Texas Tech University

Chronological Timeline

Texas Tech Centennial


Senate Bill No. 103

Senate Bill No. 103 (commonly referred to as the school charter) was signed by Governor Pat Neff, creating a new college in West Texas to be named Texas Technological College.

Administration Building Cornerstone

The laying of the Administration Building cornerstone took place before a crowd of 20,000 people. Governor Pat Neff, standing on a cotton bale, addressed the crowd. Other speakers included Amon G. Carter, Reverend E. E. Robinson, Colonel E. O. Thompson, and Representative R. M. Chitwood.

Texas Technological College

Texas Technological College opened with four separate colleges - the School of Liberal Arts, the School of Household Economics [later called Home Economics], the School of Agriculture, and the School of Engineering.

President Paul Whitfield Horn

Paul Whitfield Horn leads Texas Tech University as it's first president.

Students Welcome!

Texas Tech officially opened its doors to students. The first year of classes held at Texas Tech were comprised of freshman and sophomore level students.

First Football Game

The first football game took place at 4 p.m. Texas Tech, as the Matadors, squared off against McMurray College. The final score was a tie - Texas Tech 0, McMurray College 0.

The Toreador, First Issue

The first issue of The Toreador, the college's new student newspaper, was published. This issue, along with others, are now available for viewing online.

Accreditation Achieved

Texas Tech received accreditation by the Association of Texas Colleges and the Texas Education Agency (formerly State Department of Educations).

First Letterman's Sweaters

Coach E. Y. Freeland presented the first letterman's sweaters during convocation in the Livestock Pavilion. The sweaters were scarlet with two black outlined T's.

Goin' Band Makes Historic Road Trip

The Texas Tech band became one of the first bands in the nation to travel to an away game. The band was in Fort Worth for Texas Tech's loss to the TCU Horned Frogs and their trip was paid for by Will Rogers and Amon Carter.

First Commencement Exercises Held

Texas Tech's first commencement ceremony took place on Monday morning at 10:30 a.m. in the College Gymnasium. Mary Dale Buckner became the first Texas Tech student to receive a diploma after winning the drawing for which student would get the honor to walk first.

Alumni Association Created

The Alumni Association was organized following the commencement ceremonies by the first 26 graduates.

SACSS Accreditation Achieved

Texas Tech received accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools.

First Master's Degrees Awarded

Texas Tech's second commencement ceremony took place on Monday morning at 10:30 a.m. in the College Gymnasium. Former Texas Governor Pat M. Neff gives the Baccalaureate address. The first master's degrees were awarded to three Tech students.

First Homecoming Parade

The first Homecoming Parade was held.

First Law Classes Organized

Students met to organize the first law class in Tech history. The names of the first students and how the class was set up can be found in the June 15th issue of the Toreador under the headline "Tech Lawyers Form First Law Class on Campus; Members to Prepare For Bar Examinations."

Varsity Bookstore Opens

W. B. "Dub" Rushing, a Texas Tech graduate, opened the Varsity Bookstore at 1305 College Avenue.

First Dorms Open

The first men's dormitory No. 1 (West Hall) and the first women's dormitory (Doak Hall) opened.

Graduate School Formed

The Board of Regents approved President Knapp's suggestion that a Division of Graduate Study be created, with the Chairman of the Graduate Committee designated as the Chairman of Graduate Study. No dean would be appointed. (BOR 1-28-36)

Texas Tech Begins Arbor Day Tradition

The first Arbor Day celebration was held on the campus of Texas Technological College. The lack of trees and shrubbery caused President Bradford Knapp to proclaim that one day each spring would be dedicated to beautifying the campus. 20,000 trees and shrubs were planted around campus on the first Arbor Day by students, faculty, and campus organizations. Classes were dismissed at noon on this particular day to enable people to participate in the plantings. A chuckwagon served as the refreshment stand, offering doughnuts and coffee.

Texas Tech Foundation Started

The Board of Directors authorized the creation of the Tech Foundation.

Texas Tech Day

The first annual "Texas Tech Day" was observed by chapters of the Ex-Students Association.

School of Business

The School of Business Administration was inaugurated.

Additional Accreditation Awarded

Tech received accreditation by the American Association of University Women.

Football Stadium Dedication

Dedication of the Clifford B. and Audrey Jones Stadium took place during the half-time of the Texas Tech vs Hardin-Simmons football game. (A copy of the dedication ceremony script of speeches resides in Clifford Jones' Papers Box 26 folder 9)

First PhD Programs

The first PhD programs were offered beginning in the 1950-1951 academic year.

Tech Begins Drawing Students From Across the Globe

Tech students hailed from 38 states, District of Columbia, Hawaii, and 17 foreign countries - Belgian Congo, Brazil, Burma, Canal Zone, China, Columbia, Costa Rica, Honduras, India, Iran, Lebanon, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Philippines, and Venezuela. (Texas Techsan, May 1950)

Museum Dedication

The formal dedication of the Texas Tech Museum with former president Clifford B. Jones giving the dedication and Carl Coke Rister as the guest speaker kicked off Tech's Silver Anniversary celebrations.

LBJ Comes to Campus

Texas Senator Lyndon B. Johnson was guest speaker at the dedication ceremony for Texas Tech's $4,000,000 building program. A large silver punch bowl was also presented during the half-time game on behalf of the Ex-Students Association in honor of the college's silver anniversary.

Sun Bowl Game

Participating in the Sun Bowl under the first season leadership of Head Coach DeWitt Weaver, the Red Raiders won their first bowl game. The team had also achieved winning their fourth Border Conference title in five season.

School Song

The Board of Directors officially designated The Matador Song as the school song following the recommendation of the Student Association.

First Masked Rider

Making his debut as the first official Masked Rider, Joe Kirk Fulton rode a horse onto the football field during the Gator Bowl game between Texas Tech versus Auburn University. Coach DeWitt Weaver was credited with the idea of having a new Texas Tech mascot make his debut during the Gator Bowl game.

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National Publicity

Among the May 30, 1954 sketches of the Jack Benny radio program was a brief sketch (shortly after the 22 minute mark) mentioning extension courses at Texas Technological College and how soldiers overseas can take extension courses from various U.S. schools.

Tech Joins the Southwest Conference

Texas Tech was accepted into the Southwest Conference. At 10:32 am KFYO sportscaster Jack Dale made the radio announcement from Fayetteville yelling "Texas Tech is in the Southwest Conference!" The Victory Bells on the Tech campus began ringing and people gathered along College Avenue to loudly celebrate in pep rally No. 1 (Lubbock Avalanche-Journal 5/13/56)

Jones Stadium Rededication

Re-dedication of the newly enlarged Clifford B. and Audrey Jones Stadium took place during the half-time of the Texas Tech versus Baylor football game. The home game was the first in Tech's first full year as a member of the Southwest Athletic Conference. A crowd of 35,000 was projected to fill the stadium's new capacity of 41,000 seats.

Men's Basketball Wins First SWC Title

The men's basketball team won the Southwest Conference title, beating out TCU at 101-75.

Faculty Work Toward Phi Beta Kappa

Tech faculty members who were Phi Beta Kappa members formed Lychnos in a bid to obtain a Phi Beta Kappa chapter at Texas Tech.

First African American Student

In the summer of 1961, Mrs. Lucille Sugar Graves became the first African American student to enroll at Texas Tech.

Carol of Lights

The Carol of Lights tradition officially begins with student body president Bill Dean flipping on the light switch in December of 1961.


KTXT-TV broadcast its first programs as Texas Tech's non-commercial television station.

School of Law

Approval was received for establishing a new Law School at Texas Tech.

University Theater

The new University Theater opened in April of 1964 with a performance of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.

Peace Corps

In the first year of Peace Corps training at Texas Tech, 56 volunteers underwent an 8-week intensive training program covered by a $800.00 grant. The volunteers were assigned to work in Ecuador.

40th Anniversary

The 40th anniversary of Texas Tech's opening was celebrated all day, with hospitality registration held in the Student Union Building. It was arranged in conjunction with the Texas Tech versus A&M evening football game. The theme for the celebration was recognizing and honor individuals instrumental in establishing the school. The School of Engineering also hosted an open house.

The Flying Professors

Four Texas Tech professors nicknamed "The Flying Professors" began the first distance learning program at Texas Tech by flying weekly to the cities of Pampa, Borger, Midland and Odessa to teach classes towards a Master in Engineering degree. Amarillo was added in 1967 and the faculty members involved expanded to five - Richard Dudek, H. R. Heichelheim, Donald Helmers, James Lawrence and A. G. Oberg. The passing of HB692 established the Western Information Network (WIN), which involved the use of closed circuit television among 18 educational West Texas institutions with the Coordinating Board's oversight and administrative offices located at Texas Tech.

Campus Bus Service

Texas Tech launches campus bus service. The first day of the campus bus route was free and the fare later changed to 10 cents.

Student Design TTC Flag

The Board of Directors approved the student body flag design, selected in an election held on February 24th, as the "official flag" for Texas Technological College. It was designed by Jimmy Hogg, a senior engineering student.

Texas Tech University

The Texas State Legislature formally approved the TTU Board of Regents name change request. Texas Technological College officially became Texas Tech University.

Library Groundbreaking

A groundbreaking ceremony for the $4.8 million Library addition was held. This was the first time in Tech's history two groundbreaking ceremonies, the School of Medicine's being the other one, would be held on the same day with Board of Regents members in attendance.

Charter Day

First observance of Charter Day at Texas Tech, as part of the university's Semi-centennial.

Women's Basketball

The official women's basketball team was formed following the enactment of Title IX with Suzie Lynch as the team's first coach.

Women's Athletic Council

The newly appointed Women's Athletic Council held its first meeting.

Ranching Heritage Center

The Ranching Heritage Center was dedicated.

December Commencement

The first December graduation ceremony was held, offering summer and fall graduates the opportunity to participate in a separate fall graduation ceremony rather than having to wait until the following May.

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Historic Dairy Barn

The Dairy Barn was chosen by the Texas Historical Commission as an historical landmark in 1985.

National Park Service Recognizes Dairy Barn

The National Park Service approved of the Dairy Barn's application for registry into the National Register of Historic places.

National Champions!

The Lady Raiders won the national women's basketball championship.

Texas Senate Bill No. 254

Texas Senate Bill No. 254 was unanimously approved to provide for the position of Student Regent on a university's board of regents. Chad Greenfield was appointed by Governor Rick Perry in 1994 as the first Student Regent to the Board of Regents for the TTU System.

TTU System Created

The Texas Tech University System, comprised of both Texas Tech University and the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, was established.

First Female Raider Red

Starting in the fall 2005, women began serving in the role of Raider Red. Due to high demand and class schedules, multiple students were selected to portrayed the mascot. The women were selected from the membership of the High Riders and the men from the membership of the Saddle Tramps.

TTU Sytems Welcomes ASU

San Angelo State University joined the Texas Tech University System.


From 2009-2013, Red Raider Camp was combined with New Student Orientation to become Red Raider Orientation.

Rawls College of Business

The new, state of the art Rawls College of Business Building officially opened for classes.

Tech Punches First Ticket To Omaha

Under Coach Tim Tadlock, the men's baseball team made its first appearance in Omaha for the College World Series. In game 3 Tech lost 3-2 to TCU and in game 7 Tech lost 2-1 to Ole Miss.

Texas Tech Achieves Tier One Carnegie Designation

Texas Tech University was listed among the nation's top doctoral universities in the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. Of the 115 universities listed in the Highest Research Activity category, Texas Tech was one of 81 public institutions in the top tier. Texas Tech has maintained this status each year since 2015.

Texas Tech Earns HSI Status

Undergraduate enrollment for full-time equivalent (FTE) Hispanic students reached 27.8% in the fall semester, qualifying Texas Tech to meet the minimum student enrollment requirement for status as an Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI). This status opened new funding opportunities for the university, its faculty, researchers and students.

Elite Eight

For the first time in the men's basketball team's history, the Red Raiders advance to the Elite Eight round of the NCAA tournament.

Costa Rica

Ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Costa Rica Campus in San Jose.

NCAA Runner-Up

The men's basketball team lost its first NCAA national championship game 77-85 against the Virginia Cavaliers. Despite the loss, the heavy media coverage of the team's strong season resulted in the university receiving so much positive media coverage that applications for admittance to the university spikes.

Vet School Approved

The Texas Legislature approved funding for a new School of Veterinary Medicine.

First Men's NCAA Title

The men's track team and field won the national NCAA outdoor track and field championship in Austin, Texas. The achievement marked the first time a Texas Tech men's athletic team won a national championship, and only the second time any Texas Tech athletic team has won a national championship since the university's opening in 1925.


University employees began to work remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tech Moves to Virtual Instruction

Following a week of canceled classes, Texas Tech students were transitioned to virtual learning for the remainder of the semester due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Virtual Commencement Ceremonies

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the university held its first fully virtual commencement ceremony.

Virtual & In-Person Ceremonies

Like fall semester classes, December graduation ceremonies were held both in person and virtual due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In person ceremonies were held December 11th-12th. The virtual ceremony was held on December 19th.

Enrollment Goal Achieved

Texas Tech marks 13 consecutive years of enrollment growth and welcomes 40,666 students in the fall.

No. 1 For Online Education

Newsweek releases its inaugural “Best Online Learning Schools 2022” and names Texas Tech the #1 school for online education in a list of 150 institutions of higher education.

Special Ceremonies

Raider Red took first place at the NCA & NDA Collegiate Cheer and Dance Championships in April, 2021.

Special commencement ceremony for alumni who graduated in May and August of 2020 and were not able to attend an in-person ceremony due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Texas Tech launches, Evermore, the Texas Tech University Magazine, to “celebrate the successes of our incredible Red Raider family… …and share a snapshot of our beloved Texas Tech, highlighting a sampling of our 13 colleges, our 40,000+ students, and 275,000 alumni, and thousands of faculty and staff who are committed to furthering the education of all those who pass through their doors.”

August 2021 - The new School of Veterinary Medicine welcomed its inaugural student class.

HSI Week

The inaugural Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) Week was held at TTU as part of the Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month celebratory activities.

Liberty Bowl Win

Texas Tech plays Mississippi State on December 28, 2021 at the Liberty Bowl and trounces the Bulldogs, 34-7.

Groundbreaking for Academic Sciences Building

Texas Tech breaks ground on a $100M Academic Sciences Building to be built in the heart of campus. The building will house teaching and laboratory space for five departments within the College of Arts & Sciences.

Davis College

Gordon Davis generously gifts Texas Tech University and the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources $44M, the single most transformational philanthropic donation in the university's history. CASNR is renamed the Davis College in recognition of Gordon Davis' largesse.

Adams Takes Tech to Sweet 16

Mark Adams coaches the TTU Men's Basketball team to the Sweet 16.

Grand Opening

The Texas Tech University School of Veterinary Medicine celebrates its grand opening after several delays because of Covid-19. Governor Abbott and several other dignitaries are present even as the students began their educational journey in Fall 2021.

Fulbright Scholars

Texas Tech University celebrates a record number of Fulbright Student Awards, including six finalists and three semi-finalists. As well, Texas Tech University is included on the list of U.S. colleges and universities that produced the most 2021-22 faculty Fulbright U.S. Scholars.

Champions Again!

Raider Red defends his national title at the National Cheerleaders Association (NCA) & National Dance Alliance (NDA) Collegiate Cheer and Dance Championships

Pom Squad

The Texas Tech University Pom Squad won the 2022 International Cheer Union World Cheerleading Gold Medal in Jazz Dance, competing as Team USA as the 2022 National Premier Jazz Team.

Black Cultural Center

Texas Tech University celebrates the ribbon cutting of the Black Cultural Center on campus which honors the histories and achievements of Black students and alumni and seeks to support and sustain continued successes and more equitable and inclusive experiences for our Black students. 

Texas Tech Centennial Celebration

Texas Tech launches its Centennial Celebration with a yearlong calendar of events that honors the past, heralds the future, and continues our commitment to academic success, creative and research excellence, athletic prowess, and outreach and engagement locally, nationally, and globally. 

Texas Tech's 100

Texas Tech celebrates its 100th birthday.

TTU Centennial