Key to the successful annexation of the Bryan Air Force Base site to Texas A&M was the school's ability to make productive use of the property and its structures.
That meant repurposing many of the existing buildings, including the mess hall, which dated back to Bryan Army Air Field. The mess hall had served thousands of base personnel during both World War II and the Korean War.
And, in between, it had been the place where fish cadets took their meals at The Annex.
Gary Briers, Texas A&M AgriLife professor and scientist, recounts the transition of what today is Building 8236.
Dr. Gary Briers began his career at Texas A&M University in 1969 as an agricultural education student, with hopes of becoming a high school agricultural science teacher. After attaining both his bachelor's and master’s degree from A&M, Briers completed his Ph.D. at Iowa State in 1978 and was hired as an assistant professor there. In the spring of 1980, Dr. Briers returned home to Texas A&M University, joining the agricultural leadership, education, and communications faculty. He served for two years as interim head and then 12 years as associate head of the Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education, and Communications. Briers is a Senior Fellow in two professional organizations: the American Association for Agricultural Education and the Association for International Agricultural and Extension Education and Is a fellow of the TAMUS Chancellor's Academy of Teacher Educators.