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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.

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center General Timeline

Below is a timeline of some of the highlights from the history of the Texas Tech University. This page is a work in progress. Also available are timelines for the History of the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, a Texas Tech Women's Timeline and a Timeline of Diversity and Inclusion at Texas Tech.


  • May 27, 1969 - H.B. No. 498 was signed by Governor Preston Smith authorizing Texas Tech University to plan, organize and create a school of medicine in Lubbock to serve the West Texas region.


  • August, 1970 - The first dean of the School of Medicine, Dr. John A. Buesseler, is appointed.


  • 1971 - Governor Preston Smith signed the Higher Education Facilities Act of 1971, which provide up to $35 million in state funds for a new school of medicine at Texas Tech University.
  • October 21, 1971 - The School of Medicine received provisional accreditation from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) of the American Medical Association and the Association of American Medial Colleges.
  • November 19, 1971 - The Coordinating Board of the Texas College and University System approved a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree program to be offered by a School of Veterinary and Zoological Medicine within the Texas Tech School of Medicine. The proposed program was subject to funding from the Texas Legislature.


  • August 21, 1972 - A brief commemoration ceremony for the opening of the first academic year of the new Texas Tech University School of Medicine was held at Drane Hall at 9:30 am. (Scripts for the opening day ceremonies and the student orientation can be found in the Medical School: Ground Breaking and Dedication reference file) The school opened with a freshman class of 26 students and a junior class of 25 students.
  • October 1, 1972 - The Texas Tech University School of Medicine assumed operational management of the Student Health Center.


  • February 2, 1973 - Former Governor Preston Smith headed up the groundbreaking ceremony for the the $35 million Phase I of the School of Medicine. The groundbreaking ceremony for the first building in the School of Medicine's construction program was held at 2:00 pm at the site of the future HSC campus.
  • February, 1973 - The first resident physician training program is initiated at TTUSM.
  • On May 1, 1973, Dr. Buesseler stepped down as dean to serve full time as VP for health affairs and health sciences. Dr. William W. Frye was named interim dean.
  • May 11, 1973 - The Board of Regents approved the establishment of an Institute of Food Science and Human Nutrition as an interdisciplinary free standing institute of TTU and TTUSM.
  • Summer, 1973 - Thompson Hall opened as a clinical facility for the School of Medicine as well as the Student Health Clinic.
  • July 2, 1973 - The second freshman class to enroll in the School of Medicine is comprised of 10 women and 26 men.
  • July 19, 1973 - The Coordinating Board of the Texas College and University System approved the establishment of a School of Allied Health Sciences within the Texas Tech University School of Medicine. Jointly TTUSM and TTUAHS will be able to provide degrees in occupational therapy and physical therapy.


  • January, 1974 - Ambulatory Teaching Clinics opened.
  • May 31, 1974 - The first class of physicians graduated from the School of Medicine.
  • August, 1974 - A four year curriculum is initiated.


  • July, 1975 - The School of Medicine is placed on probation by LCME.
  • On June 30, 1975 - TTU School of Medicine (TTUSM) began broadcasting videotapes on variety of medical subjects on its new Channel 9 closed circuit TV station. Channel 9 operated in cooperation with the Western Information Network. (see U 143.1 Planning Department Records Box 4 Folder 28)


  • April, 1976 - The Amarillo RAHC building is dedicated.


  • June 5, 1977 - Graduation convocation for the School of Medicine was held at 2:30 pm in the University Center Theatre, with Governor Dolph Briscoe as the commencement speaker. At 4:30 pm, a dedication ceremony for the School of Medicine, North Entrance building was held. Briscoe gave the dedication speech.
  • July, 1977 - The School of Medicine is fully accredited by LCME.
  • September, 1977 - The El Paso RAHC building is dedicated.


  • January 28, 1978 - Dedication ceremonies for the Health Sciences Center Hospital was held at 2 pm. Among the guest speakers were Preston Smith, former Governor of Texas, TTU President Cecil Mackey, Senator Kent Hance, Speaker of the Texas House, Bill Clayton, and Lubbock Mayor Roy Bass.


  • The Emergency Medicine residency program at the El Paso campus offers the only civilian program of its kind until 1992.


  • Construction begins at the El Paso medical campus.


  • The El Paso medical campus opens its door for outpatient care.


  • The El Paso campus is designated a National Hispanic Center of Excellence by the Hispanic Honor Society.


  • The Texas Tech University System, comprised of both Texas Tech University and the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, is established.


  • June 1999 - The regional Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Odessa opened its doors to patient practice.


  • May 11, 2016 - Jeremy Steward, a third-year medical student, became the first student from the TTU HSC El Paso campus to be appointed Student Regent for the TTU System by Governor Greg Abbott.


  • Lori Rice-Spearman was appointed ninth president of the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center on June 5th, making her the first female president in TTUHSC’s 51-year history, as well as the first female president in the entire TTU four university system. Rice-Spearman has held multiple appointments in the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center since her initial appointment in 1987.


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