General Information

Click on either of the following links for information:

University Purpose

Our History

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. After the original campus was destroyed by fire in 1894, Professor Mayo moved the college 16 miles to Commerce, Texas to take advantage of westward railroad lines to Dallas and other parts of the state. His creed, which continues today, was “ceaseless industry, fearless investigation, unfettered thought and unselfish service to others." 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 once more to East Texas State University. The name change to Texas A&M University-Commerce occurred in 1996, when the university joined The Texas A&M University System. Today, the University meets the undergraduate, graduate, and professional needs of the citizens of Northeast Texas and beyond through its main campus in Commerce, various off-campus instructional sites, and state-of-the-art distance learning. Its mission is achieved through teaching, scholarship, and service activities on its campuses, and in the community and region.

For the past 20 years, the University has grown in both stature and student population, expanding its foundations to include agriculture, engineering, music, nursing, and competency-based education programs.


Located only 60 miles northeast of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, A&M-Commerce offers a small-town atmosphere ideal for living, learning, teaching, and research. As one of the largest members of the prestigious Texas A&M University System, A&M-Commerce is home to more than 12,000 students, more than 130 degree programs, six academic colleges, and two schools.

The majority of students attending the University are Texas residents, many coming from the counties surrounding A&M-Commerce. There are five off-campus teaching sites in the DFW Metroplex. Known for its care of and support for its students, A&M Commerce also attracts many students from out-of-state who are enrolled in online degree programs as well as more than 500 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 recognized as having the "Most Military Friendly" online master's program. The University has a large number of graduate programs for a university of its size. Student access and success are the hallmarks of the University. A&M-Commerce is recognized as an innovator and leader in distance education with an AACSB-accredited online MBA program and the Organizational Leadership program, the first accredited, competency-based bachelor's degree offered at a public university in the state. A&M-Commerce now offers a second competency-based program, with a major in Criminal Justice, following the success of the Organization Leadership program.

Our Vision

Texas A&M University-Commerce, as 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.

Our Mission

Texas A&M University-Commerce provides a personal, accessible, and affordable educational experience for a diverse community of learners. We engage in creative discovery and dissemination of knowledge and ideas for service, leadership, and innovation in an interconnected and dynamic world.

The Campus

Texas A&M University-Commerce covers 2,011 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 $255 million.

Velma K. Waters Library


Located in the center of the Texas A&M University-Commerce campus, the Velma K. Waters Library (main campus) occupies five floors and 120,853 square feet of the library building.  The library has 495 seats and users have access to 29 study rooms and 122 networked desktop computers.  The library provides 72 laptops available for student checkout, multimedia equipment, 2 KIC scanners, and 3 black/white and color copy machines.  An ATM and an account management kiosk for university Lion Cards are also located in the library.  

In addition to housing the physical collections, the library also provides space to the Academic Success Center, Student Disability Services, Office of Career Development, College of Innovation and Design, Assistive Technology Lab, and Starbucks for the university community. The total square footage of the space partners is 14,040 sq. ft.  The library is open a total of 111 hours, 7 days a week.  During final exams week, the library provides additional extended hours by staying open 24 hours a day.


The library offers a variety of instructional services aimed at teaching users how to find, select and evaluate appropriate print and electronic resources, develop effective search strategies, correctly cite sources to avoid plagiarism, and recognize the social implications of information, as it pertains to information and copyright literacy.  Librarians are available for individual and group consultations by phone, email, chat, in-person, and video conferencing.  Librarians regularly provide course specific instruction sessions and online guides (LibGuides) for the campus and remote instruction sites.  Librarians are available during all operating hours and monitor the virtual help desk on weekends and during holidays.  Appointments may also be scheduled with individual librarians for one-on-one research assistance.  In addition, a team of systems librarians are available to provide advanced technical support to all library patrons during operating hours in-person, via phone and email.   Further, each college and academic department has a librarian designated as a departmental liaison to assist faculty in building collections to support their instructional and research needs.  Faculty and student requests for new materials may be placed via the department liaison or through an online request form. 


The library’s collection includes over 304,000 print books, 255,000 online journals, 938,685 eBooks, and 294 research databases. 


Access to the print collection, including course reserves, is available during operating hours.  Faculty, staff, and students may check out library materials using their A&M-Commerce campus ID.  The Library’s electronic resources are available on a 24/7 basis from anywhere in the world to all A&M-Commerce faculty, staff, and students.  All students enrolled in classes of all delivery methods and at any off-campus instructional site are able to access the Library’s extensive collection of online materials, including e-Books, journals, and research databases 24 hours per day, 7 days a week.  Access is provided via the Library’s website at

Interlibrary Loan and Document Delivery

In support of undergraduate and graduate programs, the library offers interlibrary loan services, which provides users with access to books, journals, and articles not available in the collection, from other libraries throughout the United States.  Document delivery services provide free electronic delivery of articles and book chapters from the Library’s print collection to A&M-Commerce faculty, staff, and students.  Books and other library materials can also be delivered to the home address of members of the university community.  Materials are shipped via USPS and include a return-address and pre-paid postage. Eligible users must complete an online form for materials they wish to request via interlibrary loan and document delivery. 


A TexShare Card provides A&M-Commerce faculty, students, and staff with access to print collections at public and academic libraries in Texas, as supplementary resources to the Library collection.  The Library also participates in the Texas A&M University System Libraries, Greater Western Library Alliance, and TexShare consortia to negotiate research database purchases, increasing access to informational resources.     

Additional information is available at the department's website: or by calling 903-886-5718. 

The Campus: Administration Building

The Offices of the President, Provost & Vice President for Academic Affairs, Vice President for Finance & Administration, Vice President for Philanthropy and Engagement, Vice President for Inclusion Development; Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students and Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer, are housed on the second floor of the McDowell Administration Building. The Offices of the Graduate School, Center for IT Excellence, Chief Information Officer, Procurement Services, Contract Administration, Bursar, and Financial Services are located on the ground floor. The Office of Philanthropy Operations is on the third floor. The College of Business is located in the eastern portion of the building.

The Campus: Student Services Building

Built in 1970, the three-story D. Whitney Halladay Student Services Building houses the Auxiliary Services and Mane Card Office, the Offices of Student Rights and Responsibilities, Counseling Center, Residential Living & Learning, and TRiO Programs.

The Department of Residential Living & Learning  offers a variety of living environments, including traditional residence halls, suite-style residence halls, single student apartments, and limited married and family apartments. The Department of Residential Living & 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 the Department of Residential Living & Learning and/or visit the department’s website at

Rayburn Student Center (RSC)

As a department, the Rayburn Student Center provides premier programs and activities, service with excellence, and state-of-the-art facilities for the campus community to gather, connect, and experience. The Rayburn Student Center provides 120,000 square feet of modern meeting rooms, a food court, dining room, student Club, Pride Shop for graphic design and campus marketing needs, game room, informal lounges, patios and the Student Involvement Suite (SIS). In addition, the RSC features a University Bookstore, the Mane Card student ID office, the Serving Engaged, Empowered and Diverse Students (S.E.E.D.S.) suite, and the Leadership Engagement and Development (L.E.A.D.) suite.


  • First Floor: Welcome Desk, The Club, Pride Shop, Campus Bookstore, Mane Card Office, Campus Dining, Food Court, and S.E.E.D.S. Suite.
  • Second Floor: Student Involvement Suite includes the hub for student organizations, Fraternity & Sorority Life, Campus Activities Board, Student Government Association, and Scheduling Office. The Leadership Engagement and Development (L.E.A.D.) Suite provides opportunities for students to learn about and enhance leadership skills. A large combo Conference Room and 15 additional rooms for meetings, luncheons and presentations can be utilized by students, faculty, staff and community guests.

The Student Involvement Suite (SIS)

The Student Involvement Suite provides many services and opportunities to help maximize students' college experiences. Much of what it does is centered on providing resources, increasing involvement, and enhancing learning experiences. Students are encouraged to get involved and make the most of their college experience! Being involved helps students to connect with one another, their campus, and their community. Students have opportunities to participate in events, join organizations, access resources and develop their leadership skills through its programs and services. The Student Involvement suite is home to the Campus Activities Board, Student Government Association, Fraternity & Sorority Life, Golden Leos, and approximately 140 other student organizations.

The student center is located on the corner of Neal and Stonewall Streets right across from the McFarland Science Center.

Morris Recreation Center (MRC)

All students who have paid the Recreation Center fee in their tuition have access to the Morris Recreation Center (MRC) by showing their ID card at the front desk. The MRC includes two multi-purpose basketball courts, a 45-foot climbing and bouldering wall, three lane jogging track, four multi-purpose racquetball courts, a three-tiered space dedicated to cardiovascular & weight equipment and functional training, fitness activity room, classroom, lounge, and men's and women's locker rooms.  Also located at the MRC is an outdoor heated leisure pool, two-tier spa, two outdoor basketball courts, covered pavilion, and a sunbathing area.  There is also an artificial turf field located at the MRC.  The MRC provides full services including equipment checkout, lockers, workout towels, and even hammocks to use at the outdoor hammock grove. The MRC is managed by Campus Recreation, and hours can be found online: or by calling 903-468-3181.

Cain Sports Complex

Located west of Highway 11, off of Hubbell Drive, the Cain Sports Complex features two lighted multi-purpose softball fields, three multipurpose Intramural/Club Sports fields, multipurpose green space, four tennis courts, and four lighted sand volleyball courts.   During open hours, staff are available to check out equipment. The Cain Sports Complex is managed by Campus Recreation, and hours can be found online:

Outdoor Adventure Center

Located west of Highway 11, off of Culver Street, the Outdoor Adventure Center offers bike rentals, a bike repair shop, disc golf course, pump track, bike skills area, 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.  The course offers 13 low challenge course elements and 18 high element challenges.  Across the street from the OA Center, there is a 5 mile biking and hiking trail comprised of four different loops.   The Outdoor Adventure Center is managed by Campus Recreation, and hours can be found online:

Other Recreational Facilities

A&M-Commerce’s Memorial Stadium, which seats nearly 10,000, is used for football, track and field and other special events. The Field House, which seats approximately 2,500, is used for athletic and other special events, including concerts and various commencement exercises for the University and local high schools. In intercollegiate athletics, the A&M-Commerce Lions compete in football, basketball, track and field, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, and volleyball. Texas A&M University-Commerce is a member of the Southland Conference of Texas and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I.

Imagine learning in the state-of-the-art Keith D. McFarland Science 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, four rehearsal halls, classrooms, piano and electronic music labs, studios and practice rooms. The Department of Music sponsors 21 musical groups, including the award-winning A&M-Commerce "Pride" Marching Band, Wind Ensemble, and Concert Chorale.

The Performing Arts Center has two modern theaters, a 300-seat Mainstage Theater, a variable capacity Studio Theater, a computerized lighting system, scene shop, dressing rooms, makeup rooms, and studios for the KKOM radio station and ManeMedia Television cable Channel 3. The University Playhouse produces several plays during the school year.

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, 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 station is supported by listener contributions, corporate sponsorships, foundation gifts, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

The 1,200-seat University Auditorium is housed in the Ferguson Social Sciences Building.

More than 140 social, departmental, special interest, and religious organizations offer many opportunities for students to participate in campus life.

Print or Download a PDF of this page