Establishment of TTU
Senate Bill [often referred to as the "School Charter"]
Senate Bill No. 103 provided for the establishment of a
“State college west of the 98th meridian and north of the 29th parallel,”
thereby setting the ground work for the creation of Texas Technological
College. Among the purposes of the college was to provide a “co-educational
college giving thorough instruction in technology and textile engineering
from which a student may reach the highest degree of education.”
U 113.1 Locating Board Records, 1923 and 1938:
This 7 box collection contains the applications, proposal and
supplemental information submitted by 36 applicants for the location of
the Texas Technological School. Several include black and white
photographs, maps and blueprints. A few also have leather covers.
*Update: the proposal books and accompanying information are now being
digitized and are available online
Senate Bill No. 103: To Establish The Texas
Minutes of the First Meeting of the Board of Directors of
the Texas Technological College, held at Sweetwater, Texas, on March 2,
Proposal to the Locating Board for the placement of Texas
Technological College at Lubbock, Texas, 1923
- U 399.1 Establishment of Texas Tech - This collection contains 6 vendor's lien notes concerning land used to establishing Texas
- U 261.1 College of Human Sciences (1981) - "Fond Memories" by Anna Belle Collins Collier was written in 1993 and
reflects on the first four years of Texas Tech and the College of Home Economics. Collier was a 1929 Texas Tech graduate. Covered in her reflections
are the first registration day, convocation, pep meeting, shirt-tail parade, the formation of the Arenaritas, the Women's Athletic Association,
the boarding houses used when no dormitories yet existed, early student organizations, and various school events and groups.
Margaret V. Dupree oral history interview (1981) - talks about Lubbock
celebration getting Texas Tech and father's involvement with selecting Lubbock
William Curry Holden oral history interview- faculty (tape 1, 10/4/76) - talks about establishment of Texas Tech
oral history interview (1975) - Selection of Lubbock and
establishment of Texas Tech
See also Jeannie Robinson's reference file for her paper on "The
Location of Texas Technological College in Lubbock" (1981).
Alumni, Former Staff and Faculty Interviews
for more on Texas Tech history
denotes these are digital files
which require Abode Acrobat Reader 3.0 or later to view. Follow the links
below to download Acrobat Reader software- Windows OS's:
Adobe Acrobat Reader or Unix/Linux OS's:
XPDF -- Open source PDF
An Abbreviated timeline for the early history of Texas
- November 11, 1925 - the laying of the cornerstone of
the Administration Building
- September 22, 1925 - President Paul Whitfield Horn
and his wife held a reception for faculty at their residence
- September 28-29, 1925 - entrance exams were held
- September 29-30, 1925 - Registration for classes
- September 30, 1925 - Formal opening exercises were
held in front of the Administration Building at 4 p.m.
- October 1, 1925 - First convocation held at 10 a.m.
The college hymn, "O College Mother, Beautiful," was first sung. Classes
began starting at 8 am.
- October 3, 1925 - the first football game, Texas Tech
vs McMurray, was held at 4 p.m. The final score was Tech 0, McMurray
- October 3, 1925 - President Paul Whitfield Horn and
his wife held a reception for students and faculty to meet one another.
- October 3, 1925 - the first issue of The Toreador,
the college's newspaper, was published.
along with others, is now available for viewing online.
- October 4, 1925 - Rev. R. Thomsen gave the opening
sermon to the students and a union from all the Lubbock churches in the
Livestock Judging Pavilion.
- October 9, 1925 - Tech played its second football
game, this time against Austin College. Final score Tech 3, Austin
- October 13, 1925 - Lubbock churches held receptions
for students of their respective denominations.
- By the time of publication of the October 1925
Bulletin, 914 students were enrolled.
- November 25, 1925 - First bonfire at a "pep meeting"
- 1926 - Tech received accreditation by the Association of Texas Colleges and the Texas Education Agency
(formerly State Department of Educations)
- 1926 - Coach E. Y. Freeland presented the first letterman's sweaters during convocation in the Livestock Pavilion.
The sweaters were scarlet with two black outlined T's. (The Toreador 1/9/26).
- April 17, 1926 - the first All-College Dance was held on the rooftop garden of Cheri Casa Home for Boys. Programs of some of
the Cheri Casa events can be viewed here.
- November 24, 1926 - Coat-style senior sweaters were worn for the first time. The sweaters had a black "T" on them with a scarlet "Tech" and
the numerals "'2" and "7" on either side. The design for a senior class ring was still under discussion.
(The Toreador 11/26/26).
- May 30, 1927 - Mary Dale Buckner became Texas Tech
graduate at the college's first commencement ceremony in the college
- 1928 - Tech received accreditation by the Southern
Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools.
- June 1929 - the first class graduated who had
completed all four years of coursework at Texas Tech.
- November 7-8 1930 - the first Annual Tech Aggie Rodeo was held.
- 1931 - The senior class of 1931 gifted a large Double T Bench, designed by architectural engineering student B. A. Brady,
to the college. The bench is still resides in its original location on the south side of the Administration Building.
- 1932 - the first Homecoming Parade was held.
- 1934 - the first men's dormitory No. 1 (West Hall)
and the first women's dormitory (Doak Hall) opened.
- May 8, 1940 - The first annual "Texas Tech Day" was
observed by chapters of the Ex-Students Association
- October 18, 1940 - Tech celebrated its first official
- 1945 - Tech received accreditation by the American
Association of University Women
- 1947 - Tech received accreditation by the American Association of Universities.
- 1951 - Carl Coke Rister was appointed to the fist distinguished professorship at Texas Tech.
- 1955 - The Board of Regents approved the changing of
the name of the five undergraduate academic units from "Division" to
"School" effective September 1, 1956. (BOR meeting minutes 11/5/55)
- 1960 - Tech received accreditation by the American Association of
Colleges for Teacher Education.
- 1960 - the Atchiston, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway
donated a locomotive bell to the Saddle Tramps which was to be known as
Saddle Tramp Spirit Bell No. 1 which would be used primarily at football
games. (Tex Talks, May, 1960)
- 1961 - The Carol of Lights tradition officially begins with student body president Bill Dean flippling the light switch in December of 1961.
- 1962 - the traditional green color of the freshmen
beanie with red lettering, often referred to as the "Slime Cap" or "Fish
Cap," is changed to alternating red and black with a black bill. (Tex
Talks, October, 1962)
- 1972 - The Board of Regents supported an
administrative ruling prohibiting the use of Memorial Circle and
adjoining quadrangles for the Carol of Lights program. This was in
response to a series of US Federal Appellate Court decisions on the use
of designated areas for specific uses (For Your Information
newsletter, vol. 3 no. 11 and 12, Dec. 6, 1972).
- 1975 - The official women's basketball team is formed
following the enactment of Title IX with Suzie Lynch as the team's first
Publications on Texas Tech now
Opening of a New Institution focuses on the new college's history,
its opening, and statistics such as the number of students enrolled. Of
particular interest is page 23 which addresses the attendance of women
at the college.
Directory of Texas Technological College, 1925-1926 lists the names
and addresses of the first faculty, staff and students at the newly
- The Appeal
of Texas Technological College, 1928 gives an overview of the
significant facts concerning the newly established college
- Early images and information on Texas Tech are
available in the 1931 publication
Pictorial and Information
- The 1934 publication,
Live in the New Dormitories
at Texas Technological College, gives an overview of the student
- The First
Ten Years of Texas Technological College presents facts for the
college's tenth anniversary in 1935
Women's Hall Handbook, 1935-1936 and the
Women's Hall Handbook,
1936-1937 outline the rules and etiquettes pertaining to a young
female student attending Texas Technological College.
- The Texas Tech
Students' Handbook 1936-1937
gives a good overview of the things a new student needed to know when
attending the college.
Texas Technological College: Its Growth and Its Needs, published in
1937, presented a strong overview of the needs concerning issues dealing
with the young college's infrastructure, faculty, student to faculty
ration, degrees programs, and accreditation.
Technological College Bulletin is a mostly pictorial bulletin dated
Annual Open House program covers the 8th
annual open house of the Division of Home Economics for 1940
Technological College - Where? Why? What? Who? The Future? was
published in 1943
Life at Texas Tech gives a glimpse of the
social and academic life of a 1950's Tech student.
- Texas Technological
Campus Tour Guide, published by the Texas Tech Bookstore, dates
before 1969 and includes brief descriptions of various buildings as well
as a nice campus map.
Several departmental biographies and historical
overviews have been written, including:
Early TTU Footage
promo film narrated by Tech graduate Clint Formby, 1947 (links to
YouTube; 5:08 minutes long). The December 4, 1948 issue of The Toreador
has an article on the front page about a Tech movie called "Futures
Unlimited" in which Clint Formby serves as a narrator. This film on YouTube
must be the same one as the $5000 one described in the Toreador article,
which was financed by the Tech Chamber of Commerce and the Student Council.
At the 0:54 mark Formby states "born only in 1925, Tech has already left its
babyhood and is in its years of adolescence. Before it are growth and
progress, and before it lies its maturity... it's unlimited future."
Retrospective Articles and La Ventana
For over 25 years, staff members of the Southwest Collection have
written articles on Texas Tech historical subjects and themes for the
university's alumni magazine, The Texas Techsan. These articles appeared
under the title of Texas Tech Retrospective Articles. As these articles
cover many of the important subjects and tradition of the university, they
have been digitized and placed online.
Click here to view the articles. An
index of the Texas Techsan for 1950-1951 is available
The La Ventana, Texas Tech's
yearbook, has been digitized and is now available online. Click
Board of Regents
The TTU Board of Regents, formerly known as
the Board of Directors, oversees the university's growth, governance and
maintenance. It is composed of nine members chosen by the governor.
The Board of Directors/Board of Regents Meeting Minutes and Indexes to the
Minutes are currently being digitized and are available
(1923-1960s). The meeting minutes from 1999-present are available on the
TTU Reports website.
Although the meeting minutes for years previous to
1999 are currently not online, an index of
attachments to these meetings is available. It is arranged
Texas Tech Songs
Below is a list
of songs associated with Texas Tech
- 1925 - "O, College Mother, Beautiful"
(College Hymn) by Dr. Paul Whitfield Horn, 1st President
of Texas Tech
- 1926 - "Tech Spirit Songs"
- 1927 - "Texas Tech" by W. R. Waghorne
- 1930 - "The Matador Song" by R. C.
Marshall, music by Harry Lemaire
- 1937 - "Fight Raiders Fight" by
Carroll McMath, music from Three Days Fantasia-Overture
by Adolph Lotter
- 1944 - "Fight on for Texas Tech" and
"Texas Tech Has Got to Win" by Thornton Allen
- 1942 - "Red Raiders" by Fred Waring;
the song was recorded by the Tech Band and chorus in
The 1926 Texas
Technological College Song Book included the songs below:
"Glory to Alma Mater"
Tech of Texas State"
"Hail! Hail! The Tech's
"Farmer Leidigh Had a
"Texas!" by W. R.
"Columbia, The Gem of
"Battle Hymn of the
Texas Tech Traditions:
History of the "Guns Up" Tradition at Texas Tech was
written by L. Glenn Dippel in 1998 -- see U 23.6 Sports Information
collection. Dippel is credited with coming up with the hand sign.
The first Monday in May of each year is officially
"Texas Tech Day" [Board of Directors' Policy Statements, August 22,
Other Texas Tech traditions can be found
here on TTU's main website.
Another tradition at Tech is class gifts by the graduating senior class.
Here are some of these gifts:
- 1943 - funds were later used to help
purchase a scoreboard for the athletic field
- 1948 - bronze name plates for campus
buildings (BOD 7/7/48)
Institutional Research and Information
Management collections and compiles statistical information on the
university, including enrollment, graduation rates and degrees given. The
reports are now available online and go back to the beginning of the
for to view these stats.
are a compilation of statistics on TTU's student profile and include
information on student enrollment, degrees, credit hours, test scores,
location distribution, majors, ethnicity, gender and age.
The first student to register for classes in 1925 was
Texas Tech Firsts
Below are some miscellaneous facts
about milestones "firsts" at Texas Tech. Whenever possible, sources have
Ph.D.'s were first offered beginning in the 1950-1951
academic year, with the Chemistry, English and History departments the
first to do so. Later, Psychology and Education began offering Ph.D.
degrees. (Memorandum from Office of the Academic Vice President,
Mrs. Lucille Sugar Graves is noted in her
(1974) as being the first African American student at Texas Tech. She
came to Tech with a bachelor's degree and was working on her master's
degree in the summer of 1961. It was Mrs. Graves's persistent
petitioning for entrance into the college that paved the way for other
African Americans to attend Texas Tech.
Canon Clements was the first Texas Tech student to
receive a Rhodes Scholarship in 1935.
- Mary Dale Buckner won the drawing to
become the first graduate from Texas Technological
College. Buckner graduated with a bachelor's degree in
English on May 30, 1927.
- The first master's degrees were
awarded in 1928 to Horace Bailey Carroll in history, R.
W. Matthews in education and Walter Irwin Wilkins in
- The first master's of science degree was
awarded to Lonnie M. Starr, a agriculture student, in June of 1931. Starr had received his B.S. in agriculture from Tech in 1928.
- Laura Song, a native from Korea, was
the first Asian student to graduate from Texas Tech
on June 5, 1933. She received a Bachelor's of Science
degree in Home Economics. (June
15, 1933 issue of the Toreador)
- Carl Bechtold was the first
industrial engineering graduate in 1938. (Toreador,
February 17, 1940)
- Estus C. Polk, who majored in
English, earned the first Ph.D. at Texas Tech in 1952.
(Texas Techsan article, September 1952)
- Ophelia Powell-Malone was the first
African-American to receive a B.A. degree from Texas
Tech in 1964. A short
bio on her can be found on the MentorTech page.
- James Clark Huff became the first
Tech graduate to complete his entire degree requirements
in the School of Arts and Sciences with a perfect 4.0
grade point average. (Tex Talks, August, 1965)
- Reagan Harrison Beene Jr. and Eldred
Donald Merkl were the first graduates of a Ph.D. program
in engineering in 1965. (Tex Talks, August,
Anita Carmona Harrison was the first native Chicana
Lubbockite to graduate from Texas Tech in 1967. She was
also the first Mexican to go through the entire Lubbock
School system and graduate from Texas Tech. (El
Editor, February 15-22, 1979)
Stella Crockett Courtney oral history interview(2010)
- first non-transfer African American student to
graduate from Texas Tech University.
- Rosemary Pledger received the first
Ph.D. degree of Business Administration in Business
Education from Texas Tech on June 1, 1968.
- Fifteen students of
the class of 1970 finished up their degree requirements
early to become the first Law School graduating class in
December, 1969. (TTU Press Release 5-12-17-69)
Hui-Ying Tseng was the first woman to receive a master's
degree in agronomy from Texas Tech in 1970. (Photo)
- Dr. Hortense W. Dixon, who majored in
Higher Education and minored in Home Economics, was the
first African-American to graduate with a doctorate from
Texas Tech University. She graduated in August, 1970,
and then went on to become an associate professor of
Home Economics at Texas Southern University. (TTU Press
- Three additional
Chicanos graduated from Texas Tech in 1972 - Bidal
Aguero, Jesse Rangel, and Rosa Gonzalez. (El
Editor, February 15-22, 1979)
Other University Milestones:
fraternity and sororities were allowed
at Texas Tech beginning on June 21,
- The all-male era of
the Texas Technological band ended in
the fall of 1941 when a few females
wanted to be majorettes. However, a
campus rule was invoked against girls
participating as majorettes until after
World War II. (TTU Press Release
- Maria Alejandrina
Hevia was an international student from
Brazil who attended Texas Tech in 1935.
She may be the earliest cited Hispanic
student to attend the university. She
only attended one year and did not
graduate from Texas Tech. (June
15, 1933 and
January 22, 1938 issues of the
- In February 1967,
Danny Hardaway became the first
African-American athlete at Texas Tech
to receive an athletic scholarship and
he was a charter member of the
university's first black student
- Mrs. Hazel S. Taylor
received the first Ford Foundation
Advanced Study Fellowship for Black
Americans at Texas Tech in July of 1971.
Early Student Organizations:
A listing of some of the earliest Texas
Tech student organizations is slowly being compiled and
Chronology of TTU Departments and Degrees
Below is information on the development of departments and colleges and the degrees they awarded.
- 1923 -- On February 10th, Governor Pat Neff signed legislation authorizing the establishment of a new college in West Texas
- 1925 -- 4 co-ordinate colleges: The College of Liberal Arts, the College of Household Economics [later called Home Economics],
the College of Agriculture, and the College of Engineering. All were four year course systems.
- 1925 -- first classes held at Texas Technological College in September for first year freshman and sophomores
- 1925 -- The College of Liberal Arts offered a A. B. degree, while the other three colleges offered a B. S. degree
- 1926 -- starting in September, classes held at Texas Technological College for junior classes
- 1927 -- starting in September, classes held at Texas Technological College for senior classes
- 1928 -- the first master's degrees were given to three Tech students.
- 1933 -- the first Law class was organized at Tech
- 1935 -- the Graduate School is inaugurated
- 1937 -- the Journalism Department is established.
- 1942 -- the School of Business Administration is inaugurated
- 1949 -- the Graduate Council expresses concern that Tech is "making a very poor showing as to the number of our graduate
students" and recommends three recommendations, including offering a Doctor's degree (BOD 1/15/49)
- 1949 -- approved conferring of degrees for emergency purposes at the conclusion of each fall semester (BOD 12/10/49 #357)
- 1952 -- the first Ph.D. was awarded (for a photo, see Heritage Club Photograph Collection #E178)
- 1964 -- approval for the Law School was received
- 1967 -- the Law School was inaugurated
- 1971 -- the Department of Mass Communications was formed by combining the Journalism Department and courses in telecommunications from the
Speech Department, and advertising courses from the School of Businessd
- 2004 -- the College of Mass Communications is established as an independent college
Click here to view a chronology of TTU
departments/colleges and degrees awarded