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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 University.

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.”

See also 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 online.

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 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 College 0.
  • 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. This issue, 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 College 3.
  • 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 gymnasium.
  • 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 Western Day.
  • 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 coach.


Early TTU Footage

Tech 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 1950

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 (BOR 8/14/48)
  • 1948 - bronze name plates for campus buildings (BOD 7/7/48)


Publications on Texas Tech History (available online):


Departmental Histories available online:

Several departmental biographies and historical overviews have been written by Texas Tech faculty and staff, including:


Contact the University Archivist