In an effort to meet community needs, the Bryan Police Department formed a Mental Health Unit in April 2021 comprised of three officers who have received specific training on how to help people who may be experiencing a mental health crisis.
Linda Cornelius, the City of Bryan’s Parks & Recreation and Facilities Director, passed away on June 22, 2021, after a courageous battle with cancer.
Cornelius joined the City of Bryan on Oct. 2, 2017 as the Parks & Recreation Director and was named the Director of Parks, Recreation and Facilities on Oct. 1, 2020. During her tenure in Bryan, Cornelius was instrumental in leading several high-profile initiatives, including the opening of the City Course at the Phillips Event Center, construction of Edgewater Park, the completion of the Sale Park Depot, construction of the Camelot Park bridge, creation of the Veterans Section of the Bryan City Cemetery, and planning for Travis Bryan Midtown Park and the Legends Event Center. Additionally, she championed the city’s efforts to upgrade and improve neighborhood parks throughout the community in order to provide safe, fun places for families to enjoy.
To honor her tremendous contributions to the City of Bryan, the Bryan City Council passed a resolution at their June 8 meeting to name one of the fields at the recently renovated Travis Fields ballpark after Cornelius.
Mayor Andrew Nelson praised Cornelius as a leader from the time she set foot in Aggieland as a four-time Texas A&M track and field letter winner to her instrumental time with the City of Bryan leading parks and recreation efforts.
“Linda was a rare individual who excelled on and off the field – she is a legend,” Nelson said. “We continue to pray for Linda and her family.”
“Linda truly will be missed as a strong and caring individual who was passionate about parks and recreation, but even more passionate about people,” said Deputy City Manager Hugh Walker. “She treasured her employees and felt a strong obligation to make every citizen’s life better by enhancing quality of life.”
Prior to working for the City of Bryan, Cornelius worked for the Cities of Highland Village, Boerne, San Antonio and College Station, providing more than 30 years of leadership in the parks & recreation field in Texas.
She is a graduate of Texas A&M University with a Bachelor’s degree in Health and Physical Education. At Texas A&M, she was a successful athlete as a four-time All-American and letter winner in track from 1976 to 1979 and was a member of the 1980 United States Olympic Team.
Her list of accomplishments is significant and includes being the first woman inducted into the Texas A&M Hall of Fame in 1988 (and the first woman of any Southwest Conference school inducted into a university sports hall of fame) and honored in the Texas A&M University Sports Museum Hall of Legends. She received the Texas Amateur Athletic Federation (T.A.A.F) Presidents Award in 1991, 1993, and 2010 and was inducted into the T.A.A.F Hall of Fame for Parks and Recreation Administrative and Athletic Achievements in 1997. She also received the Texas Recreation and Parks Society Presidents Award in 2014.