Texas A&M University is adding a branch campus in Israel, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Israeli officials said Wednesday.
Texas A&M University at Nazareth – Peace Campus is slated to open by October 2015, according to The Jerusalem Post.
Perry, joined by Israeli President Shimon Peres, made the announcement Wednesday during his fourth trip to Israel since 1992.
An evangelical Christian who ran unsuccessfully for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012, Perry announced in July that he would not seek re-election to a fourth term. He will leave office in 2015.
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Speculation is building about whether Perry will seek the nomination again in 2016, and has been fueled by moves such as this trip to Israel.
The Peace Campus will offer undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs. Construction will be privately funded by donations secured globally, according to Texas A&M, which is Perry’s alma mater.
Perry said he hopes that the institution will help foster positive relationships among Jews, Muslims, and Christians.
“I think we’re all agreed there may be disagreement on the Palestinian situation, but I think we can all agree on the fact that when we study together, when we do business together, our opportunities to live peacefully together are substantially increased,” Perry said during a conference call with reporters.
The Peace Campus won't exclude students from countries seen as hostile to Israel.
The Nazareth campus will be the Aggies' second in the Middle East. An engineering program at Doha, Qatar, was launched 10 years ago.
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