The History of Southwestern University

Southwestern University Cullen Building Built in 1898

Although officially chartered as Southwestern University in 1875, the school’s roots extend back to 1840, making it the oldest institution of higher learning in Texas. Located in Georgetown, a community just north of Austin, the school is affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Its curriculum, however, is nonsectarian. In 1870 the school was chartered as … Read more

The History of Southern Methodist University

Dallas Hall at SMU

Southern Methodist University was chartered on April 17, 1911 by the United Methodist Church. Classes were planned to officially begin in 1913, but construction delays on the university’s first building prevented classes from starting until 1915. In the interim, the only functioning academic department at SMU was the medical college it had acquired from Southwestern … Read more

The History of Sam Houston State University

Old Main Building at SHSU

Originally chartered as the Sam Houston Normal Institute, Sam Houston State University was established in 1879 by the 16th Texas Legislature. It is located at Huntsville in Walker County at a site formerly occupied by Austin College. The newly chartered institute opened on October 10, 1879 with 110 students and four faculty members. Built in … Read more

The History of Stephen F. Austin State University

Rusk Building at SFA in 1926

Stephen F. Austin State University (SFA) is a public university located in Nacogdoches, Texas. It was founded as a teachers’ college in 1923 and named after one of Texas’ founding fathers, Stephen F. Austin. Its campus resides on part of the homestead of another Texas founding father, Thomas Jefferson Rusk. Stephen F. Austin is one … Read more

The History of Rice University

Rice University Campus in 1912

The Rice University first opened in 1912 after the murder of its namesake William Marsh Rice. But the saga of the school’s opening extends back a decade or so earlier. On May 18, 1891, Massachusetts-born businessman William Marsh Rice chartered the William Marsh Rice Institute for the Advancement of Literature, Science, and Art as a … Read more

The History of Prairie View A&M University

Prairie View A&M University, the second oldest public institution of higher education in Texas, originated in the Texas Constitution of 1876. On August 14of that year, the Texas Legislature established the “Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas for Colored Youths” and placed responsibility for its management with the Board of Directors of the Agricultural and … Read more

The History of Washington on the Brazos Texas

Washington, better known as Washington-on-the-Brazos, is best known as the location of the drafting and signing of the Texas Declaration of Independence. As the meeting place where the Ad Interim government of the Republic was formed, it thus became the first temporary capital of the Republic. The town again became the capital of the Republic in 1842 … Read more

The History of Victoria Texas

Victoria is located on the Guadalupe River not far from the Texas coast. The town became the hub of the De Leon Colony, founded by Don Martin De Leon in 1824. Earlier, the site had been known as Las Sabinas, or Cypress Grove. De Leon renamed the town Victoria after Nuestra De Guadalupe De Victoria, … Read more

The History of Velasco Texas

Velasco, located at the mouth of the Brazos River, is one of the oldest towns in Texas. In 1821, the schooner Lively brought the first of Austin’s colonists to the site, and over 25,000 settlers entered Texas at the port by the time the Texas Revolution had started in 1835. After the Battle of San Jacinto, President David … Read more

The History of San Felipe de Austin, Texas

San Felipe de Austin was the site on the Brazos River chosen as the headquarters of the colony of Stephen F. Austin. As such, it became the unofficial capital of the region. By 1828, the town consisted of about 20 cabins. As friction with Mexico increased, Austin’s headquarters became a gathering place for meetings of the … Read more