Home » Featured Stories, News » RVP Planning Eco-Devo Trip to Belgium & Belgian Princess Coming Here This December

RVP Planning Eco-Devo Trip to Belgium & Belgian Princess Coming Here This December

It’s been 31 years since royalty from Belgium has been in Texas.

When Princess Astrid visits this December, the schedule for her royal trade mission includes the twin cities.

Belgium’s trade commissioner, Yves Dubus, says various agreements are scheduled to be signed.

Dubus says one with Belgium’s Ministry of Tourism is due to the popularity of The Aggies Go To War exhibit that is coming to Texas A&M after nearly two years in Bastogne.

A 501c(3) non-profit, “From Bastogne to Texas”, led by a former chairman of the Texas A&M System Board of Regents John White, will secure funding for a permanent home.

A smaller version of the exhibit opens in the Memorial Student Center this December, coinciding with the Belgian royal trade mission.

The Research Valley Partnership (RVP), which recently hosted two Belgian prospects, is planning an economic development trip to Belgium in June.

This is taking place in the aftermath of the March 22 terrorist attacks around Brussels.

RVP President Todd McDaniel said immediately after the attacks, the RVP board took a photo to send their Belgian partners as a show of unity. The board stood in front of a “banner of arms” flag of the Luxembourg Province, Wallonia, Belgium. McDaniel says that’s one example of the 10 year relationship they have with Belgium. Another is a visit to Bastogne the week before the attacks by a group from Allen Academy in Bryan and State Representative Kyle Kacal, who visited the war exhibit and met Bastogne Mayor Benoit Lutgen.

Dubus said “There is no way that external events that are affecting of course our societies which are based on freedom of expression, freedom of movement, freedom of the press, are going to be either threatened or stopped in any way by these kinds of events. And I do not know how to make it clearer that there is not one moment in our minds in any way from Belgium (not hesitating) to call on the friendship of our friends here in Texas, especially in College Station and Bryan, to reassure us on the continuity of this relationship. And I think I can vouch and I can speak on their behalf that they speak the same about this relationship.”

McDaniel also noted the week before the terrorism, a group from Allen Academy and state representative Kyle Kacal were in Bastogne and met Mayor Benoit Lutgen at the war exhibit.

Click below for comments from Belgium’s Trade Commissioner Yves Dubus and RVP President Todd McDaniel, visiting with WTAW’s Bill Oliver.

041416-Yves-Dubus-.mp3

 

041416-Todd-McDaniel.mp3

 

Photos courtesy of the Research Valley Partnership (L) Allen Academy group with state representative Kyle Kacal and Bastogne mayor Benoit Lutgen & (R) unity photo of RVP Board of Directors standing in front of the Luxembourg Province, Wallonia, Belgium “banner of arms” flag immediately in the aftermath of the terror attacks in Brussels.

Photos courtesy of the Research Valley Partnership (L) Allen Academy group with state representative Kyle Kacal and Bastogne mayor Benoit Lutgen & (R) unity photo of RVP Board of Directors standing in front of the Luxembourg Province, Wallonia, Belgium “banner of arms” flag immediately in the aftermath of the terror attacks in Brussels.

Additional information about the “From Bastogne to Texas” organization from the Research Valley Partnership:

The people of Belgium have been in the thoughts and prayers of Americans over the past few weeks. The Wallonia region of Belgium and Research Valley have unique ties-most recently through important economic relationships but historically because of the service of Aggies and members of this community during World War II.

To honor that service and inform about our common history, the “Texas Aggies Go to War” exhibit opened in Bastogne, Belgium in December 2014 on the 70th anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge. The exhibit and events surrounding its opening honored the role of America in protecting the freedom of Belgium and all of Europe by telling the stories of five Aggies who fought during the Battle of the Bulge. In the spirit of ongoing partnership, the exhibit was funded by the City of Bastogne, the economic development agency of Wallonia, Idelux, Texas A&M University System, the cities of Bryan and College Station and the RVP.

The exhibit will conclude its time in Belgium at the end of August 2016. In December of this year the Bryan/College Station community will have the opportunity to see a preview of this exhibit on the Texas A&M campus at the Memorial Student Center. The exhibit preview will be on display from mid-November to mid-December and will be part of an historic visit on December 7 by Belgian Princess Astrid who will lead a trade mission to Texas with a stop in our community.

A not-for-profit entity, From Bastogne to Texas, Inc. (“FBT”), has recently been created to plan the December exhibit as well as a further larger scale rendering of the Battle of the Bulge exhibit which will be on display in the Stark Gallery at the MSC during fall 2017. FBT plans to follow the Battle of the Bulge exhibit with additional presentations in a permanent location in the Research Valley sharing stories of Aggie service to this country which exemplify the school’s core value of selfless service.

The initial Board of Directors of From Bastogne to Texas consists of former TAMUS Regent John D. White, Commandant of the Corps of Cadets Joe Ramirez, Association of Former Students VP Marty Holmes, Texas Aggies Go to War co-author John Adams, Texas Aggies Go to War Task Force members John Clark and Steve Aldrich, and Yves Dubus, Belgian Trade Commissioner. Bryan and College Station City Managers, Kean Register and Kelly Templin are ex-officio board members along with Texas A&M University representatives Brett Cornwell and Linda Ravey.

FBT is actively fundraising for the 2016 and 2017 exhibits as well as the permanent location. FBT has filed its application with the IRS for 501c3 tax exempt status and donations can be made to From Bastogne to Texas, Inc., and mailed to P.O. Box 794, College Station, TX 77841-0794. Donations made while the IRS application is pending will be tax-deductible upon final approval from the IRS. Naming opportunities and sponsorships are available.

Members of the FBT Board are available to make presentations about this project to groups locally and around the state. Requests for presentations and inquiries about sponsorship opportunities can be directed to Steve Aldrich at shwaldrich@gmail.com.

Photo courtesy of the Research Valley Partnership of the Texas Aggies Go To War board and staff at its last meeting.

Photo courtesy of the Research Valley Partnership of the Texas Aggies Go To War board and staff at its last meeting.

Short URL: http://wtaw.com/?p=104520

Posted by on Apr 19 2016. Filed under Featured Stories, News.

© 2017 WTAW. All Rights Reserved. Log in

-