The History of Texas State University

Texas State University Old Main Built in 1903

Authorized by the Texas Legislature in 1899, Southwest Texas State Normal School opened its doors in 1903. Over the years, the Legislature broadened the institution’s scope and changed its name several times, then in 2003 to Texas State University-San Marcos. Built in 1903, Old Main was TSU’s first building, and continues as a central landmark … Read more

The History of Texas Tech University

Texas Tech University Building in 1925

The call to open a college in West Texas began shortly after the arrival of settlers in the area in the 1880s. In 1917, the Texas legislature passed a bill creating a branch of Texas A&M to be located in Abilene. However, the bill was repealed two years later during the next session after it … Read more

The History of Texas Christian University

Early TCU Campus Buildings

Texas Christian University was founded by East Texas brothers Addison & Randolph Clark, together with the support of their father Joseph A. Clark. The Clarks were preachers and educators associated with the American Restoration Movement–the spiritual ancestor of the modern Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Following their return from service in the Civil War, brothers … Read more

The History of Texas A&M University

Texas A&M Building in 1870s

Planning for a public institution for higher education in Texas can be traced back to the early days of the Republic of Texas and, more directly, to the Morrill Act, approved by the United States Congress on July 2, 1862. This act provided for donation of public land to the states to fund higher education, … Read more

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