Texas A&M University–Commerce

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Texas A&M University–Commerce
TAMUC seal.png
Motto Ceaseless Industry, Fearless Investigation, Unfettered Thought, Unselfish Service to Others.
Established 1889
Type State university
Endowment $20 million[1]
President Dan R. Jones
Academic staff
Students 12,302 [2]
Undergraduates 7,808
Postgraduates 4,494
Location Commerce, Texas, U.S.
Campus Rural, 140 acres [3]
Colors Blue and Gold[4]
Athletics NCAA Division II
Lone Star Conference
Nickname Lions
Mascot Lucky The Lion
Website www.tamuc.edu
TAMUC logo.png

Texas A&M University–Commerce is a public research university located in Commerce, Texas. With an enrollment of over 12,000 students as of the Fall of 2015, the university is the second largest institution in the Texas A&M University System. Founded in 1889, the institution remains as the fifth longest continuous operating university in Texas.

Aerial shot of TAMUC

Located within the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, approximately 60 miles from downtown Dallas, the university attracts traditional resident students, from the Metroplex as well as from the smaller communities of northeast Texas. In addition, to the main campus in Hunt County, the university also has satellite campuses in downtown Dallas, Rockwall and Mesquite. Many courses are also offered at Collin College in McKinney and Navarro College in Corsicana.


The university began as the East Texas Normal College in 1889 when founder William Leonidas Mayo opened the doors to a one-building campus in Cooper, Texas, roughly 16 miles northeast of Commerce. After a fire destroyed the original campus in 1894, Mayo moved the college to its present location in Commerce, Texas, due to the presence of a railroad to commute students from Dallas and areas from both North and East Texas.[5]

ETSTC Heritage Garden

The state of Texas purchased the campus from Mayo in 1917. Shortly after the purchase of the school, Mayo died suddenly and the school was named East Texas State Teachers College. The name was chosen by the state of Texas due to the state already having schools named for the north, south and west geographic areas of the state and Commerce was the city easternmost of the four. As a result, Commerce received the name for the East Texas school, despite being geographically located in rural North Texas.[5]

In 1957, the Texas Legislature, recognizing that the purpose of the institution had broadened from teacher education, changed the name of the college to East Texas State College. Following the inauguration of the first doctoral program in 1962, the name was changed to East Texas State University. ETSU opened branch locations in Mesquite, Dallas and Texarkana. In 1996, the university joined the Texas A&M University System, in the process of renaming the school, the names East Texas A&M (to honor the heritage of the school's name and new affiliation with the A&M System), and Northeast Texas A&M (considered to make the name more geographically correct) were all considered, but the university system decided to honor the affinity of the town and the school and it became Texas A&M University–Commerce. The Texarkana branch of A&M-Commerce separated from the Commerce college, and it became Texas A&M University–Texarkana, a separately administered and funded university.[5]

Colleges and schools[edit]

Texas A&M University–Commerce is made up of 5 academic colleges awarding degrees in over 100 fields of study.[6]

The College of Education and Human Services is perhaps the most well known school and is one of the top education schools in the entire state of Texas among all universities, both public and private and has produced thousands of successful teachers and school administrators. A&M Commerce has agreements with many school districts in the DFW area and Northeast Texas to send their undergraduates to student-teach, and also has a distinguished graduate school for those educators who are in pursuit of advanced degrees in teaching and education and also, a well known doctorate program for those pursuing a Ph.D in education. As such, A&M-Commerce is a Doctoral Research University, classified by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.[7] In the Summer of 2013, The College of Education and Human Services at A&M-Commerce was ranked # 1 in the State of Texas for Teaching Education among all Universities, public and private, and 13th in the entire nation by the Directory of U.S. Colleges Database Online Magazine.

The College of Business, formerly the College of Business and Technology, has over the past 3 decades become one of better known and recognized Tier II Business schools in Texas and in the region as well. The CBE offers undergraduate degrees in Accounting, Finance, General Business Administration, Human Resources, Management, Marketing, Applied Arts and Sciences, and Management Information Systems. The College of Business and Entrepreneurship has been nationally recognized for its M.B.A. program and was ranked as the fifth best program overall in the 2012 edition of U.S. News & World Report's annual Best Graduate School issue. Both the M.B.A. and the undergraduate Accounting programs make mention in both Forbes magazine and the Wall Street Journal as best buys for programs offered by Tier II schools in Texas. The College of Business and Entrepreneurship also has a large number of professors that have tenure and have Emeritus status and give lectures across the country and internationally, which adds to the high quality of business education that A&M Commerce has to offer.

Art Building

The College of Humanities, Social Sciences, & Arts offers degree programs for most liberal arts programs that A&M-Commerce has to offer. Degrees and courses of study offered in this school include Liberal Arts, History, Performing Arts, Music and Music Education, Literature and Language, Mass Media and Communications, Theatre, Political Science, and Sociology and Criminal Justice. The college also offers undergraduates who are pursuing a Political Science degree who wish to attend Law School for post graduate work a prep program and also offers LSAT test preparation, as well as administering the test on campus. Students who major in broadcast journalism and in mass media are given the opportunity to join the staff for both the school newspaper, and also use and hone skills working for KKOM, KETV-3, and the region's source for news and information, KETR.

The College of Science and Engineering is the newest collegiate department to open at A&M-Commerce. This college offers degrees in Biology, Environmental Sciences, Chemistry, Computer Science & Information Systems, Computational Science, Mathematics, Engineering Technology, Physics, and Astronomy. The physics and astronomy department has an award winning planetarium that is located inside the science building that attracts visitors from area schools and local tourists as well.

The College of Agriculture The school of agriculture was created in September 2014 as it split off from College of Science & Engineering. Majors range from Agribusiness, Agricultural Sciences, Agricultural Science & Technology, Animal Science, Wild Life & Conservation Science, and Equine Studies. The college owns and operates an educational farm and ranch roughly 5 miles south of Commerce on Texas State Highway 24 where agriculture students have a chance for a true hands on approach to agriculture sciences and animal handling.


McDowell Administration Building

TAMUC has a strong commitment to making higher education affordable. During the fall semester of 2014, the university unveiled its "in tuition" program; allowing students to "lock-in" their incoming freshmen tuition rates for the total duration of their undergraduate study, despite future tuition increases. Moreover, the university stands as the least expensive research institution in the Metroplex as well as one of the least expensive universities in the state of Texas. For the 2014-2015 academic year, in-state tuition rates for freshmen students taking 15 credits each semester averaged at about $7000 per year or $236 per credit hour.

Student body[edit]

Heritage House on the campus of Texas A&M University–Commerce

Located less than an hour's drive from downtown Dallas, A&M-Commerce attracts many of its students from the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. However, in the last decade the number of out-of-state students has considerably grown; while the nearby border states of Arkansas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma are the most common states of origin, A&M-Commerce has attracted a substantial number of students from geographically distant states such as Illinois, Michigan, and Ohio.

As part of the university's quality enhancement plan, the university has focused heavily on diversifying its student body with goals of becoming a more globally competitive university. As a result, persons from all racial backgrounds and many ethnic groups call TAMUC home. The university has a strong Indian community as well as a large Arab and Korean presence too. Recently, the institution has seen a huge growth in both its Chinese and Nigerian students as well. At present, international students currently comprise about 7.45% of the student body.


Ranked from highest to lowest.

  • White 48.93%
  • Black 20.02%
  • Hispanic 14.76%
  • International (African, Indian, Arabic) 7.45%
  • Asian (Oriental) 2.28%
  • Other/Unclassified 1.35%
  • Native American or Alaskan 0.52%
  • Hawaiian or Pacific Islander 0.15%

Note: Based on fall 2015 enrollment [8]

Student life[edit]

Due to the exponential growth in student enrollment experienced over the last decade, the university has witnessed a substantial increase in the number of student organizations. Currently, there are over 150 student groups and organizations registered on campus. Each year the various organizations host an array of events to include; art displays, cultural shows, dance-offs, concerts, comedy shows, taste fests, poetry readings, and step shows to name a few.

Sam Rayburn Student Center

There also exist numerous honor societies and scholastic fraternities that have members based on major or course of study. Furthermore, social fraternities and sororities play a major role at Texas A&M Commerce, where there are 11 registered fraternities and 10 sororities.

Many religious organizations also call the campus home with the presence of the Baptist Student Ministry, Wesleyan Ministry, Catholic Student Association, Episcopal Student Association, Lions for Christ, Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship, and the Muslim Student Association amongst others.

McFarland Science Building

A state-of-the-art planetarium resides in the science building, where students, faculty and visitors enjoy watching movies on the planetarium ceiling as they are seated almost fully reclined. It has been considered one of the most important and modern planetariums on a university campus in the southwestern United States.


A 100,000-watt FM public radio station, KETR, is licensed through the university. Founded in 1974, KETR serves the communities of Northeast Texas as well as A&M-Commerce. The station offers a variety format. KETR broadcasts locally hosted presentations of the NPR news programs Morning Edition and All Things Considered. During middays, KETR broadcasts Notably Texan, a multi-genre music program featuring new releases from Texas musicians or music with a Texas connection. KETR also broadcasts A&M-Commerce football and basketball games as well as football games for Commerce High School.

KETR's 40th anniversary celebration in April 2015

The East Texan is the weekly student newspaper of A&M-Commerce and was ranked one of the Top 10 college newspaper in the state of Texas at TIPA in April 2015.[9] Started in 1915, it is part of the department-based Texas Intercollegiate Press Association, headquartered in the Journalism Building. Circulation for the campus newspaper stands at about 100,000 ranked as the No. 1 album reviewer in Texas at the TIPA Press Convention in April 2015.

Newscenter 3 is a weekly news broadcast produced by the students of Radio and Television.

Study abroad[edit]

Students wishing to enrich their education and undergraduate experience may choose to partake in the university's study abroad program. As of Fall 2014 the institution offers nearly 20 different programs, with some lasting a semester and others an entire year. Australia, Austria, China, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, England, France, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Peru, Russia, South Africa, and Spain are currently countries where students may undertake foreign study.

Housing and dining services[edit]

A&M-Commerce offers housing to students year round with prices ranging from around $2000-$3000 for each fall and spring semester. Every residence hall and campus apartment is Co-ed with the exception of F-Halls, which are the women and sorority housing on campus. In an effort to reduce the university's dropout rate traditional freshman sign a contract to stay on campus for a minimum of two years or four semesters. Sodexo serves as the food vendor for students with meal plans as well as at athletic events and a number of catered events on campus throughout the year. The university recently made shuttle services available to students on campus, this shuttle is used to give students rides to classes, or anywhere else on campus that they may need to go.

Pride Rock residence hall at A&M-Commerce
Samuel H. Whitley Hall
  • Residence Halls restricted to Traditional Freshmen:
    • Pride Rock
    • Whitley
  • Residence Halls restricted to Upperclassmen and Non-traditional Freshmen:
    • Berry
    • Phase II
    • Smith
  • Campus Apartments restricted to Upperclassmen and Non-traditional Freshmen:
    • New Pride
    • West Halls (Bledsoe, Craddock, Fling, Neu, Webster, and Wray)
  • Other University-operated residences:
    • F-Halls (restricted to women and Sorority Housing)
    • Leberman Hall (restricted to married couples with or without children, and single students with children)
    • Prairie Crossing (restricted to Honors College students)

Samuel H. Whitley Hall[edit]

The most notable landmark of the university is Samuel H. Whitley Hall, a 12-story (146 foot tall) building which is the tallest building between Dallas and Texarkana. Whitley Hall (named in honor of former university president Samuel Whitley, who served as president of the university from 1924-1946) serves as a dormitory for traditional freshmen on campus.


TAMUC football players pose with the Chennault Cup in 2014 after defeating TAMUK in the Lone Star Conference Football Festival

The university is a part of the Lone Star Conference of NCAA Division II athletics. The LSC is a 10-member league that has schools in Texas, New Mexico, and Oklahoma. A flagship member, Texas A&M University–Commerce remains from the original league formed in 1931.

A&M-Commerce offers five men's sports: football, basketball, golf, cross country, and track and field; as well as seven women's sports: basketball, soccer, volleyball, softball, golf, cross country, and track and field.

Alumni association[edit]

Texas A&M University–Commerce Alumni Center

The alumni association acts as a liaison between the university and over 100,000 alumni and friends. Each year the non-profit organization hosts various workshops, seminars and other career related events aimed at enhancing job prospects of students and graduates. The Texas A&M University Alumni Association is housed in the new alumni building completed in 2009 at a cost of $1.3 million. Currently, a fountain is being constructed in front of the alumni center.

Notable alumni and faculty[edit]


  1. ^ "Texas A&M University--Commerce". rankingsandreviews.com. Retrieved 24 June 2015. 
  2. ^ Total Enrollment TAMUC
  3. ^ A&M-C Ranking and Review
  4. ^ http://www.tamuc.edu/facultyStaffServices/marketingCommunications/documents/graphicStandardsManual.pdf
  5. ^ a b c "Texas A&M University-Commerce: History & Traditions". Tamuc.edu. 2014-03-22. Retrieved 2015-08-02. 
  6. ^ "Colleges Texas A&M University-Commerce:". Tamuc.edu. Retrieved 2015-08-02. 
  7. ^ "Carnegie Foundation Classifications". carnegiefoundation.org. Retrieved 24 June 2015. 
  8. ^ Enrollment by Demographic
  9. ^ Burnes, Andrew (April 11, 2015). "TIPA names East Texan as one of the Top 10 college newspapers in the state". Fred Stewart. Texas Intercollegiate Press Association. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 33°14′32″N 95°54′28″W / 33.2423°N 95.9077°W / 33.2423; -95.9077