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Texas Tech University Archives
Enrollment Information, Texas Tech Firsts and Milestones, and Chronology of TTU Departments and Degrees.

Academic Firsts and Milestones

Enrollment Information
The Department of Institutional Research gathers 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 university. Visit Institutional Research's home page to view these types of statistics.

The Fact Books 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 Irwin Coleman.

Texas Tech Firsts and Milestones [University Highlights]

Below are some miscellaneous facts about milestones "firsts" at Texas Tech. Whenever possible, sources have been cited.

Educational Milestones:

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, 12-21-60)

Mrs. Lucille Sugar Graves is noted in her oral history interview (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.

Graduation Milestones:

  • 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 sociology.
  • 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, 1965)
  • 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)
  • Gerald L. Morris was awarded the first Ph.D. in Mathematics on August 26th. (University Daily, August 4, 1967)
  • Stella Crockett Courtney oral history interview(2010) was the 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 Release 5-9-15-70)
  • Three additional Latinos graduated from Texas Tech in 1972 - Bidal Aguero, Jesse Rangel, and Rosa Gonzalez. (El Editor, February 15-22, 1979)

Other University Milestones:

  • Greek-letter fraternity and sororities were allowed at Texas Tech beginning on June 21, 1952.
  • 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 6-6-23-69)
  • 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 Toreador)
  • 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 organization.
  • Mrs. Hazel S. Taylor received the first Ford Foundation Advanced Study Fellowship for Black Americans at Texas Tech in July of 1971. (photo)


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 School of Liberal Arts, the School of Household Economics [later called Home Economics], the School of Agriculture, and the School of Engineering. All were four year course systems.
  • 1925 -- first classes held at Texas Technological College for first year freshman and sophomores
  • 1925 -- The College of Liberal Arts offered a B.A. 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 -- A Division of Graduate Studies was established
  • 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