A&M’s law school in Fort Worth is a done deal

Posted Monday, Aug. 12, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Texas A&M now has a campus in Cowtown.

The sale of the Texas Wesleyan School of Law to the Texas A&M University System became official Monday afternoon, Wesleyan’s law school said on its website, www.law.txwes.edu.

“On August 12, 2013, Texas A&M University purchased Texas Wesleyan School of Law,” says a message on the website, which now features the color maroon and the A&M logo instead of Wesleyan’s blue and gold. “Our name has changed to Texas A&M University School of Law.”

Steve Moore, spokesman for the A&M System, said the price for the law school was about $73 million to be paid over five years.

“We have purchased the school, the land and everything with it,” Moore said.

The law school, a Fort Worth institution since 1992, will become the first in the A&M System. Other schools, including TCU and the University of North Texas, had expressed interest in buying the law school in the past.

The law school, at 1515 Commerce St. downtown, across from the Fort Worth Convention Center, says it has about 750 students.

Moore said, “It’s always been a dream of [A&M System] Chancellor John Sharp — from a long time back — to have a law school.”

Wesleyan’s leaders declined to comment on the purchase, said John Veilleux, vice president of marketing and communications at the university.

“We look forward to expanding our educational offerings and to informing you about our academic program through our website,” the website says. “We appreciate your patience and support in this transition.”

The announcement also says the law school’s accreditation remains in effect. A listing can be reviewed on the website and related sites.

The sale became official a few days after the school cleared all regulatory steps needed for the A&M acquisition.

“Many staff and faculty at both universities have been working long hours over the last year to get us to this point,” Wesleyan President Frederick G. Slabach said in a statement last week. “This has been an extremely collaborative process, and I am grateful to those who have made it a reality.”

Moore said the contract signed Monday by Sharp and Slabach outlines a strong deal for Texas A&M.

“We will have the school and the land,” Moore said, adding that the downtown campus is on prime real estate that will likely grow in value. Texas A&M won’t be constrained and will be able to make any campus changes it needs, he said.

“Everybody thinks it is a great location — a great place to be,” Moore said. “It’s a big deal for the school.”

A formal announcement will be made at the law school Thursday.

Texas A&M University began the process of buying the law school last year after the move was approved by A&M System regents.

In June 2012, the regents voted 8-0 to authorize a nonbinding letter of intent that continued discussions between the university system and Wesleyan for buying the school.

Leaders of both schools described the deal as a mutually beneficial partnership. A&M gets a long-awaited law school. Wesleyan is going to collaborate with a top-tier university on academic programs and boost its endowment.

This report includes material from Star-Telegram archives.

Diane Smith, 817-390-7675 Twitter: @dianeasmith1

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