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History of Texas Tech University

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Texas Tech University History From Then to Now

Texas Tech University, located in Lubbock, Texas, has a long and rich history in its academic department. On February 10th, 1923, Senate Bill Number 103, passed and said that a university was to be built in west Texas. On August 8th, 1923 Lubbock was chosen to be the home of what is now known as Texas Tech University. 

        The first semester began in the Fall of 1925 and would be home to six buildings with an initial enrollment of 914. Texas Technical College was the name of the university when it first opened. It housed 2/3 of West Texas, which in comparison is equal in size or bigger than 46 of United States 50 States. For deciding the home of the university it came down to neighboring towns such as Floydada, Idalou, and Sweetwater. Ultimately, Lubbock became the final spot. 

    In late 1924, Texas Tech began construction. The Administration Building was the first building to be built on the campus. Still used for administration purposes today, the building stands in the middle of campus. The school would officially open a year later, on October 1st, 1925, and house four schools. Those being the school of agriculture, engineering, home economics, and liberal arts. Following a successful first year, the university established the Texas Tech Football Team. The Texas Tech double T logo was then born. 

Name Change

        With the university now educating the Lubbock community for over 40 years, many began to believe it was time to change the institution’s title. Many names were suggested, such as Texas State University, University of the Southwest, and others similar. But in an attempt to preserve the now historic Double T. the university would agree to the name Texas Tech University. The name that is now known as today.        


        In the institution’s first years, an army base nearby the school would see training and growth from the military base. The university would see slow growth, but by 1939, the school would have an enrollment of 3,890. With World War 2 taking place during that time, the overall enrollment numbers would begin to plummet. Shortly after World War 2, the institution would see an enrollment rate of 1,696 but would skyrocket to 5,366 in 1943. 

        As time progressed, so did change around the university. With a historically Caucasian background, the university would have its first three African American students enrolled in 1961. The action was put in motion by a lawsuit that stated a policy that “all qualified applicants regardless of color” were to be admitted if they fit the academic criteria. 

         In 1967 the first African American student that was offered an athletic scholarship came was Danny Hardaway. Then, only three years later, Hortense W. Dixon became the first African American to earn a doctorate from the institution. 

History of Texas Tech Growth Continued

        With historical things happening around the university years later, the institution would put $150 million into the campus. The money would help build and update buildings such as the library, foreign languages, social sciences, communications, philosophy, and many more programs. Perhaps one of the most significant creations for the university came out of the school of medicine. With one of the most extensive medical programs in the state at the time, the school still holds that reputation of having an excellent medical school.

As of Late

        In the last 25 years, the university has seen an immense amount of change. In 1996 the institution created the Texas Tech University System. Then elected John Montford to sit as the college’s first chancellor. After it finalized, Regents Chair Edward Whiteacre Jr went on to say, “it’s time to take the university into the 21st century.”

        Years later, in 2007, San Angelo State University would join the school system, expanding the range of the school. In the year 2021, Midwestern State University would join the system again, helping expand the reach of the school. 

        With the university continuously growing, the institution would spend $548 million on new constructions projects since 2000, on top of the $548 million spent by the university. It has received over $66 million in private donations from alumni and other outside sources. 

More recently, in Amarillo, Texas, the School of Veterinary Medicine has been built and opened. The first classes will begin in the Fall of 2021, and the estimated construction budget is $90 million. 


        Now continually growing, the university would be named a tier 1 status school. Which would provide another $500 million in grants. Texas Tech is now home to thirteen colleges in Lubbock. And offers more than 150 undergraduate degrees, 100 graduate degrees, and another 50 doctoral degrees. Still growing, the institution now has over 40,000 enrolled students in graduate and undergraduate studies. Since it does not seem to be slowing down anytime soon. With that look for Texas Tech to continue its expansion as the Red Raiders “Strive for honor” and, as always, “long live the matadors.”

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Story by Campus Live Employee Trinity Porter

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