Texas A&M’s Matthew Gaines Society announced this week that the university will rename bus route 36 the “Matthew Gaines” bus route after a semester-long effort from the Gaines Society and A&M’s Student Senate.
The route name change is made in conjunction with the A&M Transportation Services Department and the A&M Student Senate. The Transportation Services Advisory Committee gave final approval to change the bus route’s name during a meeting Nov. 4.
Gaines was a former slave who became Washington County’s first black state senator. He was instrumental in passing Senate Bill 276, which created the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas under the Land Grant College Act of 1862, also known as the Morrill Act.
In June, the Matthew Gaines Initiative exceeded its goal of $350,000 to build a statue of Gaines on A&M’s campus. The goal is to have the statue completed by May.
“It is fitting for Matthew Gaines to be the namesake of a route because of his contributions during his time in the 12th Legislative Session,” wrote Erica Pauls, president of the Matthew Gaines Initiative, in a letter. “He and his fellow senators passed the Morrill Land Grant Act, which resulted in the founding of our beloved university. The naming of this bus route pays homage to our history, increases representation on our campus, and shows that any Aggie, regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, religion, or background can make a lasting impact.”