Texas A&M University

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Texas A&M University logo

Texas A&M University

Established 1876
(first public college in Texas)
School type Flagship State University
Endowment $4.3 billion (USD)
Grants Land, Sea, Space
President Dr. Robert Gates
Campus College Station, Texas
Enrollment 41,515 total (Spring 2005)
Faculty 2,400
Sports team Texas Aggies
Campus 5,200 acres (21 km²)
(largest in the US)
Website www.tamu.edu

</div> </div> Texas A&M University, often "Texas A&M", "A&M" or "TAMU" for short, is one of the premiere universities in Texas and is the flagship institution of the Texas A&M University System. Texas A&M's rare triple designation as a Land-, Sea-, and Space-Grant institution reflects the broad scope of its research endeavors, with ongoing projects funded by such prominent and diverse agencies as NASA, the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation and the Office of Naval Research.


History of the University

Texas A&M Block T Logo
Texas A&M Block T Logo

Texas A&M University, the state’s first public institution of higher education, opened on October 4, 1876 as the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas. The school owes its origin to the Morrill Act of 1862, which established the nation's land-grant university system. Texas A&M was originally established as a military institution (similar to VMI or The Citadel), but membership in the school's Corps of Cadets became voluntary in 1965, and the admission of women to the university was allowed. Membership in the Corps also allows for commissioning in any of the branches of military service although, while once required, military commission is now voluntary. Today, the Corps still boasts membership of nearly 2,000 men and women.

On August 23, 1963, the name of the institution was changed to "Texas A&M University" to more accurately reflect its expanding role in teaching, research, and public service for the state, nation and world. The initials "A" and "M" are a link to the university's past; they no longer represent any specific words as the school's curriculum has grown to include not only agriculture and engineering, but now offers degrees in almost 160 courses of study through 10 different colleges. Texas A&M has awarded more than 284,000 academic degrees, including approximately 61,000 graduate and professional degrees.


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Texas A&M T-Star Logo

Texas A&M University is consistently ranked as one of the best universities in the nation and is currently ranked 22nd among public universities in the United States1. The university's enrollment includes 41,515 students2 on its 5,200 acre (21 km˛) campus studying for degrees in 10 academic colleges. The fall semester of 2002 set a record of 45,083 students, making Texas A&M the fastest growing university in the nation. Since that time, an enrollment-management plan has been initiated to maintain a high standard of teaching excellence. Recently, Texas A&M was invited to become a member of the highly selective Association of American Universities and now ranks first in Texas and among the top 10 U.S. institutions in enrollment of National Merit Scholars.

The Dwight Look College of Engineering is ranked 8th among public universities and is tied for 16th nationally when including private institutions. Four specialty areas in the college are ranked among the top five in the nation. Petroleum engineering and Agricultural engineering rank first in their field nationally, with nuclear engineering placing third in its area and industrial engineering fifth in its category. The industrial distribution program administered by the department of engineering is ranked number one in the United States. In all, 10 of Texas A&M's 12 engineering disciplines are ranked among the top 20 in the nation1.

The Texas A&M College of Architecture, one of the largest architectural colleges in the United States (2,000 students), is ranked the best in Texas and 10th among public institutions (tied with Yale University)1.

The Lowry Mays College of Business is ranked 18th among public institutions and tied for 29th overall (tied for best in Texas). The Mays MBA program is now ranked 1st in Texas and 21st nationally, up three spots from last year. The department ranks 15th among public institutions1.

Other colleges at Texas A&M include: College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, College of Education, College of Geosciences, College of Liberal Arts, College of Science, College of Veterinary Medicine, and the George Bush School of Government and Public Service

  • Worldwide
    • Ongoing research projects on all seven continents
    • More than 85 formal research, student and faculty exchange or other partnerships with institutions in more than 35 nations
    • One of only two U.S. university partnerships with CONACYT, Mexico's equivalent of the National Science Foundation
    • Home of "Las Americas Digital Research Network," world's largest online academic architecture network: 26 universities in 12 nations
    • Operates a study center in Santa Chiara, Italy, and a multi-purpose center in Mexico City
    • More than 1,000 students participated in study abroad or exchange programs between September 1999 and August 2000
    • Center for International Business Research and Education one of only 28 in United States supported by U.S. Department of Education
    • Number 1 in nation for number of outgoing Fulbright Scholars


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Aerial view of the central portion of the Texas A&M Main Campus

Texas A&M University has the largest campus in the nation with approximately 200 buildings and a value of over $1 billion. The Texas A&M campus is home to the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum.

The campus is divided into two parts clearly separated by the railroad tracks that run through its center. The portion of the campus east of the railroad tracks is known as the Main Campus while the portion of the campus west of the railroad tracks is known as West Campus. Also, the area west of White Creek is known as Research Park.


Texas A&M University's Main Campus is located in College Station, Texas also known as Aggieland. College Station is a city located in Brazos County, Texas, population 152,415 (Census 2000), in East Texas. The city is centrally located, approximately equidistant from three of the 10 largest cities in the United States. It is 95 miles north of Houston, 166 miles northeast of San Antonio and 169 miles south of Dallas. It is 104 miles east of Austin, the state capital of Texas. Seventy five percent of the Texas and Louisiana populations (13.1 million people) live within 3.5 driving hours of College Station.

Notable buildings

Of the over 200 buildings on Texas A&M University Campus some of the most recognized include the Academic Building, the Albritton Bell Tower, the Administration Building, Kyle Field, and the Memorial Student Center (MSC) and recently the George Bush Presidential Library.

Texas A&M Academic Building
Texas A&M Academic Building
  • Academic Building (http://www.tamu.edu/buildings/academic.html)
    • One of the most recognized images of Texas A&M University, the Academic Building stands at the heart of the campus. Completed in 1914, it stands on the site of Old Main, the first campus building that burned in 1912. The Academic Plaza is the site of a wide range of campus events including Silver Taps.
  • Albritton Bell Tower (http://www.tamu.edu/buildings/albritton.html)
    • Donated to Texas A&M University and dedicated on October 6, 1984 by Martha and Ford D. Albritton, the Albritton Tower is 138 feet tall and contains Westminster chimes which ring every quarter hour. There are 49 carillon bells, the largest one weights more than six thousand pounds, can be programmed to play music such as the "Spirit of Aggieland".
  • Administration Building (http://www.tamu.edu/vpa/administration)
    • For many years home to all of Texas A&M's administrative offices, the Jack K. Williams Administration Building opened its doors in 1932 and continues to house several Texas A&M University and Texas A&M University System offices and agencies. Designed by Professor C.S.P. Vosper and built by Campus Architect F.E. Giesecke, the monumental classical structure's features include intricate Ionic columns, polished brass handrails along its marble staircases and stained-glass windows.
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Texas A&M Administration Building
  • Airport (http://www.tamu.edu/easterwoodairport/)
  • Kyle Field
    • Since 1929 the home to the Fightin' Texas Aggies, Kyle Field is considered by many to rank among the nation's premiere football facilities.
  • Memorial Student Center (MSC) (http://www.msc.tamu.edu)
    • For more than 50 years the Memorial Student Center has been a living memorial, a living room, and a living tradition at Texas A&M University.
  • George Bush Presidential Library
    • Operated by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum is the tenth Presidential Library in the United States. Former President George Bush remains actively involved with both the Bush Library and the nearby George Bush School of Government and Public Service, frequently visiting the campus and participating in special events.
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George Bush Presidential Library
  • Texas A&M Libraries (http://library.tamu.edu)
    • Texas A&M University is ranked in the top 10 for its library collections in Engineering & Technology, Military and Naval Science, Nautical Archaeology, Oceanography and Transportation. Libraries on campus include the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum, the Cushing Memorial Library, the Medical Sciences Library, the Policy Sciences & Economics Library, Sterling C. Evans Library, West Campus Library and the Biological Collections Library.
  • Laboratories (http://www.tamu.edu/00/academic/bbbbba.html)
    • Laboratories on the Texas A&M University campus include the Energy Systems Laboratory, Fiber Optic Lab, Hypermedia Research Lab, Materials and Structures Testing Lab, Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Lab, Turbomachinery Laboratory and the Wave Propagation and Damping Laboratory. Texas A&M was involved in a bid to operate the Los Alamos National Laboratory for the US Department of Energy but dropped its bid in December 2004. Texas A&M is the only academic institution to clone five different species: cattle, goats, pigs, a cat, and a white-tailed deer.


Texas A&M University's endowment totals approximately $4.3 billion; 11th in the nation and third among public universities. The University receives income from an endowment known as the Permanent University Fund. The PUF principal in the fall 2000 was approximately $10 billion, second only to Harvard's endowment. The PUF serves 15 Texas universities in the Texas A&M University System and the University of Texas System. Other Texas public universities outside these two systems, notably University of Houston and Texas Tech University, are prohibited by law from sharing in the income from this endowment. At one time, the PUF was the chief source of income for Texas A&M, today its revenues account for less than 10 percent of the university's annual budget. This has challenged the university to increase sponsored research and private donations.


Steeped strongly in tradition, Texas A&M University has several time-honored traditions:

  • "The Aggie Spirit"
    • "From the outside looking in, you can't understand it. From the inside looking out, you can't explain it"
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Texas A&M 12th Man
  • The 12th Man
    • Texas A&M is the original home of the 12th Man. In January 1922, Texas A&M was playing Centre College, the nation's top-ranked team. The Aggies had limited reserves on their squad and several players were hurt. A&M coach Dana X. Bible, looking for much-needed players remembered a student by the name of E. King Gill, a former football player who was helping reporters identify players in the press box. Gill was asked to be available for the game, suited up and stood on the sideline ready to go in at a moment's notice. As the game ended, which the Aggies won, Gill was the only remaining man on the sidelines. Similarly, today, the Texas A&M student body acts as the "12th Man" for the football team and stands throughout the entire game, ready to help the team.
  • Texas A&M Corps of Cadets
    • An organization that trains students in the ways of the military with the option of a commission to the military upon graduation. The Corps trains more military officers than any school in the U.S. apart from the service academies. See also the Texas Aggie Corps of Cadets Association (http://www.txagcca.org/)
  • Fightin' Texas Aggie Band
    • The Fightin' Texas Aggie Band is the precision military marching band of Texas A&M University. The Aggie Band is composed of approximately 400 men and women from the school's Corps of Cadets and the group is the largest military marching band in the United States, performing at all of the school's football games and in other special events, such as inaugural parades for presidents and governors.
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  • Midnight Yell Practice
    • A "Yell Practice" is a much larger replacement for what other schools may call a "pep rally" where over 20,000 students and fan attend the night before the football game to support the team. The principle is the same: to excite the crowd to cheer Texas A&M on to victory.
  • Gig 'em
    • At a Midnight Yell Practice before the 1930 football game against Texas Christian University, a Texas A&M board of regent Pinky Downs shouted, "What are we going to do to those Horned Frogs?" His muse did not fail him as he improvised, borrowing a term from frog hunting. "Gig 'em, Aggies!" he said as he made a fist with his thumb extended straight up. And with that the first hand sign in the Southwest Conference came into being.
  • Yell Leaders
    • Unlike many schools that feature cheerleaders to encourage crowds to support their sporting teams, Texas A&M has "yell leaders," five male students (three seniors and two juniors) who serve to lead the crowds in "yells" (not cheers). Yell Leaders do not perform gymnastic feats, and they use a variety of hand signals ("passbacks") to direct and intensify crowds.
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Texas Aggie Bonfire (over 59 feet tall)
  • Texas Aggie Bonfire
    • Beginning in 1909, Texas A&M students worked together to build a massive bonfire on the grounds of the school. Students cut down logs on their own and brought them to campus, working around the clock to construct a massive bonfire before the annual game versus the University of Texas on Thanksgiving weekend. The idea behind the bonfire was to symbolize the Aggies' "burning" desire to beat the "hell" out of Texas University.
      • On November 18, 1999, 12 were killed and 27 injured when a huge bonfire structure under construction at the campus collapsed. A memorial to remember the 12 fallen Aggies was dedicated on November 18, 2004.
  • Muster
    • On April 21 of each year current and former students of Texas A&M University gather together, wherever they are, to commemorate fellow Aggies who have died during the year. In 2004, there were over 400 Aggie Musters worldwide. The largest, with around 13,000 in attendance, was held on the campus of Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas.
  • Silver Taps
    • Silver Taps is a tradition of Texas A&M University to honor Aggies who died while attending Texas A&M. It is a special arrangement of the military song "Taps" composed by Colonel Richard J. Dunn in the 1930s. Following a 21-gun salute by the Ross Volunteer Firing Squad in the Academic Plaza, six buglers play Silver Taps three times from the dome of the school's Academic Building: once to the north, once to the south and once to the west. The song is not played to the east because the sun is never to rise on that Aggie again.
  • Aggie Ring
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Aggie Ring
    • The Aggie Ring is worn by students and graduates of the University, and each aspect of the ring is used to promote school spirit. It was designed by E. C. Jonas in 1894 and the design has been used since with only the class year changed.
    • The top of the ring depicts an eagle and shield. The shield at the top of the ring symbolizes protection of the reputation of the alma mater. The thirteen stripes in the shield represent the thirteen original states and symbolize patriotism. The five stars in the shield refer to the facets of student's development: mind, body, spirit, emotion, and integrity. The eagle denotes agility, power, and ability.
    • On one side of the ring is a large star, borrowed from the seal of the state of Texas. The oak leaves symbolize strength.
    • On the other side of the ring are a cannon, a saber, and a rifle, symbolizing Aggies' preparedness and valor in defending their land. The crossed flags of the United States and Texas symbolize allegiance to both nation and state.
    • Traditionally, students wear their ring with the class year facing them to signify the fact that their time at A&M is not yet complete. During Senior Weekend at the annual Ring Dance, the student's ring is turned around.
  • Reveille
    • The school does not have a mascot per se, but instead has its own unique tradition. The "First Lady" of A&M, and the highest ranking member of the Corps of Cadets is a collie named Reveille that is present at all football games and many other University functions.
  • Maroon Out
    • A tradition where the entire crowd wears maroon to sporting events. Even though this is now practiced at every game, each football season one game is specially designated "Maroon Out". In the first five years of the Maroon Out tradition, the Fightin' Texas Aggies have beaten all five opponents including four teams in the national top 10 at the time.
  • Howdy
    • Texas A&M students keep alive the word "Howdy" by using it as their primary greeting. It is polite to greet as many people as comfortably possible with a smile and a howdy. Howdy's should always be returned if one is received. An unreturned howdy is perceived as bad bull.


A charter member of the Southwest Conference until its dissolution in 1996, Texas A&M now competes in the Big XII Conference (South Division) of the NCAA's Division I-A. The sports teams are known as the Aggies and the colors are maroon and white.

The University's major rival is the University of Texas, known to Aggies as "texas university" or simply "t.u.". In 2004, sporting events between Texas A&M and the University of Texas became known as the "Lonestar Showdown". The most-watched part of this rivalry is the annual football game held on the day after Thanksgiving.


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Kyle Field on the Texas A&M University Campus
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Reed Arena on the Texas A&M University Campus

Some of the titles won by Aggie athletic teams include:

  • National titles
    • Football
      • 1939
  • Conference titles
    • Big XII Conference
      • Football
        • 1998
      • Baseball
        • 1993 (College World Series), 1998, 1999 (College World Series)
    • Southwest Conference
      • Football
        • 1917, 1919, 1920, 1921, 1925, 1927, 1939, 1940, 1941, 1956, 1967, 1975, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1991, 1992, 1993
      • Men's Basketball
        • 1919, 1920, 1921, 1922, 1950, 1963, 1968, 1974, 1975, 1979, 1985
      • Baseball
        • 1931, 1934, 1937, 1942, 1943, 1951, 1955, 1959, 1964, 1966, 1977, 1978, 1986, 1989, 1993

Notable facilities

Student publications and media

Notable people

External links



  • Note 1: Source: U.S. News and World Report. [1] (http://www.usnews.com/usnews/edu/college/rankings/rankindex_brief.php)
  • Note 2: Source: Texas A&M Spring Semester Enrollment Totals 41,515. [2] (http://rev.tamu.edu/stories/05/020805-16.html)

Template:Texas A&M Colleges Template:Texas A&M University System

Template:Big Twelve Conference


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