Texas A&M University at Galveston

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Texas A&M University at Galveston
ATM Galveston logo.jpg
Established 1962
Type State university
Branch of Texas A&M University
Endowment $5.6 billion (Systemwide)
President Rear Admiral Robert Smith III, USN (Ret.)
Academic staff
Students 2,305 (Fall 2014)[1]
Undergraduates 2,167 (Fall 2014)[1]
Postgraduates 138 (Fall 2014)[1]
42 (Fall 2014)[1]
Location Galveston, Texas, US
Campus Suburban, 135 acres (0.546 km²)[2]
Colors Maroon and white         
Nickname Sea Aggies
Mascot Reveille VIII
Affiliations AAU, SEC
Website www.tamug.edu

Texas A&M University at Galveston is an ocean-oriented branch campus of Texas A&M University offering undergraduate degrees in marine biology, marine fisheries, marine engineering technology, marine sciences, marine transportation, maritime administration, maritime studies, maritime systems engineering, oceans and coastal resources, and university studies (curriculum focused on marine environmental law and policy). The graduate programs include: a master's in marine resources management and a master's or a Ph.D. in marine biology. The program is available with or without a thesis option. It is the home of the Texas Maritime Academy and has a Navy-option-only NROTC unit on campus. (Marine Corps-option NROTC cadets must attend the main campus in College Station, TX.) The Texas A&M Maritime Academy cadets of Texas A&M at Galveston get hands-on training on board the General Rudder.

Students attending Texas A&M University at Galveston have many benefits of students attending the College Station campus. Sea Aggies, or Sea Ags, may purchase tickets for all sporting events, fine arts performances and concerts held in College Station. Degrees are awarded from Texas A&M University in College Station and Sea Aggies receive the same Aggie ring of which they have the option to attend the ring ceremony in College Station.

While the branch shares much with the main campus, the atmosphere fostered by the faculty, staff, and students emphasizes the intimate relationship between the Galveston, Texas-based university and the sea.


Texas A&M University Galveston began in 1962 as a marine laboratory and as the home of the Texas Maritime Academy. The federal government donated the first training ship, the Texas Clipper, to the Maritime Academy in 1965. In 1968 the campus was expanded with a 100-acre (0.40 km2) donation by George P. Mitchell on Pelican Island. Land was donated again in 1993 with an additional 35 acres (140,000 m2) as well as 14 acres (57,000 m2) on Teichman Road to house TEEX, the sailing and rowing teams. Since then Texas A&M Galveston has been focused towards maritime fields in biology, administration, and engineering. Enrollment included 91 students in 1971.

Texas Clipper[edit]

The Texas Maritime Academy acquired its first training ship in 1965. Previously named the SS Excambion when sailed by American Export Lines, the vessel was renamed the Texas Clipper because of its rounded (or clipper) stern. In 1996 Texas A&M Galveston (of which Texas Maritime was now a part) retired the aging Texas Clipper. In its stead, the school acquired the decommissioned USNS Chauvenet. Built by Upper Clyde Shipbuilders of Glasgow, Scotland in 1970, the new vessel was named the Texas Clipper II as per tradition.

In the summer of 2005, the Texas Maritime Academy took delivery of the USNS Sirius. Built in 1966 as a replenishment ship for the Royal Navy and purchased by the U.S. Navy as a logistics ship, it supported two carrier battle groups in the Indian Ocean during the Iranian hostage crisis and continued its career in the Navy serving across the world, notably in the Persian Gulf. It was retired and given to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD), then assigned to TAMUG under an agreement that it can be activated by MARAD at any time. During the fall of 2005, the Sirius served in New Orleans for Katrina relief, from September 10 until November 29 and at Lake Charles, LA for Rita relief until March 2. Because of its extended relief effort the Sirius was unable to undergo a refit in 2006 to adapt its new role as a training vessel and comply with U.S. Coast Guard safety standards. Because the Sirius had not undergone a refit, it could not be formally commissioned as the USTS Texas Clipper nor could it be used for summer training cruises. This is forcing the University to look to the other state maritime academies (California Maritime Academy from 2006–present) to help fulfill the summer cruise requirements until the work on the Sirius was completed. In the winter of 2009 the US Coast Guard ruled that the Siruis was unfit for training and was prepared for decommissioning while the school looked for a new training ship. On June 25, 2009, the Sirius was returned to the U.S. Maritime Administration.[3]

  1. TS Texas Clipper, ex-USS Queens (APA-103) — 1965–1996
  2. TS Texas Clipper II, ex-USNS Chauvenet (T-AGS-29) — 1999–2005
  3. Sirius, ex-USNS Sirius (T-AFS-8) — 2005-2009 [4]
  4. S.S. Cape Gibson — 2009–2012[5]
  5. TS General Rudder, ex-TV Kings Pointer — January 2012 – Present[6]

Response to Hurricane Ike[edit]

In preparation of Hurricane Ike, Texas A&M University at Galveston closed on Wednesday, September 10, 2008, at 5 p.m. and evacuation was ordered. Ike made U.S. landfall at Galveston, Texas, on September 13 at 2:10am. It was the third most destructive hurricane to ever make landfall in the United States. The campus was not severely damaged; however, the infrastructure of Galveston Island as a whole was. As a result of Galveston Island not being able to support the close to 1800 students the enormous challenge of relocating all students, administration, and staff began. On Wednesday, September 24, 2008 fall classes resumed in College Station. TAMUG resumed operations in Galveston in the spring of 2009.[7][8][9][10]


The Texas A&M University System is a minority stakeholder in an endowment known as the Permanent University Fund established within Texas, and holding around $15 billion. Texas A&M’s endowment share totals approximately $5.6 billion;[11] 10th largest in the nation and fourth among public university systems. At one time, the PUF was the chief source of income for Texas A&M, but 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.


Texas A&M University has many time-honored traditions, many of which began when the Agriculture and Mechanical College of Texas was established in 1876. Traditions continued to evolve as service in the Corps was no longer a requirement, causing a new generation of students an opportunity to alter traditions. Such traditions involve university sponsored events such as Silver Taps honoring students who have died, to student run events, which include the Student Bonfire.

Starting in the 1970s, the students of Texas A&M at Galveston created their own Aggie Bonfire, mirroring the traditions of the College Station student body. However, the Galveston campus ceased observance of the tradition after the structure in College Station collapsed on November 18, 1999; killing twelve students. (See Aggie Bonfire for more on the 1999 Bonfire Collapse.)

One tradition unique to the Galveston campus includes underclassmen students rubbing the anchor in front of the library prior to an exam for good luck. To walk beneath the arc of the anchor's chain is reserved as a senior privilege.

TAMUG / Texas A&M Maritime Academy is also home of the William C. Hearn Honor Guard, an organization composed of fifteen cadets. Commonly known as Hearn's Guard, the organization participates in events both on and off-campus. They present a highly visual presence at TAMUG ceremonies, campus events, Galveston parades, and local ceremonies and memorial services.[12]

After disappearing in the late 70's, the Texas Maritime Academy band was resurrected in the Fall of 2010. Under the guidance of CMDR. James Sterling '71 US Navy (Retired), who originated the TMA band as a cadet, the newly established band debuted at the 2010 Parent's Day Pass in Review ceremony.


  1. ^ a b c d "Texas A&M University Enrollment Profile: Fall 2014" (PDF). Texas A&M University. p. 4. Retrieved October 25, 2014. 
  2. ^ "History". About Us- History.
  3. ^ Sirius Returned to Maritime Admin
  4. ^ http://www.tamug.edu/news/2009SiriusDeparture.html Sirius "Texas Clipper III" returned to the Maritime Administration
  5. ^ http://www.navsource.org/archives/09/13/135051.htm AK-5051 entry at Navsource.org
  6. ^ http://www.tamug.edu/corps/trainingship.html
  7. ^ Kever, Jeannie (2008-12-14). "'Sea Aggies' return to Galveston for graduation". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2009-09-21. 
  8. ^ "TAMUG students come home to graduate". 
  9. ^ "Galveston students heading home". 
  10. ^ "TAMUG students to return island". 
  11. ^ "2005 NACUBO Endowment Study". National Association of College and University Business Officers
  12. ^ "William C. Hearn Honor Guard". Texas A&M University at Galveston website

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 29°18′56″N 94°49′03″W / 29.3156°N 94.8175°W / 29.3156; -94.8175