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Texas A&M University-Commerce began as East Texas Normal College in 1889 when founder William Leonidas Mayo opened the doors to a one-building campus in Cooper. His creed, which continues today, was “ceaseless industry, fearless investigation, unfettered thought and unselfish service to others.” The institution’s history of dynamic change began in 1894 when “Mayo’s College” moved to Commerce. The State of Texas took over the campus in 1917 and the name was changed to East Texas State Normal College. In 1923, the school was renamed East Texas State Teachers College. The graduate program was added in 1935, and in 1957 the Legislature, recognizing that the purpose of the institution had broadened from teacher education, changed the name to East Texas State College. Following the inauguration of the first doctoral program in 1962, the name was changed to East Texas State University. In 1996, the institution entered The Texas A&M University System and became Texas A&M University-Commerce. Today, on the Commerce campus, the Metroplex Center, the Rockwall Facility, the Universities Center at Dallas, Navarro College Partnership, and through state-of-the-art distance learning, the University meets the undergraduate, graduate and professional needs of the citizens of Northeast Texas and beyond. Its mission is achieved through teaching, scholarship and service activities on its campuses, and in the community and region. History Texas A&M University-Commerce began as the East Texas Normal College in 1889 when founder William Leonidas Mayo opened the doors of a one-building school in the town of Cooper in northeast Texas... After the original campus was destroyed by fire in 1894, Mayo moved the college 16 miles to Commerce, Texas to take advantage of westward railroad lines to Dallas and other parts of the state.
The State of Texas purchased the campus from Mayo in 1917. In 1923, in recognition of the school’s strong reputation for training teachers, its name was changed to East Texas State Teachers College.
A graduate program was added in 1935. Acknowledging that the institution was doing much more than producing teachers, in 1957 the Texas legislature changed the name of the school to East Texas State College. With the inauguration of the first doctoral program in 1962, the school became East Texas State University, a title it kept for the next 34 years. In 1996, the university was brought into the Texas A&M University System and became Texas A&M University–Commerce. The university’s satellite campus in Texarkana was renamed Texas A&M University-Texarkana. For the past 17 years the school has grown in both stature and student population, expanding its foundations to include agriculture, science, engineering, music, nursing and distance education programs.
Located 60 miles northeast of the Dallas-Ft Worth Metroplex, A&M-Commerce offers a small-town atmosphere ideal for living, learning, teaching, and research. As the second-largest member in the prestigious Texas A&M University System, A&M-Commerce is home to more than 12,000 students, more than 120 degree programs and four academic colleges.
The majority of students attending the university come from Dallas and 38 other Texas counties. There are teaching sites in downtown Dallas and in the cities of Mesquite, McKinney, Corsicana, Midlothian, and the newest location in Rockwall. Known for its care of and support for its students, Texas A&M University-Commerce also attracts many students from out of state who are enrolled in online degree programs and has over 800 international students. The founder of East Texas Normal College, William L. Mayo, was committed to providing affordable educational opportunities to first- generation college students. A&M-Commerce was recently recognized as the only university in the Dallas and Northeast Texas region to be ranked nationally as most affordable with the highest paid graduates. The university has a large number of graduate programs for a university of its size with approximately 40% of its enrollment at the graduate level. Student access and success are the hallmarks of the university. A&M-Commerce was an early adopter of distance education delivery methods and is currently ranks third in the state of Texas for semester credit hours generated through distance education.
Texas A&M University-Commerce, as a part of the A&M family of universities, will become the university of choice for all those seeking a higher education in the Northeast Texas region and beyond. It will provide traditional and non-traditional learning opportunities through existing and new programs that set high expectations and goals for students, faculty, and staff. The university will provide a sense of community through a nurturing environment for all individuals in order to maximize learning, career and personal development. A&M-Commerce will become a place where students, faculty, staff, and community are engaged in the pursuit of excellence.
Texas A&M University-Commerce provides a personal educational experience for a diverse community of life-long learners. Our purpose is to discover and disseminate knowledge for leadership and service in an interconnected and dynamic world. Our challenge is to nurture partnerships for the intellectual, cultural, social, and economic vitality of Texas and beyond.
Texas A&M University-Commerce covers 2,023 acres of land in and near Commerce. The university is located eight blocks southwest of Commerce’s business center, and has a book value in excess of $203 million.
Assisting patrons is our top priority at the University Libraries. The James G. Gee Library in Commerce, the branch in Mesquite, and an electronic library lab in Rockwall have a staff of nearly 40 full-time workers and a number of student workers. The University Libraries offer decades of combined experience motivated by a strong service ethic. Our friendly staff does its best to support
faculty, students and staff, whether it is assistance with finding or using resources, doing research, acquiring new resources, offering Interlibrary Loan services, faculty reserves, keeping the collections orderly and accessible, or helping patrons borrow and return items. We also provide services to the surrounding community and the growing number of off-site programs.
Gee Library provides an Information Commons consisting of computers with Internet access and specialized programs, a multimedia production studio, as well as areas for individual study and collaborative spaces for group projects. The Information Commons and Library Bistro area are open for late night hours during the school year to provide technology access and a secure study environment for students.
The three-story McDowell Administration/Business Administration Building houses administrative offices, classrooms, laboratories and computer facilities. The building was completed in 1970.
The Offices of the President, Vice Presidents and Chief Information Officer are housed on the second floor of the McDowell Administration Building. The Offices of Graduate School, Information Technology, Purchasing, Human Resources, Payroll, Contract Administration, Bursar and Financial Services are located on the ground floor. The office of Annual Programs is on the third floor. The College of Business is located in the eastern portion of the building.
Student Services Building
Built in 1970, the three-story D. Whitney Halladay Student Services Building houses the offices of the Assistant Vice President and Dean of Campus Life and Student Development, Assistant Dean of Campus Life and Student Development and Judicial Affairs, Counseling Center, Residential Living and Learning, International Student Services, and TRIO Programs.
The Department of Residential Living and Learning at Texas A&M University-Commerce offers a variety of living environments, including traditional residence halls, suite-style residence halls, and single student apartments. The Department of Residential Living and Learning strives to create a living-learning environment in each residence hall that will enable each resident to succeed academically and developmentally. For more information about student housing, see Department of Residential Living and Learning and/or visit the department’s website at www.tamuc.edu/housing .
Rayburn Student Center (RSC)
With over 92,000 square feet of space for leisure enjoyment, facilities for meetings, banquets, and conferences, the RSC is the central hub of campus activity. The RSC serves as the heart of campus life and encourages students, faculty, staff, and the community to gather, connect, and experience.
The first floor features many services for the campus community, including lost and found and an information Welcome Desk. For fun, The Club provides nightly entertainment and hosts a recreation room with pool tables and the latest in electronic games. If you need a special gift, supplies, snacks, or books—the Campus Bookstore and Convenience Store is located there. A Food Court complete with Grill 151 and a variety of food options is right across from The Club and next to the Campus Dining Room. If you need large-scale printing, posters, or specially imprinted gifts or awards, the Pride Shop can help you design and impress!
The second floor houses the offices for Student Activities, Leadership Engagement & Development (L.E.A.D.), Catering, and RSC Administration. The Student Activities and Leadership suite includes student organizations, the Campus Activities Board, Fraternity & Sorority Life, The Golden Leos (the student ambassadors for the University), and Student Government. This is a place for the campus community to come together to create new programs, ideas, and projects. We promote student learning, involvement, and success. Activities sponsored by student organizations and university departments in the RSC include major events by nationally known entertainers, lectures, movies, cultural, social, and recreational programs and activities. A list of A&M-Commerce’s student organizations can be found online.
The RSC is expanding – adding 28,000 square feet of additional dining and meeting space. The first floor expansion will open in January 2014, with the second floor following in May 2014! With the expansion, there will be more space for all to enjoy.
Morris Recreation Center (MRC)
Opened in the summer of 2003, the Morris Recreation Center (MRC) is a $12 million state-of-the-art recreation facility that is a focal point of campus life at Texas A&M-Commerce. The facility features the following activity areas:: two multi-purpose basketball courts, a 45 foot climbing and bouldering wall, three lane jogging track, four multi-purpose racquetball courts, large fitness room with cardiovascular machines and weight equipment, fitness activity room, classroom, lounge, and men's and women's locker rooms. The outside area includes: heated leisure pool, two-tier hot tub, two sand volleyball courts, two outdoor basketball courts, picnic tables, barbeque pits, and a sunbathing area. The Morris Recreation Center serves as the “heartbeat” of student life where participants can learn, engage, grown, and recreate. Additional information about our services is available at the department's website: www.tamuc.edu/reccenter
Cain Sports Complex
The $1 million dollar facility includes a lighted NCAA softball field and baseball field, two lighted Intramural Sports fields, an informal soccer field, a picnic area, horseshoe pits, a lake and an undeveloped green space.
Adventure Base Area
The Outdoor Adventure Program provides adventure and educational opportunities promoting active lifestyles, appreciation for natural environments and personal development. Activities include day and weekend trips, cycling and a bike shop, clinics, disc golf course, and outdoor gear rental. The Outdoor Adventure Center also features a challenge course which offers adventure-based learning opportunities to enhance leadership, decision-making and communication skills through an interactive process for groups to develop as a team. This hands-on approach is designed to help individuals learn from their interaction with others and then apply those principles to their life situations. The course offers 13 low challenge course elements and 18 high element challenges.
Crabtree Tennis Courts
The Crabtree Tennis Court complex is a four court fenced off tennis complex that is open for informal play and tournaments. The complex is well-lit and open for play seven days a week.
Other Recreational Facilities
A&M-Commerce’s Memorial Stadium, which seats 10,000, is used for athletics and other special events. The Field House, which seats approximately 2,000, is used for athletic and other special events, including concerts and various commencement exercises for the University and local high schools. In intercollegiate athletics, A&M-Commerce competes in football, basketball, track and field, cross country, golf, soccer and volleyball. Softball competition will begin in 2014-2015. Texas A&M University-Commerce is a member of the Lone Star Conference of Texas and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II.
Imagine learning in the new, state-of-the-art Keith D. McFarland Science and Technology Building, with one of the most technologically sophisticated planetariums in the Southwest or playing in the $29 million Music Building, completed in the fall of 2010. The Music Building includes the Jack and Lou Finney Concert Hall, recital hall, five rehearsal halls, classrooms, piano and electronic music labs, studios and practice rooms.
The Performing Arts Center has two theatres, a revolving stage in the main playhouse, scene shop, dressing rooms, makeup rooms, and studios for KKOM radio station and ManeMedia Television cable Channel 3. The University Playhouse produces several plays during the school year. The Department of Music sponsors 14 musical groups, including A&M-Commerce’s Show Band.
The University’s 100,000 watt public radio station, 88.9 KETR, is an NPR member station providing locally and nationally-produced programming. KETR-FM, heard within 75 miles of Commerce and online at www.ketr.org, is the radio home for A&M-Commerce Lions football and basketball broadcasts each fall and spring. The mission of the station, which operates from historic Binnion Hall, is to provide Northeast Texas citizens and the A&M-Commerce community with entertaining, educational, and informative programming, and to serve as a learning environment for students to pursue excellence in broadcasting and journalism.
The 1,200-seat University Auditorium is housed in the Ferguson Social Sciences Building.
More than 100 social, departmental, special interest and religious organizations offer many opportunities for students.