By Jim Forsyth
(Reuters) - The campus of Texas A&M University, one of the biggest in the United States, was evacuated for several hours on Friday after school officials received a bomb threat, the latest such incident at a U.S. university in recent weeks.
The threat came in an anonymous email delivered shortly before noon, Texas A&M spokesman Jason Cook said. All classes were canceled.
The sprawling campus reopened five hours later except for buildings that had not yet been searched. High-traffic areas including residence halls, an arena and the football stadium were deemed safe, the university said.
More than 50,000 students are enrolled at Texas A&M, which has a 5,000-acre (2,025-hectare) campus with hundreds of buildings in College Station, Texas, about 100 miles northwest of Houston.
Texas A&M plays Louisiana State University at home on Saturday and is holding a midnight campus-wide pep rally ahead of the football game. The university told essential personnel and those involved in Friday night activities to report to work as scheduled.
The threat was the second delivered by email to a Texas college in the past two days. Three buildings at Texas State University in San Marcos, south of Austin, were evacuated on Thursday.
Last month, bomb scares and other threats forced the evacuations of campuses in at least five states - Texas, Louisiana, Indiana, Ohio and North Dakota.
Police in Louisiana arrested a 42-year-old man in connection with a threat that led to the evacuation of Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge on September 17.
Campus police for the University of Texas at Austin, which was evacuated on September 14 for a phoned-in bomb threat, have said they believe some of the cases are connected.
In August, a man killed a police officer and another person in a shooting just a few blocks from Texas A&M. Police later killed the gunman, who was being served an eviction notice when he opened fire, in a firefight that lasted nearly 30 minutes.
(Reporting By Dan Burns in New York and Jim Forsyth in San Antonio, Texas; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Xavier Briand)