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A&M-Commerce Hosts Luncheon Celebrating Lyon Center For Gamebird Research

Lyon Gamebird Celebration, Tuesday April 16, 2024 in Rockwall, Texas.rrPhoto: Matt Strasen, TAMUC Marketing and Communications


COMMERCE, TEXAS: Texas A&M University-Commerce hosted a luncheon at the Hilton hotel in Rockwall, Texas, on Tuesday, April 16, to celebrate the university’s planned Ted and Donna Lyon Center for Gamebird Research.

The Lyon Center, which will be located along Highway 24 in Commerce, approximately 1.5 miles south of the university campus, will feature a state-of-the-art quail research and production facility, a wetland research station, an interactive Quail Encounter experience for visitors, classrooms and meeting spaces, wetland and upland nature trails, and office space for gamebird faculty and students. Construction begins this year.

Special guests at the luncheon included John Sharp, chancellor of The Texas A&M University System and his wife, Diana Atchison, Senator Royce West, Congressman Chet Edwards, Congressman Bill Sarpalius, the Honorable Tonya Parker, the Honorable Tina Clinton, Representative John Bryant, Representative Keith Oakley, the Honorable Joe Parnell, Senator Ted Lyon, Donna Lyon, friends of the university and The Lyon Center, and A&M-Commerce alums, faculty, staff, and students.

Chancellor John Sharp speaks to guests at the Lyon Center luncheon. Photo courtesy of


The Lyons kickstarted the Lyon Center in 2022 with a transformational gift, the most significant all-cash gift with an immediate impact on university history.

Chancellor Sharp thanked the Lyons at the luncheon for their support and predicted that the new facility would become the leading gamebird research center in the United States.

Senator Ted Lyon also addressed luncheon attendees, emphasizing that the North American bird population in the U.S. is down almost three billion since 1970.

My hope is that the scientific research that emanates from this center will lead to revelations that will result in long-term improvements to our environment and to the birds that we all love,” he said.

A&M-Commerce President Mark Rudin and student Major McBride at the Lyon Center luncheon. Photo courtesy of


Dr. Kelly Reyna, director of the Lyon Center, noted that the future looks bright for gamebirds.

“Today marks a new chapter for the future of gamebirds,” he said. “We gather today not only as bird hunters and conservationists but also as trailblazers and as changemakers with a clear mission to transform the future of gamebird populations, to produce the next generation of gamebird professionals, and to safeguard a future for the younger generation.”