Celebrate Texas Independence at "Independence Eve"

March 1


University of North Texas

The University of North Texas was founded by Joshua C. Chilton as a private college in 1890. With the help of local civic leaders, Chilton established Texas Normal College and Teachers’ Training Institute to prepare teachers and educate business and professional men. The first classes were held in September 1890 on the second floor of  Read more

Texas Wesleyan University

Texas Wesleyan University, originally Polytehnic College, was founded by the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, in 1890. Under the direction of Bishop Joseph S. Key, a committee searched out locations for a campus. They settled on 300 acres east of Fort Worth donated by area pioneers, A.S. Hall, W.D. Hall and George Tandy. Only 50 acres  Read more

Howard Payne College

Howard Payne College was founded by the Pecan Valley Baptist Association at Indian Creek in June of 1889. J.D. Robnett, pastor of the First Baptist Church in Brownwood, and Noah T. Byars, a blacksmith, are considered the founders of the college. Robnett became president of the first board of trustees and sought out the funds  Read more

University of Texas

The University of Texas opened in 1883 but the idea originated in 1839 when the Congress of the Republic of Texas ordered a site set aside for a university. That same year an act allocated fifty leagues of land to the establishment of the college or university. Nothing more was done until 1858 when the  Read more

University of the Incarnate Word

University of the Incarnate Word was founded by the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word. The sisters originated in Lyons, France and was established in Galveston in 1866 by its founder Claude Marie Dubuis. Dubuis went back and forth to France recruiting priests and nuns to come to Texas. Bishop Dubuis made frequent trips  Read more

Southwestern University

Southwestern University was formed initially as Texas University by the five Methodist Episcopal Conferences of Texas in a convention of April 1870 that merged four earlier colleges – Rutersville College, Wesleyan College, McKenzie College and Soule University. Rev. Dr. Francis Asbury Mood was named president of Soule University in Washington County in 1868. After he  Read more


Texas Christian University was founded in 1873 in Thorp Spring, Texas as Add-Ran Male and Female College by brothers Addison and Randolph Clark. The school was taken over by the Christian Church in 1889 and named change to Add-Ran Christian University. Once the school moved to Waco in 1895, the name changed again to Texas  Read more

Sam Houston State University

Sam Houston Normal Institute was created in 1879 by an act of the Texas Legislature “to elevate the standard of education throughout the State, by giving through instruction and special training to as many as possible to our present and future teachers.” The law detailed that two students from each senatorial district and six from  Read more

St. Edwards University

St. Edwards was founded by the Rev. Edward Sorin of the Holy Cross Fathers and Brothers. The same congregation had established the University of Notre Dame in the 1840s. In the 1870s, Sorin learned that Mary Doyle of Austin wanted a Catholic school established in Austin and was willing to donate her 398-acre farm just  Read more

Texas A&M

Texas A&M was started by the passing of the Morrill Act in 1862 that allowed donation of public land to the states for the purpose of funding higher education whose “leading object shall be, without excluding other scientific and classical studies, and including military tactics, to teach such branches of learning as are related to  Read more

Trinity University

Trinity University was founded in 1869 after three small antebellum Presbyterian schools in Texas – Ewing College, Chapel Hill College and Larissa College all failed during the Civil War. Cumberland Presbyterians wanted to establish a single institution of higher learning in Texas. Trinity opened its doors in Tehuacana (near Waco) with around 100 co-ed students  Read more

St. Mary’s University

St. Mary’s Institute opened in 1852 above a livery stable with five faculty members and twelve boys enrolled. The institution continued to grow under the first director, Brother Andrew Edell, until 1866 when the Marianists’s resources in personnel were stretched to the limit and consideration was given to closing the Institute. The Rev. John N.  Read more

Austin College

Austin College was established by the Brazos Presbytery of the Old School Presbyterian Church as a men’s college and theological school in 1849. The presbytery appointed Daniel Baker, James Weston Miller and William Cochran Blair to find a site somewhere between the Brazos and Trinity rivers. Huntsville was chosen as the location because the citizens  Read more

Baylor University

Baylor University was founded in 1841 by Robert E.B. Baylor, James Huckins and William Milton Tryon who organized an education society, the Texas Union Baptist Association, with the purpose of establishing a Baptist university in Texas. Baylor was charted by the Republic of Texas on February 1, 1845 and was opened in Independence in 1846.  Read more