In 1862, the U.S. Congress passed the Morrill Act, which auctioned land grants of public lands to establish endowments for colleges where the “leading object shall be, without excluding other scientific and classical studies and including military tactics, to teach such branches of learning as are related to agriculture and mechanical arts… to promote the liberal and practical education of the industrial classes in the several pursuits and professions in life”. In 1871, the Texas Legislature used these funds to establish the states first public institution of higher education, the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas, then known as Texas A.M.C. Brazos County donated 2,416 acres (10 km2) near Bryan, Texas, for the schools campus. From its beginning until the late 1920s, the students were officially nicknamed “Farmers”, but the nickname “Aggies” (a common nickname for students at schools focused heavily on agriculture) gained favor and became the official student body nickname in 1949.
The first day of classes was slated for October 2, 1876, but only six students enrolled on the first day, and classes were delayed and officially began on October 4, 1876, with six faculty members and forty students. During the first semester, enrollment increased to 48 students, and by the end of the spring 1877 semester, 106 students had enrolled. Admission was limited to males, and all students were required to participate in the Corps of Cadets and receive military training. Enrollment climbed to 258 students before declining to 108 students in 1883, the year the University of Texas opened in Austin, Texas. Although originally envisioned and annotated in the Texas Constitution as a branch of the University of Texas, Texas A.M.C. had a separate Board of Directors from the University of Texas and was never enveloped into the University of Texas System.
In the late 1880s, many Texas residents did not see a need for two colleges in Texas and advocated for the elimination of Texas A.M.C. In 1891, Texas A.M.C. was saved from potential closure by its new president Lawrence Sullivan Ross (also known as Sul Ross or “Sully”), former Governor of Texas and well-respected Confederate Brigadier General. Ross made many improvements to the school, like adding running water and permanent dormitories, and enrollment doubled to 467 cadets as parents sent their sons to Texas A.M.C. “to learn to be like Ross”. During his tenure, many Aggie traditions were born, including the creation of the first Aggie Ring. After his death in 1898, a statue was erected in front of what is now Academic Plaza to honor Ross and his achievements in the history of the school.
Under pressure from the Texas Legislature, in 1911 the school began allowing women to attend classes during the summer semester. A.M.C. also expanded its academic pursuits with the establishment of the School of Veterinary Medicine in 1915.
World Wars era
Many Texas A&M graduates served during World War I and by 1918, 49% of all graduates of the college were in military service, more than any other school. In early September 1918, the entire senior class enlisted, with plans to send the younger students at staggered dates throughout the next year. Many of the seniors were fighting in France when the war ended two months later. More than 1,200 alumni served as commissioned officers. After the war, Texas A&M grew rapidly and became nationally recognized for its programs in agriculture, engineering, and military science. The first graduate school was organized in 1924 and the school awarded its first PhD in 1940. In 1925, Mary Evelyn Crawford Locke became the first female to receive a diploma from Texas A&M, although she was not allowed to participate in the graduation ceremony. The following month the Board of Directors officially prohibited all women from enrolling.
At the start of World War II, Texas A&M was selected as one of six engineering colleges to participate in the Electronics Training Program, a program to train Navy personnel to maintain the newly created radar systems. These colleges provided the Primary School, wherein the key topics of the first two years of a college electrical engineering curriculum were condensed into three months. The instructional effort at College Station was developed and led by Frank Bolton, EE department head and future Texas A&M president. At a given time, some 500 Navy students were on the campus, a significant fraction of the then-years enrollment. Students graduating from the Primary Schools then went to a secondary school, one of which was at Ward Island, Texas (the future location of Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi).
Enrollment soared after the war as many former soldiers used the G.I. Bill to fund their education. In 1948, the state legislature formally recognized Texas A&M as a separate university system from the University of Texas System, codifying the de facto arrangement between the schools.
University era Texas A&M University Chemistry Plaza
On November 18, 1999, the Aggie Bonfire, a ninety-year-old student tradition, collapsed during construction. Eleven enrolled students and one former student died and twenty-seven others were injured. The accident was later attributed to improper design and poor construction practices. The victims family members filed six lawsuits against Texas A&M officials, the Aggie Bonfire officials and the university. Half of the defendants settled their portion of the case in 2005, and a federal appeals court dismissed the remaining lawsuits against the university in 2007. George Bush Presidential Library
In 2017, the status of the statue of Lawrence Sullivan “Sul” Ross was in question after other schools removed statues of former Confederate officers. The Texas A&M Chancellor and President announced the Sul Ross statue would remain on the campus as it was not based upon his service in the Confederate Army. Amidst the Black Lives Matter movement and vandalism of the statue, attempts in 2020 by a group of students and activists to secure its removal were blunted by the administration, other students, counter protestors, and alumni and the school confirmed that removal of the statue would require Texas Congressional approval.
homepage :: audience buttons 123456798546546142
If you are driven to succeed, A&M-Commerce is the place for you! Our university community is ready to help you achieve your goals. With resources and support from your Lion family, you can accomplish more than you ever thought possible. Prepare for a rewarding career and a life of purpose at A&M-Commerce!
Gain real-world knowledge and skills that will help you stand out in the job market.
We are on your side, helping you achieve your goals and create a bright future!
You’ll feel right at home. Join a university where diversity and equality are valued.
Texas A&M University-Commerce | Transforming East Texas through Research, Education, and Service :: Explore Our Programs copied not edited copied not edited
Explore the possibilities at A&M-Commerce! Discover all that A&M-Commerce has to offer and submit your application. Your future is waiting!