What comes to mind when you think of community? Your group of friends, perhaps? A small group at church? Maybe the neighborhood or town you live in? All of that makes sense to me too, but I’m wondering if we can zoom out a bit and think about community in a slightly larger context. Bryan-College Station, for example. That’s the community we all share as residents of the twin cities and the surrounding counties. You may live in Bryan or in College Station, on campus, out in the countryside or in a neighboring town, but this place–often called Aggieland or the Brazos Valley–this is our community. It’s a place for shared experiences, fellowship, collaboration; for doing life…together.

This idea of community is important. Experiences shared “in communion” are powerful. They provide the opportunity to build strong bonds, make memories, establish traditions and weave together a unique place and people. With each new communion, relationships are formed and bonds are strengthened, making for a stronger, more resilient community. And that’s the kind of community we all want, right? The kind that comes together in a crisis, but also the kind that celebrates achievements together, serves together, or simply gathers together to enjoy one of our beautiful, sunny winter days.

Our community is great at all of those things. The generosity we, as a community, exhibit in service of our neighbors is overwhelming. Rarely a week passes without a gathering of like minds around a cause in need of financial and volunteer support. And the tables are always full. And, when it comes to celebrating together, we’re pretty good at that, too. I recall the crowds at the airport waiting to greet our winning sports teams, and the admirers who lined the streets for miles to celebrate the life of a great woman and then a great man who adopted our community as their own. When George and Barbara Bush passed away and their family brought them here for their final rest, we all felt a kinship didn’t we? Isn’t that beautiful? The Bushs’ saw something special in Aggieland; something worth being a part of and worth preserving.

One of the best and most enjoyable ways to ensure our community remains one of best places to live, play, and work is simply to join in on all the great things happening here. And there is a lot happening…all the time! From the opening of new restaurants, food trucks and boutiques, to live music, outdoor events, markets, tech talks, meetups, First Fridays, art exhibits, live theater, and annual galas, there is much to do and celebrate here. I’ve joined the editorial board for Maroon Weekly to provide a venue for sharing the events organizers want to promote and one source to learn what’s happening. Maybe we don’t all bleed maroon, but that rich hue suits our community’s rich history and looks pretty nice as a backdrop for our bright future. Maroon Weekly…it’s a publication for all of us—students, residents, and visitors, of course! We hope you’ll join us in building up the online calendar at maroonweekly.com to spread the word about coming events, and follow Maroon Weekly on Facebook and Instagram, too, so you can know what’s coming up. Then, put the phone down, step away from the computer and join in all the good that’s happening here. We are community and we are going to have a great year.