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History

The oldest university system in Texas, The Texas State University System was established in 1911 by the 32nd Legislature as the State Normal School Board of Regents. More than 100 years later, the System's many milestones have made it ones of the largest systems in the state.
 

 1879 

On April 21, the anniversary of the Battle of San Jacinto, Governor O.M. Roberts signs a bill establishing the Sam Houston Normal Institute.

 1899 

On May 10, the Legislature creates the Southwest Texas Normal School in San Marcos. The school opened its doors to 303 students four years later.

 1909

John W. Gates of New York City, one of the founders of Texaco, establishes Port Arthur Business College to train people for the petrochemical industry, then in its infancy. Studies focused on stenography, accounting, and communication, his concept being to train a workforce to service local industry. The school enrolls 35 students.

 1909

On March 31, the Legislature establishes the West Texas State Normal College in Canyon.

 1911

The 32nd Legislature creates the State Normal School Board of Regents (now The Texas State University System) when it passes House Bill No. 17, “An Act to create a State Normal Board of Regents for the State Normal Schools for white teachers in the State of Texas.”

 1911

On December 1, the State Normal School Board of Regents assumes control of Sam Houston State Normal School, North Texas Normal School, Southwest Texas State Normal School, and West Texas State Normal School.

 1913 

Under a constitutional amendment and legislative act, the State Normal School Board of Regents becomes a board of six governor-appointed members, two of which are to be appointed each biennium after 1913.

 1914

On April 4, Governor James A. Ferguson signs a bill selecting Alpine as a site for a normal school.

 1917

The Texas Legislature authorizes the Normal School Board of Regents to convert all of the state’s normal schools into colleges.

 1923

On March 8, Lamar University is created when the South Park School District authorizes its superintendent to open a junior college. On September 17, South Park Junior College opens with 125 students and a faculty of 14.

 1923

On April 12, the 38th Legislature changes the State Normal Schools to State Teachers Colleges. The State Normal School Board of Regents is changed to Board of Regents, State Teachers Colleges.

 1928

With funding provided by local contributions and a self-imposed city tax, San Angelo Junior College opens its doors on North Oakes Street near downtown San Angelo. One hundred and twelve students enroll.

 1929

The Legislature increases the number of members on the Board of Regents from six to nine; three members are to be appointed each biennium after 1929, thereby providing a sufficient number of holdover members to assure continuity of policies.

 1932

South Park Junior College becomes Lamar College. Port Arthur Business College becomes Port Arthur College.

 1940

Lamar College seeks to increase its financial base in order to continue its expansion plan. A committee comprised of college and local officials, and business leaders, spearhead the creation of a junior college union district. The new campus is to be constructed on a fifty-eight acre tract of land on the Port Arthur Highway.

 1949

On June 4, the Legislature approves House Bill 52, creating Lamar State College of Technology (now Lamar University) effective September 1, 1951—the first junior college in Texas to become a four-year state supported college. On June 14, Governor Beauford H. Jester signs the bill.

 1949

The Legislature renames the Teachers Colleges to State Colleges.

 1951

On September 1, Lamar College officially becomes Lamar State College of Technology.

 1959

On September 1, the 56th Legislature changes the name of Southwest Texas State Teachers College to Southwest Texas State College. The name reflects the broader scope of the college.

 1965

On April 13, Sam Houston State Teachers College is officially renamed Sam Houston State College.

 1965

On September 1, San Angelo College’s Board of Trustees transfer authority to the Board of Regents, State Senior Colleges, and the institution is renamed Angelo State College. Governor John Connally signs a bill renaming the college and making it a four-year school.

 1969

Sul Ross State College receives its university status and is renamed Sul Ross State University. The Legislature changes the name of Sam Houston State College to Sam Houston State University. The Legislature changes the name of Southwest Texas State College to Southwest Texas State University.

 1971

Governor Preston Smith signs a bill changing the name of Lamar State College of Technology to Lamar University.

 1971

The Texas Legislature authorizes Lamar University to operate a two-year educational center in Orange, thus removing the extension status and allowing students to take two full years of coursework. The campus is renamed Lamar University-Orange.

 1973

Sul Ross State University establishes study centers in Uvalde, Del Rio, and Eagle Pass. Headquartered on the campus of Southwest Texas Junior College, these centers provide upper-level and graduate courses.

 1975

In a major realignment effort, the 64th Texas Legislature changes the name of the State Senior Colleges, Board of Regents to the Texas State University System Board of Regents. Angelo State University is re-designated as a member of the Texas State University System along with Sam Houston State University, Southwest Texas State University, and Sul Ross State University.

 1977

The Legislature drops Port Arthur “extension center” status and renames the college Lamar University-Port Arthur.

 1983

The Legislature authorizes the creation of the Lamar University System, comprised of Lamar University, Lamar University-Port Arthur, Lamar University-Orange, the College of Technical Arts (now Lamar Institute of Technology), and the John Gray Institute.

 1989

The Lamar University System Board of Regents makes Lamar University’s Technical Arts College a separate institution: Lamar University-Beaumont’s College of Technical Arts. The following year, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board recommends that all two-year programs at Lamar University be combined into Lamar University-Beaumont’s College of Technical Arts and renamed Lamar University Institute of Technology. The Lamar University System Board of Regents approves the name change of Lamar University-Beaumont’s College of Technical Arts to Lamar University Institute of Technology.

 1991

The Legislature provides degree-granting authority to Lamar University-Orange, and permitting Lamar University-Port Arthur to issue associate degrees in its own name. In May, Governor Ann Richards signs a bill making Lamar University-Orange an independent degree-granting institution within the Lamar University System.

 1995

On September 1, the Lamar University System is abolished and its four institutions are added to the Texas State University System.

 1998

After years of planning, Sam Houston State University announces the opening of The Woodlands University Center.

 1999

In the summer, former Lamar University campuses in Orange and Port Arthur are renamed Lamar State College-Orange and Lamar State College-Port Arthur.

 2003

Effective on September 1, the Legislature changes Southwest Texas State University’s name to Texas State University-San Marcos. On September 9, the University celebrates its 100th anniversary of the first day of classes at Southwest Texas State Normal School.

 2004

On February 24, John and Charles Avery of Avery Ranch Co. donate 101 acres to Texas State University-San Marcos for its Round Rock Higher Education Center campus.

 2005

In October, Hurricane Rita hits Lamar University, damaging 80 percent of its campus buildings. The University opens three weeks later and finishes the semester.

 2008

In September, Hurricane Ike hits Lamar University. The Montagne Center suffers significant damage, and due to water penetration, a large portion of the university’s residence halls require remediation. Hurricane Ike crosses the campus and does considerable damage to Lamar Institute of Technology, which remains closed for approximately three weeks.

 2010

The Texas State University System Board of Regents appoints Brian McCall, Ph.D., chancellor of the university system.

 2010

Texas State University opens a state-of-the-art 78,000 square foot Nursing Building at the Round Rock Higher Education Center.

 2013

The Texas Legislature changes the name of Texas State University-San Marcos to Texas State University.