Texas A&M University – Commerce Is the Fifth-Oldest University in Texas

Texas A&M University-Commerce is a public research institution situated in Commerce, Texas, approximately 65 miles northeast of Dallas. Established in 1889, it is the fifth-oldest university in the state that has cemented its legacy in providing quality education for over 130 years. Today, it registers an academic enrollment of more or less 12,000 students annually, making it the second-largest university in the entire Texas A&M University System.

Texas A&M University-Commerce LogoTexas A&M University-Commerce Logo

History of Texas A&M University-Commerce

Founded by William Leonidas Mayo, the Texas A&M University-Commerce traces its roots in 1889, first opening its doors in Cooper, Texas as the East Texas Normal College. In July 1894, the original one-building was destroyed in a fire, forcing it to move to its present-day location in Commerce and marking the start of the institution’s dynamic change.

In 1917, the Texas Legislature voted to purchase the college and make it a state college, renaming it the East Texas State Normal College. Its founder never heard the news as he died due to a heart attack on the same day when the voting was made. From the 1920s to the 1960s, the college continued to experience transformation and constant growth, increasing its faculty number, student enrolment, and campus size.

The original East Texas Normal College buildingThe original East Texas Normal College building

 In 1923, the college had another change of name. It was designated as the East Texas State Teachers College to provide the institution’s purpose and identity as a teacher education provider. More than a decade later, in 1935, its curriculum expanded, embracing graduate education programs.

In 1957, the State of Texas recognized the college’s widening scope, and the school changed its name again, this time to East Texas State College. In 1964, the college integrated as ordered by the Board of Regents. A year later, the institution incorporated doctoral programs, making it a university under the name of East Texas State University in 1965.

During the late 1970s to the early 1980s, the university saw a downturn in its student body. Nevertheless, the institution welcomed the diversity provided by the increase in the numbers of non-traditional and international students and those from other racial and ethnic minorities.

The mid-1980s tested the university as Texas’ economic downfall placed it on the brink of closure. Supporters of the university opposed the proposal and rallied to the State Capitol, saving the university and securing its existence. It was only in 1996, 107 years past the school’s foundation when it got its present designation as the Texas A&M University-Commerce after joining the Texas A&M system.

McFarland Science BuildingMcFarland Science Building

Texas A&M University-Commerce Today

Since its foundation, Texas A&M University-Commerce has been renowned for providing top-notch education and producing some of the most excellent and best-educated graduates and professionals worldwide.

It has five academic colleges, namely the College of Business, College of Science and Engineering, College of Humanities, Social Sciences, and Arts, College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, and the College of Education and Human Services, offering degrees in more than 100 diverse disciplines.

Some of the university’s graduates work in industry leaders like Wells Fargo Bank, KTEN Television, Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas, Honeywell, and the U.S. Department of Labor.

Morris Recreation CenterMorris Recreation Center

Its main campus is located in Commerce, Texas, boasting state-of-the-art facilities, such as the Morris Recreation Centers, Rayburn Student Center, and a planetarium in the McFarland Science Building. Further expansion and construction are in the works as part of the institution’s devotion to providing the best educational opportunities for its students.

Texas A&M University-Commerce has additional off-site locations, situated in Corsicana, downtown Dallas, Midlothian, McKinney, Mesquite, and Rockwall, while also offering online learning gateways. Through that, the university is able to provide Northeast Texas citizens and nearby communities its needs of quality undergraduate, graduate, and professional education.

Rayburn Student CenterRayburn Student Center

Staying true to its mission, the university continues to bestow affordable education and within reach of diverse types of students, encompassing innovative learning and teaching practices and incorporating leadership and service principles. All that is geared towards its vision of molding its students to be active, contributing members of society and allow Texas A&M University-Commerce to partake in the social, cultural, economic, intellectual, and environmental advancement of the state.