our organization can offer.
To that end, I plan to focus on four main issues this coming year:
- I want to continue developing programs, such as our recent day trip to the Museum of the American GI, that benefit current members while also encouraging new members to join the organization.
- I plan to actively pursue strategic partnerships with other historical preservation organizations in Brazos County to create a synergistic preservation effort for the area.
- I would like to see the organization involved in one or more significant preservation projects, including seeking outside funding for these projects.
- I want to revitalize our educational outreach to the local community, using both standard methods such as our books as well as newer avenues like our web site and social media.
While pursuing some newer initiatives, I fully intend to continue supporting time-honored traditions such as our old-fashioned 4th of July in Heritage Park and the Christmas Stroll. These are wonderful community-wide events that are fun for the whole family.
All of these activities, future and current, cannot succeed without valuable input and support from the organization’s talented Executive Committee, and from our membership. I hope that my vision for the Brazos Heritage Society resonates with you and that you will join with us in actively promoting historical preservation and education throughout Brazos County.
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I love to talk with members, or anyone interested in what we are doing through the Brazos Heritage Society. I am here to serve our membership, and the people of Brazos County.
Stephanie Hilliard, President