A Timeline of Diversity and Inclusion at Texas Tech

Below is a timeline concerning a brief history of diversity and inclusion at Texas Tech University. The timeline is not a comprehensive one, but rather focuses on major milestones in the university's ethnically diverse history, including firsts, groundbreaking events, notable figures and their achievements, and a few racial controversies that happened at Texas Tech.

A separate timeline for Women at Texas Tech can be found here.

Thanks to the persistence of Lucille Sugar Graves the race barrier was finally broken in 1961 when she became the first African American to attend Texas Tech.

Ophelia Powell-Malone was the first African American to graduate with a bachelor's degree from Texas Tech. She received her BA from Home Economics and went on to become a teacher and dietitian.

Laura Song at the entrance to the Home Management House.


A. Melendez, a male student hailing from Guatemala, enrolled in Texas Tech and continued attending the college in 1930. (TTC Press Releases 1930-1931)


Laura Nackune Song, a native of Korea, enrolled as a sophomore in the School of Home Economics. A male student hailing from China, Chung Wo Au also enrolled at Texas Tech. (TTC Press Releases 1930-1931 )


Laura Song 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)


Maria Alejandrina Hevia was an international student from Brazil who attended Texas Tech in 1935. She may be the earliest cited female Hispanic student to attend the university. She only attended one year and did not graduate from Texas Tech. (October 9, 1935 and January 22, 1938 issues of the Toreador)


Cpl. Thomas I Bowser and Pfc. Joseph A. Finlayson, 18-year old airmen stationed at Reese Air Force Base, sought to attend night classes at Texas Tech but were rebuffed on the grounds that the college was only open to white students. (The Toreador, August 17, 1951)

Richard Cavazos played football from at Texas Tech from 1949-1950 and was a distinguished graduate of the ROTC program in 1951.

Sophomore Bobby Cavazos, younger brother of Richard, was a stand out football player. In 1951 he played on the Sun Bowl team which marked Texas Tech's fist bowl game victory. For the next three seasons he was a star rusher for the team.


Bobby Cavazos was selected as Mr. Texas Tech and was featured as such in the 1954 yearbook. He was named AP All American football player as well.


Thomas James (T.J.) Patterson moved to Lubbock to work at the Mary and Mac School, which was founded by his aunt, Lucille Sugar Graves.


According to book, Equal Opportunity Hero: T.J. Patterson's Service to West Texas (p. 57), Patterson attempted to enroll as a graduate student at Texas Tech, but was refused entrance based on the color of his skin. Following being drafted by the military and then his aunt's entrance into Texas Tech in 1961, TJ was finally able to enroll in graduate classes at the university in the spring and fall of 1973.


In the summer of 1961, Mrs. Lucille S. Graves was the first African American to gain official entrance into Texas Tech. Her persistent attempts to gain entrance into the college opened the door for other minorities to attend. She also established the Mary and Mac School in 1955, which was the first black private school in Lubbock. The Lubbock County Historical Commission placed a historical marker on the school's structure on July 11, 2014. (Link to the AJ's article about the site dedication)

Be Shiao, from Taiwan, was awarded a scholarship funded jointly by Phi Upsilon Omicron and the American Economics Association that would allow her to obtain her master's degree in home economics.

The July 21st issue of the Toreador announced that African Americans had enrolled at Texas Tech for the first time, though the names of the students and their number were not revealed.


Carmen Perez was classified as a junior in the La Ventana, placing her among the first wave of Latinos to go to Tech. Fidela Perez was a freshman in 1962. Following her graduation in 1964, Fidela went on to graduate from Methodist Hospital School of Nursing in 1967 and enjoy a long career in the medical field before retiring in 2006.

Beginning in 1962, the Operation Senorita program, sponsored by the Lubbock Junior League, brought student teachers from the National Teachers College in Mexico City to Lubbock. Texas Tech's Student Education Chapter hosted a reception for teachers participating in the program.


In 1964, Ophelia Powell-Malone became the first African American to receive a Bachelor's degree from Texas Tech.

The Mexican-American organization of Los Tertulianos, which means "the Social Gatherers," became the University’s first student organization composed of minority students.


In May of 1965, Stella Ruth Courtney Crockett became the first African American to receive a B.A. degree from Texas Tech who had attended all of K-12 in Lubbock and attended all undergraduate years (non-transfer) at Texas Tech. Stella Crockett Courtney oral history interview (2010)


Texas Tech began a $400,000 Mexican-American Teacher-Counselor Education Project to provide scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students to train classroom teachers and school counselors of Mexican-American descent who are also bilingual. (University Daily, August 4, 1967)

Anita Carmona Harrison was the first native Latina Lubbockite to graduate from Texas Tech in 1967. She was also the "first person Mexican origin to go through the entire Lubbock School system and graduate from Texas Tech." (El Editor, February 15-22, 1979)

In February of 1967, Danny Hardaway became the first African American athlete at Texas Tech to receive an athletic scholarship. He was also a charter member of the university's first black student organization. (University Daily, February 15, 1967; Texas Tech Today, February 14, 2019)

Ava Maria Maldonado was winner of the 1967 Hiram Parks Scholarship, which was established in 1945 by Mr. and Mrs. Hiram Parks of Lubbock to encourage students of Mexican descent to continue their education after high school.

Student Organization for Unity and Leadership (SOUL) was approved by the Board of Student Organizations on November 22, 1967 as the first official African American student organization at Texas Tech. (University Daily, December 1, 1967)


Bobby Cavazos was inducted to the Texas Tech Hall of Honor for his athletic contributions. After graduation he had returned to work at the King Ranch and also became an author.(Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, November 19, 2013).


George Scott, previously a science teacher and football coach at Dunbar High School, came to Texas Tech in 1969 as Assistant Dean of Students and part-time instructor in educational psychology. In a University Daily article dated September 11, 1984, Scott stated he was "the first black person to have a job in a professional capacity at Tech." (Texas Tech Today, February 19, 2019)

Alfredo Guzman, of Mexico City, was awarded a $500 scholarship from the Department of Geosciences. Guzman's father, Edwardo J. Guzman was internationally recognized in the field of geology. [TTU press release 2-10-27-69]

Peruvian playwright Alonso Alergria, a visiting professor of Spanish, directed students in a three-act Mexican comedy, "Rosalba y los Llaveros." [TTU press release 17-9-18-69]

Danny Hardaway was listed as being a member of the Red Raider football team in the 1968-1969 football media guide, though no photograph is provided.

In 1967, Danny Hardaway became the first African-American athlete at Texas Tech to receive a scholarship.

Homecoming Queen Sharon Moultrie participating in the November 7, 1981 homecoming parade.

Lauro F. Cavazos was not only the first Hispanic president of Texas Tech but also the first Hispanic appointed as Secretary of Education.


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 Release 5-9-15-70 and photo)

Hui-Ying Tseng was the first woman to receive a master's degree in agronomy from Texas Tech in 1970. (Photo)

On September 1st, Thomas James (T.J.) Patterson began his new job as assistant to the Dean of the College of Business Administration. In that role he served in the capacity of a teacher, freshman advisor, and student recruiter. He held various administrative positions at the university in the College of Business until leaving in July of 1981.

For the 1970-1971 football season Texas Tech had 4 African American athletes - Danny Hardaway, Cedric Jones, Harold Lyons, and Quintin Robinson.

The Elite Eta Lambda Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta was official founded on April 17, 1970. It was acknowledge in the campus newspaper as being the first African American sorority to be established at Texas Tech. (The Toreador, September 23, 1970)


Mrs. Hazel S. Taylor received the first Ford Foundation Advanced Study Fellowship for Black Americans at Texas Tech in July of 1971. Her son, Marshall, was also senior accounting major in the College of Business. (photo)

A group of African American and Chicano students met with the Student Government Association to protest racial misrepresentations made in the Student Association Guide to Lubbock and Texas Tech - 1971-1972 publication, lack of equal broadcast time on KTXT-FM, and a lack of African American teaching faculty.

Among a faculty survey conducted in 1971 was the identification of 9 minorities teaching at Tech. Seven were Asian (6 male, 1 female) - Ashnadelle Mortagy (female, Classical and Romance Languages, first employed in 1970), Chiyyarath Girijavallabhan (Civil Engineering, first employed in 1966), Young Kim (Physics, first employed in 1964), Pun-Kien Koh (Mechanical Engineering, first employed in 1966), Hong Young Lee (Agricultural Economics, first employed in 1963), Arun Walvekar (Industrial Engineering, first employed in 1968), and Shiang Ping Yang (Food and Nutrition, first employed in 1969). Manuel Ruiz-Urbieta (Mechanical Engineering, first employed in 1970) was the sole Latino faculty member identified. Anthony Palizzi (Law School, first employed in 1969) was the sole African American faculty member identified.

Bobbie Gean Bailey Patterson, wife of TJ Patterson, attended Texas Tech from spring 1971 - fall of 1972, earning a master's degree in education.


On February 2, 1972, Emory Grant Davis was offered a 9-month teaching contract at the rank of Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology. The position would begin in the fall semester and at a salary of $12,500. In the search committee's letter of recommendation to the Dean of Arts and Sciences regarding the job offer, the committee acknowledged "The consideration of Mr. Davis as a candidate was admittedly influenced by the needs of Texas Tech University for the first black faculty member to 'integrate' its faculty. From two different points of view, Davis is a much better candidate than we had any right to expect." Davis was a longtime minister of the African Methodist Episcopal Church and completed his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois-Chicago Circle in 1973. He resigned from Texas Tech in June of 1977 to go to Bishop College as chair of its Sociology Department.

On February 2, 1972, Vivian Imogene Davis, wife of Emory Grant Davis, was offered a 9-month teaching contract at the rank of Assistant Professor in the Department of English. The position would begin in the fall semester and at a salary of $11,000. Davis completed her Ph.D. in June of 1973 from Northwestern University and had extensive prior experience teaching in public schools. In 1977 she, like her husband, accepted a teaching position at Bishop College in Dallas, Texas.

For the 1972-1973 football season Texas Tech had 6 African American athletes - Calvin Jones, Harold Lyons, James Mosley, Quintin Robinson, Andre Tillman, and Kenneth Wallace. Selso Ramirez is the only Hispanic athlete pictured in the 1972 football media guide.

Ecomet Burley was one of the first Red Raider freshman to letter in football in the modern era and was named the Most Valuable Lineman in the 1972 Sun Bowl game.


In June of 1973, Mrs. Hazel S. Taylor was offered a teaching position in the College of Education. She began her 9-month teaching appointing in the fall of 1973 as Assistant Professor at a salary of $12,200.


Robert Montemayor served as editor of the campus newspaper, The University Daily (now known as The Daily Toreador), during the 1974-1975 school year.

Abner Euresti received an internship at KCBD News Channel 11 and graduated with a B.A. in Telecommunication from Texas Tech.


According to stories published in 1975 in the University Daily newspaper, Johnny Collins was asked by two other candidates to withdraw his name as a candidate for External Vice-President and run instead for Residence Halls Administration President. Collins, who was also president of the Saddle Tramps, did not withdraw his name and finished in second place when the election was held. In the March 10th issue Collins expressed his regret that the story had been published because "I think the story offended some people because they felt I was responsible. Those people probably voted against me. Then, on the other hand, I think the story also helped get me some support. So I guess you could say things probably evened out." (The University Daily, March 10, 1975) The newspaper's publishing of its endorsement of Collins' opponent the day of the elections was felt by Collins to be "inconsiderate" because it did not allow him, as well as the other candidates running for election, any opportunity for rebuttal. (The University Daily, March 14, 1975)

Later, Collins thanked his supporters in an editorial letter and stated that "The Black Cloud" would not stop growth. (The University Daily, March 19, 1975) The saga continued the following week with an editorial by a UD reporter who explained that the newspaper unfairly and openly backed Collin's opponent because it felt that Cowart was the best candidate. (The University Daily, March 21, 1975) In October the incident was brought up again when SA President Bob Duncan withdrew support for the SA Attorney General candidate Mike Smiddy in part over Smiddy's disagreement that the withdrawal incident with Collins was wrong. (The University Daily, October 21, 1975)


Native Lubbockite Diane Parson, a track runner from Estacado High School, was the first African American woman in Tech history to receive an athletic scholarship when she signed her athletic letter of intent in July of 1976. (The University Daily, p. 1 and 5, July 16, 1976)

Rick Bullock was named the Most Valuable Player in the inaugural Southwest Conference Post-Season Tournament.

Thomas James (T.J.) Patterson was named Man of the Year in the 1976 La Ventana in honor of his contributions to the university and Lubbock and African-American community. In addition to being a freshman advisor for the College of Business Administration Patterson was also serving as co-sponsor of the Saddle Tramps organization.

Richard Cavazos became the first Hispanic to become a brigadier general in the U.S. Army.


Along with Eddie Richardson, Thomas James (T.J.) Patterson co-found the West Texas Times, a local African-American newspaper. [The earlier African-American newspaper was called The Manhattan Heights and began production in 1963 (?). On August 12, 1965 the paper was renamed The Manhattan Heights and West Texas Times, and the January 1, 1966 issue is simply titled The West Texas Times. By 1977 the titles Lubbock Digest and Southwest Digest appear on the front page of the newspapers. (Link to the digitized issues of these newspapers)

English professor Vivian Davis, in response to a recent UD editorial stating whites were losing jobs to unqualified minorities, penned a fiery editorial pointing out that Texas Tech only had four black faculty members on staff, that the job market was changing, and the idea that a minority would get hired first over a white candidate was an absurd hiring myth. Davis and her husband, the first two African American faculty members hired at Texas Tech, departed the university in 1977 to join the faculty at Bishop College. (The University Daily, p. 2, February 14, 1977)


As write-in candidate winning the position of second runner-up John Collins won the opportunity to compete in the runoff elections for March 26th. (The University Daily, March 14, 1980) elected to be the first African American student body president as a write-in candidate. The election was postponed after a University Daily article on the 25th was accused of prejudicing Collin's chances of winning the election. (The University Daily, March 27, 1980) Another article accused Collins of being fired by Kent Hance's office for misuse of a phone card (The University Daily, March 31, 1980). On April 2nd, Collins was declared the winner and became the first African American student body president. (The University Daily, April 3, 1980) On August 27th, he resigned from the position due to health issues. (Lubbock Digest, September 4, 1980)

As the tenth president of Texas Tech, Lauro F. Cavazos was notable for being not only the first (and so far only) Hispanic president but also the first Texas Tech graduate to become president of the university. From Texas Tech he received both his B.A. and M.A. degrees in zoology.

Abner Euresti and Karin McCay became co-anchors at KCBD News Channel 11 beginning in 1980. Euresti faced racial backlash as the first Latino news anchor in Lubbock but refused to step down from his anchor duties.


Sharon Moultrie was the first female Tech athlete, as well the first African American, to be elected as Homecoming Queen by her peers.

In June, Thomas James (T.J.) Patterson left Texas Tech to become full-time co-publisher of The Southwest Digest newspaper. (The paper is also at times labeled as The Lubbock Digest in its earlier years).

James Gray, a football athlete from 1986-1989, was named Southwest Conference Newcomer of the Year in 1986. He was inducted into the Texas Tech Hall of Honor in 1981.

Sophomore Rosalinda Perez was the first Mexican-American contestant in the Miss Lubbock pageant.


Richard E. Cavazos was inducted into the Texas Tech Hall of Honor in 1982. That same year he became the first Hispanic to be appointed a four-star general in the US Army.

Dr. Lucille S. Graves, in a brief article in the February 25, 1982 issue of the Lubbock Digest (p. 10), recalled the discrimination she faced in the classroom as the first African American to take classes at Texas Tech. She also stated that, despite two decades passing, the situation for African Americans at the university had not improved for the better, other than maybe for athletes, nor were prospects for the students following graduation much better.


On April 7, 1984, Thomas James (T.J.) Patterson became the first African American elected to serve on the Lubbock City Council. He would hold that District 2 position for 20 years before being defeated in a run off election by Floyd Price.

In September, 100 Hispanic students attended the 2nd Annual Texas Tech reception for Hispanic students. The annual event was created to acquaint Hispanic students with Hispanic faculty and staff at the university. The 3rd Annual Texas Tech Reception for Black student was also held in September.


Rick Bullock, a basketball athlete from 1973-1976, was elected to the Texas Tech Hall of Honor in 1985.


On August 9, 1988, President Reagan nominated Lauro F. Cavazos for the position of Secretary of Education. On September 20, 1988, Cavazos was unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate. He continued in the role under President George Bush until his resignation in December of 1990.

Tech athlete Amanda Banks was named Southwest Conference outdoor champion in 1998 and 1989.

In May of 1988, the Minority Faculty and Staff Association, comprised of Black and Hispanic faculty and staff from TTU and TTUHSC, was formed.


Members of the Black Student Association sent a letter dated March 2nd to Judith Henry, Dean of Students, expressing their concern over the number of racial incidents that had taken place on the Tech campus and campuses nationwide. (Reference File- Texas Tech: Minorities)

Richard E. Cavazos was appointed to the Texas Tech Board of Regents and served from 1989 to 1995.

The first Hispanic State Conference sponsored by M.A.S.O. (Mexican American Student Organization) was held on campus from March 2-4, 1989.


On February 2nd, the ARCO Foundation presented the College of Engineering a $25,000 grant aimed at improving retention of under-represented minority students pursuing engineering degrees. The Minority Engineering Retention Program (MERP) was designed to ensure that Native American, Black and Hispanic engineering students at Tech complete their degrees.

Omega Delta Phi, the first Hispanic-founded fraternity held its open rush event on February 2nd.


Ruben Garcia, a baseball athlete from 1970-1973, was recognized as Tech's most outstanding pitcher during the first two decades of Tech's membership in the Southwest Conference. Garcia was inducted into the Texas Tech Hall of Honor in 1991.


Thomas Howard, a football athlete from 1974-1976, was inducted into the Texas Tech Hall of Honor in 1993.

Also inducted into the Texas Tech Hall of Honor in 1993 was Gabriel "Gabe" Rivera, a football athlete from 1979-1982 who was also named Southwest Conference Defensive Player of the Year in 1982.

Bernard A. Harris Jr. was one of three new members of the Board of Regents appointed by Governor Ann Richards. Harris was the first African American to serve on the board.


As Payload Commander on Space Shuttle Discovery STS-63 in 1995, Dr. Bernard A. Harris Jr., a graduate of Texas Tech's School of Medicine, served on the first flight of the joint Russian-American Space Program, becoming the “First African American to walk in Space." (Link to Harris' bio)

Michi Atkins, a member of the women's basketball team from 1993-1996, was named Southwest Conference Woman Athlete of the Year in 1995 and 1996.

The new east Lubbock library branch was named after T.J. Patterson and his wife, Bobbie Gean Patterson. Both took graduate classes at Texas Tech.


Michi Atkins was named to the All-Time Lady Raider SWC Team in 1996 and hold the distinction of being all-time leading scorer in SWC women's basketball history.


Christy Martinez-Garcia, a Ronald E. McNair Scholar, received a B.A. in Public Relations and Marketing from Texas Tech.

In August of 1997, Cathy H. Allen began serving as Vice Chancellor for Multicultural and Community Affairs, making her, as of 2020, the highest ranking African American employee at Texas Tech University. After fulfilling this position for 9 years, Allen has served in a number of different roles at the university on both the main campus and Health Sciences Center campus.


Sharon Moultrie-Bruner was inducted into the Texas Tech Hall of Honor in 1998 for her athletic achievements.


Will Flemons, a basketball athlete from 1990-1993, was named Southwest Conference Player of the Year in 1992 and 1993 and also served as assistant coach from 1994-1998. He was inducted into the Texas Tech Hall of Honor in 2003.


Amanda Banks, a track athlete from 1986-1989 who was also selected as Southwest Conference outdoor champion in 1988 and 1989, was inducted into the Texas Tech Hall of Honor in 2004.

Also inducted into the Texas Tech Hall of Honor in 2004 was Ecomet Burley, a football athlete from 1972-1975.

Additionally, Sheryl Swoopes, a basketball athlete from 1992-1993, was inducted into the Texas Tech Hall of Honor. Swoopes was a a member of 1993 national NCAA championship team and is considered to be one of the more prominent athletes in the university's history. She is a 3-time Olympic gold medalist and went on to led the Houston Comets to three WNBA titles.


James Hadnot, a football athlete from 1976-1979, was named Southwest Conference Offensive Player of the Year in 1978 and 1979. He was inducted into the Texas Tech Hall of Honor in 2005.

Also inducted into the Texas Tech Hall of Honor in 2005, Loyd Hill was a football athlete from 1990-1993 and was a member of the 1992 All-American Team.

Ginger Kerrick became the first Hispanic female Flight Director at NASA. (Ginger Kerrick Monitors Action Aboard the International Space Station)


A scholarship honoring George Scott, Jr., the first Black administrator at Texas Tech, was established by Kent Hance. (TTU press release April 22, 2006)

Latino Lubbock Magazine was created by Christy Martinez-Garcia, who both owns and publishes the magazine, to address and promote the educational and community needs of the growing Latino community in Lubbock.


Jason Sasser, a basketball athlete from 1992-1996, was inducted into the Texas Tech Hall of Honor in 2007.


As part of the Lubbock Centennial Celebration Marcus Coleman was named to the All-Time Texas Tech football team. He was a former NFL player with the Jets, the Texans and the Cowboys.


Angie Braziel, a basketball athlete from 1997-1999 who was also selected as MVP of the Big 12 Post-season tournament, was inducted into the Texas Tech Hall of Honor in 2009.

The Timothy Cole Act was signed into law by Governor Rick Perry, providing those falsely convicted of a crime to be eligible for compensation for each year of incarceration.

Kenyan-born American athlete Sally Jepkosgei Kipyego enrolled in the nursing program at Texas Tech in 2007 and completed her degree in May of 2009. During her time at the university, she was a highly distinguished track athlete, garnering numerous awards and setting several race records. Besides being the first Kenyan woman to win an NCAA cross country individual championship, Kipyego was also one of only seven women in NCAA history to win four individual track titles during a single season.


Marcus Coleman, a football athlete from 1992-1995, was inducted into the Texas Tech Hall of Honor for his athletic achievements.

Montae Reagor, a football athlete from 1995-1998 who was also named Team MVP in 1997 and 1998, was inducted into the Texas Tech Hall of Honor in 2010.

On April 25, 2010, the Texas Tech chapter of the Collegiate 100 Black Men was chartered.


In April, the Texas Tech chapter of the Collegiate 100 Black Women was chartered. Both the men's and women's organizations removed the "Black" moniker in 2013 and consolidated into one organization in 2014 named The Texas Tech Chapter of Collegiate 100. (Link to http://texastechcollegiate100.weebly.com/our-history.html)


Bam Morris, a football athlete from 1991-1993, went on to have a successful career in football. In 1993 he was named Team MVP and won the 1993 Doak Walker Award. He was inducted into the Texas Tech Hall of Honor in 2012 for his athletic achievements.

Sally Kipyego, representing Kenya, earned a silver medal in the 10,000 meters race at the 2012 Summer Olympics.


Gabe Rivera was inducted into the Texas Tech Football Ring of Honor, which was begun in 2012 to honor an "elite group of players and coaches that made outstanding contributions to Red Raider Football." (Link to Rivera's Wikipedia page)

Christy Martinez-Garcia and her husband, Frank Garcia, were honored as one of the winners for the 2013 Texas Tech Parents of the Year Award.


Michi Atkins, Amanda Banks, Gabe Rivera, and Andre Tillman were among the 11 former Red Raiders inducted in 2014 into the Southwest Conference Hall of Fame. (Link to TexasTech.com article)

A Texas Tech student in 1985, Timothy B. Cole was arrested and convicted of rape of a fellow Texas Tech student. He died in prison in 1999. Ten years later, he was exonerated of the charges through DNA evidence and pardoned by Governor Rick Perry in 2010. A 13-foot memorial statue in Cole's honor, oriented looking toward the Texas Tech campus from which Cole was expelled following his arrest, was erected at the corner of University Avenue and 19th Street. The unveiling ceremony, held on September 17, 2014, was attended by members of the Lubbock and Texas Tech community, as well as Attorney General Greg Abbott and state Senator Wendy Davis. (Link to article) The Law firm of Glasheen, Valles and Inderman funded the $250,000 statue, sculpted by local artist Eddie Dixon.


On May 15th, Timothy B. Cole was posthumously awarded an honorary degree from Texas Tech, which was accepted on his behalf by his siblings. A Texas Tech student in 1985, Cole was falsely arrested and convicted of rape of a fellow Texas Tech student.


In March of 2016, Arcilia C. Acosta was appointed to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board by Governor Abbott. Acosta graduated with a B.A. in political science in 1989 from Texas Tech and serves as the current President and CEO of CARON Industries. In May of 2015 she delivered a fabulous commencement speech at Texas Tech emphasizing the importance of investing in people rather than material gain.

Former Lady Raider Sheryl Swoopes was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on September 9, 2016.

Ginger Kerrick, representing the area of STEM, was selected by the Texas Governor’s Commission for Women to be inducted into the Texas Women's Hall of Fame for 2016. The induction ceremony will be held at Texas Woman’s University in Denton on October 21st, 2016.

Abner Euresti, a 42-year news veteran in Lubbock, was awarded the second annual Adelante Lifetime Achievement Award in May of 2016 by Los Hermanos Familia.


On June 10th, Sheryl Swoopes was one of six inductees into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame.

September, 2017 - Undergraduate enrollment for full-time equivalent (FTE) Hispanic students reached 27.8% in the fall semester, qualifying Texas Tech to meet the minimum student enrollment requirement for status as an Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI). This status opened new funding opportunities for the university, its faculty, researchers and students.

October 9, 2017 - 48 year-old Texas Tech police officer Floyd East was killed in the line of duty by a Tech freshman Hollis Daniels on the university's campus. The campus was placed on lock down for a short time and the incident made national news.

Abner Euresti was the commencement speaker for the December 2017 commencement ceremonies.


Sean Lewis was elected Student Government President, serving from May 1, 2018-May 1, 2019.

Dr. Carol A. Sumner was appointed Vice President of the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion on June 18, 2018.

October 9, 2018 - A moment of silent was held in Memorial Circle in remembrance of fallen police officer Floyd East, who was killed the previous year. A donated boulder bearing East's name was installed outside the Texas Tech Police Department on October 27th.

Through a $5 million grant from the Governor's University Research Initiative (GURI), Texas Tech hired its first National Academy of Sciences (NAS) faculty member, Luis Rafael Herrera-Estrella. He joined the faculty of the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.


During the February 21st Big 12 Conference on Black Student Government, Stephanie Odigie and Cabel Morris became the first Texas Tech students to be recognized by the Council on Black Student Government and win the Big 12 Black Caucus Award. Texas Tech was official inducted into the organization the prior year. (Link to The Daily Toreador article)

Ginger Kerrick was appointed by the Governor Abbott as one of three incoming Board of Regents members to serve from May 2019-January 2025.

At the end of May, Sean Lewis, who had just graduated with a bachelor's degree in history, was appointed by Governor Abbott to serve as the TTU System Student Regent effective June 1, 2019 to May 31, 2020.


On February 2nd, former Red Raider football player Patrick Mahomes, as a member of the Kansas City Chiefs, became the third youngest quarterback in NFL history to win the Super Bowl MVP award as well as the second youngest player to ever win a Super Bowl. He is also cited as the youngest player, and first quarterback, to win both a Super Bowl and league MVP before his 25th birthday. (Link to USA Today article)

By placing third in the U.S. Women's Olympic Trials Marathon on February 29, 2020, Sally Jepkosgei Kipyego secured a second trip to the Summer Olympics. As U.S. citizen (since 2017), Kipyego will participate as a member of the U.S. Olympic team once the postponed 2020 Summer Olympic games are rescheduled.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Texas Tech held its May 23rd graduation ceremonies virtually, a first in the university’s history. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback who attended Texas Tech and played football from 2014-2016, served as the guest speaker for the ceremonies.

A distinguished 1984 graduate of Texas Tech University's Air Force ROTC program, General Charles “C.Q.” Q. Brown Jr. was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate on June 9th as the new Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force. The appointment makes him the first black chief of a military service branch. He will also be the first black officer to sit on the Joint Chiefs of Staff since Army Gen. Colin Powell served as chairman from 1989 to 1993. Brown earned his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Texas Tech and was named a distinguished alumnus in 2012. (Link to Texas Tech Today article)

Earnstein Dukes began her appointment as Dean of the TTU Libraries on August 1st, making her the first African American at the university to hold the position of dean.

Patrick Mahomes and General Charles “C.Q.” Q. Brown Jr. were named among Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People of 2020.


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