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Texas Tech University Archives
Passed on February 10, 1923, Senate Bill No. 103 is commonly referred to as the school charter.
Lubbock, Texas, was officially selected as the site of a new college on August 8, 1923 by the Locating Board.
In the fall of 1925, Texas Technological College opened. Then, from 1959-1969, debates grew over renaming the college,
and on Sept. 1, 1969, the Board of Directors officially change the name to Texas Tech University.
Below are historical tidbits and information on the establishment and growth of Texas Tech
Founding of Texas Technological College:
Establishment of Texas Tech,
the Board of Regents,
Texas Tech Timeline,
Early TTU Footage,
Texas Tech Songs and Traditions,
Historical Publications on Texas Tech, and
Published Departmental Histories.
Academic Firsts and Milestones:
Enrollment Information, Texas Tech Firsts and Milestones, and a Chronology of TTU Departments and Degrees.
Other Texas Tech History Resources:
Campus Maps and Structures, a Guide to Women's Resources in the University Archives, Horn Professors,
a Timeline of Minorities at Texas Tech, and Who's Who in TTU Administration.
Digital Collections From the University Archives
Digitized Photographs From the University Archives
Establishment of TTU
Texas 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 Texas Technological
College. Several include black and white photographs, maps and blueprints. A few also have leather covers.
Some of the proposal books and accompanying information have been 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
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 the Indexes to the Minutes (1923-2000) have been digitized and are available for viewing
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 on this site, an index of attachments to
these meetings is available. It is arranged chronologically.
Early Texas Tech History:
Below is an abbreviated timeline of some of the early highlights of Texas Tech history.
- 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
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."
Texas Tech Songs and Traditions
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 following songs:
"O, College Mother, Beautiful" (College Hymn), "Glory to Alma Mater",
"The Tech of Texas State", "Anvil Chorus", "The Soldier's Chorus",
"Hail! Hail! The Tech's All Here!", "Matador Song", "Good Morning",
"Our Girls", "My Bonnie", "Good Night", "Farmer Leidigh Had a Farm",
"Spanish Cavalier", "Funicule, Funicula", "Bingo", "Jingle Bells",
"Texas!" by W. R. Waghorne, 1924, "Star Spangled Banner", "Columbia, The Gem of the Ocean",
"America", "Battle Hymn of the Republic", and "Onward, Christian Soldiers."
The 1940 Texas Tech Song Book included the following songs:
"O, College Mother, Beautiful" (College Hymn), "Matador Song",
"Fight on For Texas Tech!", "Texas Tech Has Got to Win", "Let's Go Texas Tech", and
"Fight, Raiders, Fight."
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, 1964]
Other Texas Tech traditions can be found the university's
A History of Texas Tech webpage. 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)
Publications on Texas Tech History (available online):
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.
Departmental Histories available online:
Several departmental biographies and historical overviews have been written by Texas Tech
faculty and staff, including: