Prairie View A&M University
|Agricultural and Mechanical College for the Benefit of Colored Youth
Prairie View University
|Motto||Our tradition. Your opportunity.|
|President||George C. Wright|
|Students||8,343 (Fall 2014)|
|Location||Prairie View, Texas, United States|
|Colors||Purple and Gold
|Athletics||NCAA Division I – SWAC|
|Sports||16 varsity sports teams|
|Nickname||Panthers & Lady Panthers|
|Affiliations||Texas A&M University System
Prairie View A&M University, commonly abbreviated PVAMU or PV, is a historically black university (HBCU) located in Prairie View, Texas, United States (northwest of Houston) and is a member of the Texas A&M University System. PVAMU offers baccalaureate degrees in 50 academic majors, 37 master’s degrees and four doctoral degree programs through nine colleges and schools. PVAMU is one of Texas' land grant universities and leads the nation in producing African-American architects. The University is a member-school of Thurgood Marshall College Fund.
- 1 History
- 2 Academics
- 3 Campus
- 4 Demographics
- 5 Traditions
- 6 Student activities
- 7 Presidents
- 8 Notable alumni
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Founded in 1876, Prairie View A&M University is the second oldest state-sponsored institution of higher education in Texas.
In 1876, the Fifteenth Texas Legislature, consistent with terms of the federal Morrill Land-Grant Colleges Act, which provided public lands for the establishment of colleges, authorized an "Agricultural and Mechanical College for the Benefit of Colored Youth" as part of the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas (now Texas A&M University). Governor Richard Hubbard appointed a three-man commission, including Ashbel Smith, a long-time supporter of public education. The commissioners bought Alta Vista Plantation, near Hempstead in Waller County, Texas for $15,000. It appointed the A&M board to manage the school. Texas A&M president Thomas S. Gathright selected L. W. Minor of Mississippi as the first principal. On March 11, 1878, eight young African-American men enrolled in the short-lived Alta Vista Agricultural College. They were charged tuition of $130, which included nine months of instruction, board, and one uniform. In 1879, as the institution was struggling to find resources to continue, Governor Oran Roberts suggested closing the college.
But Barnas Sears, an agent for the Peabody Fund, persuaded the Sixteenth Texas Legislature to issue charters to two normal schools for the training of teachers, one of which would be called Prairie View Normal Institute. The Texas A&M College board met at Hempstead in August 1879. They established thirteen elementary and secondary subjects, and founded the coeducational institution. Women were housed in the plantation house called Kirby Hall (which no longer exists), and boys were housed in a combination chapel-dormitory called Pickett Hall. Among the first faculty appointed to the new normal school was E. H. Anderson. In 1882, a strong storm damaged Pickett Hall, at the same time as state funds ran out.
State Comptroller William M. Brown refused to continue paying the school's debts from the state's university fund; the white-dominated administrations consistently underfunded black schools. Governor Roberts solicited money from merchants. E. H. Anderson died in 1885, and his brother L. C. Anderson became the principal of Prairie View. A longstanding dispute as to the mission of the school was resolved in 1887 when the legislature added an agricultural and mechanical department, thus returning the college to its original mission. Historian Dr. George Woolfolk wrote in Prairie View, A Study In Public Conscience 1962):
“Prairie View is an institution—a public institution. But an institution is an empty thing without the beating hearts and yearning souls of mortal men. And down the seventy-five years of Prairie View’s existence, men have lived and dreamed here until every blade of grass and every rock, in that wise primordial way in which the primitive earth knows and cares, has joined the choir invisible to bless their memory. For every man whose foot has touched this hallowed soil, has found a spirit, and has broadened and deepened it until what started out as an ambitionless meandering stream has become a purposeful river upon whose tide, now turbulent, now tranquil, floats the destiny of countless human hopes and dreams.”
In 1945, the name of the segregated institution was changed from Prairie View Normal and Industrial College to Prairie View University. The school was authorized to offer, "as need arises," all courses offered at the University of Texas. In 1947, the Texas Legislature changed the name to Prairie View A&M College of Texas and provided that "courses be offered in agriculture, the mechanics arts, engineering, and the natural sciences connected therewith, together with any other courses authorized at Prairie View at the time of passage of this act, all of which shall be equivalent to those offered at the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas at Bryan." This was partly in response to a suit by Heman Marion Sweatt, who had sued to attend the University of Texas Law School since no graduate program existed in Texas for black students. The Texas Legislature quickly established Texas Southern University for Negroes, (now known as Texas Southern University), but in 1950 the US Supreme Court determined its establishment did not provide equivalent education, and ruled that the state had to admit minority students to its graduate schools. On August 27, 1973, the name of the institution was changed to Prairie View A&M University, and its status as an independent unit of the Texas A&M University System was confirmed.
In 1981, the Texas Legislature acknowledged the university's rich tradition of service and identified various statewide needs which the university should address. These included the assistance of students of diverse ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds to realize their full potential, and assistance of small and medium-sized communities and businesses in their growth and development.
In 1983, the Texas Legislature proposed a constitutional amendment to restructure the Permanent University Fund to include Prairie View A&M University as a beneficiary of its proceeds. The Permanent University Fund is a perpetual endowment fund originally established in the Constitution of 1876 for the sole benefit of Texas A&M University and the University of Texas, which were originally whites-only institutions. The 1983 amendment also dedicated the university to enhancement as an "institution of the first class" under the governing board of the Texas A&M University System. The constitutional amendment was approved by the voters on November 6, 1984.
In January 1985, the Board of Regents of the Texas A&M University System responded to the 1984 Constitutional Amendment by stating its intention that Prairie View A&M University become "an institution nationally recognized in its areas of education and research." The board also resolved that the university receive its share of the Available University Fund, as previously agreed to by Texas A&M University and the University of Texas.
In October 2000, the Governor of Texas signed the Priority Plan, an agreement with the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights to make Prairie View A&M University an educational asset accessible by all Texans. The Priority Plan mandates creation of many new educational programs, including graduate degrees in engineering and education, and facilities like the state-of-the-art Don Clark Juvenile Justice and Psychology building. It also requires removing language from the Institutional Mission Statement which might give the impression of excluding any Texan from attending Prairie View A&M University.
Around 2004, Oliver Kitzman, the district attorney of Waller County, attempted to challenge the voting by PVAMU students in local elections, rather than in the residence of their parents' and permanent homes. As a result, the United States Department of Justice opened a civil rights investigation about Kitzman. Geoffrey Connor, the Texas Secretary of State, said that PVAMU students, like other university students, have the right to vote for officials in the university's voting districts as long as they are registered to vote there.
The university offers academic programs through the following administrative units:
- College of Agriculture and Human Sciences
- Nathelyne A. Kennedy College of Architecture
- Marvin and June Brailesford College of Arts and Sciences
- Hobart Taylor College of Business
- Wilhelmina Delco College of Education
- Roy G. Perry College of Engineering
- College of Juvenile Justice and Psychology
- College of Nursing
The university sits on a 1,440-acre (5.8 km2) campus in Prairie View, Texas and is 47.4 miles (76.3 km) from the city hall of Houston, Texas. The campus is often affectionately referred to as "The Hill" because it rests on a hill in the region.
As of Fall 2014 the university enrolled 6,932 undergraduate students, 1,265 students in masters programs, and 146 in doctorate programs. 5,111 (61%) of the undergraduate students were female and 3,232 (39%) were male. As of Fall 2014, of the 8,343 students enrolled, 6,958 (83%) were African-American, non-Hispanic; 267 (3%) were white, non-Hispanic; 420 (5%) were Hispanic; 234 (3%) were Asian; 33 were Native American or Alaska natives; 6 were Hawaiian; 144 (2%) were multiracial; 237 (3%) were "international;" and the ethnicity of 44 (1%) was unknown or unreported. The percentage of African-Americans had dropped from 86% in Fall 2010 and the percentage of Hispanic and international students had increased slightly. 7,682 (92%) of the students were from Texas, 456 (5%) were from other states, and 205 (2%) were from other countries.
Both student residence housing properties at PVAMU are owned and operated by American Campus Communities. Freshmen students on campus may reside in the University College community. Upperclassmen may live in apartment style living in University Village. University Village has phases I, II, III, VI, and VII. Phase III has an academic standard (3.0 GPA). The first of these apartment buildings was built in 1995.
In 1998 ACC was awarded the contract to develop, build, and manage a student housing property at PVAMU. University College opened in 2000. As of the fall of 2001, 40% of on-campus students lived at University College and the remaining 60% lived at University Village.
Previous buildings that formerly housed students include Alexander Hall, Banks Hall, Buchanan Hall, Collins Hall, Drew Hall, L. O. Evans Hall, Fuller Hall, Holley Hall, and Suarez Hall. Suarez Hall was already closed in 1996. In 1997 Alexander Hall, Buchanan Hall, and Collins Hall had closed. In 1998 Holley Hall had closed. In 2000 Drew Hall, Evans Hall, and Fuller Hall had closed. During the same year, Alexander, Buchanan, and Holley had been demolished. In 2001 Banks Hall had closed.
Prairie View A&M's traditions are deeply rooted in its heritage as Texas's second oldest (Paul Quinn College was established in 1872) historically black university.
Honda Campus All Star Challenge
The Prairie View Honda Campus All Challenge (HCASC) team won the National Championship in 2010 and 2015. The winning team in 2015 included Joseph Dowell, Captain, a senior from Killeen, Brannon Billings, a senior from Austin, Eric Johnston, a sophomore from Boerne, and Chayse Lavallais, a freshman from Houston, with Herbert Thomas, Career Placement Coordinator as the coach and Shahryar Syed, an Institutional Representative.The HCASC academic challenge and quiz bowl is the country’s answer to March Madness where academic excellence and quick intellectual wit is on display. The road to the final four begins in the fall from a field of 78 and narrowed down to the Great 48 of America’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Regional tournaments are held throughout the year with qualifying teams advancing. The PVAMU team is a charter member of the program which began in 1989 with Frederick V. Roberts, then Director of Student Activities at the university as the founding coach 1989-1996.
Prairie View A&M University offers a wide variety of varsity and intramural sports programs.
Men's and women's athletic teams are nicknamed the Panthers and the team colors are purple and gold. Prairie View A&M is a charter member of the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC), and is a member of the West Division of the SWAC in sports since the conference is currently divided by two divisions (West and East). Prairie View competes in NCAA Division I in all varsity sports; in football, the Panthers play in the Division I FCS.
Men's varsity sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, tennis, and track and field. Women's varsity sports include basketball, bowling, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, tennis, track and field, and volleyball.
The first football coach at Prairie View was H.B. Hucles, who began in 1924. Before Hucles's arrival at Prairie View, the school played two games without a coach on record: a 1907 7–0 win against a team from Wylie, Texas and a 1920 7–6 loss to Tuskegee University.
Prairie View's most recognized and celebrated coach was William "Billy" Nicks. Nicks was head coach in 1945–47, assistant coach in 1948–51, and head coach again in 1952–65. His record for 17 years was 127-39-8. He led the Panthers to 8 Southwestern Athletic Conference championships and 5 black college national championships. Nicks was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1999. Coach Nicks was named the American Football Coaches Association’s recipient of the Trailblazer Award. The award was presented posthumously at the AFCA Kickoff Luncheon on Monday, January 7 at the 2008 AFCA Convention in Anaheim, California.
Prairie View is recognized as the first historically Black university to create and play in a post-season bowl game. The Prairie View Bowl was played in Texas between 1928 and 1962.
The Prairie View A & M Football team won Black college football national championship titles in 1953, 1954, 1958, 1963, and 1964 and Southwestern Athletic Conference Championships SWAC in 1933, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1958, 1960, 1963, 1964. and recently in 2009. Notable football players that have achieved success in the National Football League (NFL) are National Football Hall of Fame Inductee Kenny Houston, who played for the Houston Oilers and Washington Redskins and Otis Taylor, who won a World Championship with the Kansas City Chiefs in 1969. On a small note of significance, Charlie "Choo Choo" Brackins, who played from 1952–1955, was the first HBCU alumnus to play quarterback in the NFL.
In 1999 the SWAC moved to a new divisional format with Western Division and Eastern Division champions to play for the SWAC Championship. On November 14, 2009, it clinched its first SWAC Western Division Championship by defeating Alcorn State. The next weekend would see the Panthers go undefeated in the SWAC by defeating Arkansas Pine Bluff and securing an 8–1 record, their only loss during the season to New Mexico State. They finished the season by winning the SWAC Championship on December 12, defeating Eastern Division Champion Alabama A&M 30-24 in the SWAC Championship Game. They exited the 2009 SWAC football campaign with an unblemished 9-0 SWAC conference record. They were led by their quarterback 6'4' 225 pound, swift-footed KJ Black who led all quarterbacks in the SWAC with an outstanding passer effiency rating of 168.1 their SWAC second leading rusher in Donald Babers that averaged 5.2 yards per carry.
In November 2014, Prairie View A&M broke ground on a $60 million football stadium and athletic field house. The facility will be 55,000 square feet and hold up to 30,000 people. The first phase of the project is scheduled to be completed before the 2016 football season.
PVAMU annual football classics include the Labor Day Classic versus Texas Southern. The Texas Southern Tigers leads the classic series 21 - 11 (2015). Also the State Fair Classic in Dallas versus Grambling State.
The women's basketball team received national attention in 2005 with the naming of Cynthia Cooper as the head basketball coach. Cooper, a two-time WNBA MVP, led the Lady Panthers to the school's first ever SWAC title and NCAA Tournament berth in her second season as coach. Dawn Brown is the current women's coach. The Lady Panthers won the SWAC Tournament and NCAA berth for four consecutive years (2010-2014).
Women's outdoor track & field
The Lady Panther's Track and Field teams accumulated an unprecedented string of championships both indoor and outdoor. From 1965 to 1991 the Lady Panther's claimed 8 National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) outdoor titles and 2 indoor titles; won national titles in the Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women and the U.S. Track and Field Federation; won 8 Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) cross country titles, nine indoor titles and five outdoor SWAC titles in track and field. In total the Lady Panther's won 23 SWAC championships
Coach Barbara Jacket was named SWAC Coach of the Year on 23 occasions and NAIA Coach of the Year five times and Jacket tutored 57 All-Americans. As coach of the 1992 U.S. Women's Olympic Track Team during the Olympics which ran from July 25 – August 9 in Barcelona, Spain, Ms. Jacket had the enviable task of coaching such greats as long jumper Jackie Joyner-Kersee and sprinters Gwen Torrance, Gail Devers, and Evelyn Ashford. The Women's team won overall 4 Gold Medals, 3 Silver Medals, and 3 Bronze Medals more than any team since 1956. She was the second Black female to coach an Olympic team
In 2012, the Women’s Bowling Team of Prairie View A&M University—won its first SWAC Champions and National Tenpin Coaches Association Final National Poll 19th Place Overall—Brittney Wehmeier, Shanice Brown, Alexis Holmes, Roonesia Newsom, Ashle Reid, Tiandra Rice, Sharita Turner and Coach Glenn White. The team has since one the SWAC Championship in 2014 and 2015. Most fascinating feat is that the university has no Bowling Alley so the team travels some 20-30 miles to practice and enhance its skills.
The Prairie View A&M Panther baseball team captured its first Southwestern Athletic Conference championship in the school's history and won back-to-back SWAC titles in 2006 and 2007. During the last five years, Prairie View A&M has made four consecutive appearances in the SWAC’s title game, finishing as the conference’s runner-up in 2005 and 2008. Prairie View A&M recently captured its third SWAC title in 2012, defeating Mississippi Valley State University.
Prior to a double header against the Texas Southern Tigers, a ribbon cutting ceremony was held for the renovated baseball stadium on April 26, 2014. Along with the opening, the stadium was formally dedicated to former Panthers baseball coach, John W. Tankersley. The renovated stadium features seating for 512 including 192 chair backed seats, new concession stand, new restrooms, press box, and bricked dugouts. The stadium is also Wi-Fi enabled. The Panthers dedicated the stadium sweeping the double header winning 9-0 and 7-4.
|Dr. Timmey Zachery||Current Director of Bands|
|Ricardo Brown||Assistant Director (Brass)|
|Ralph Chapman||Assistant Director (Woodwind)|
|Loran Bailey||Assistant Director/Percussion Assistant|
|Mrs. Shawn Zachery||Interim Black Foxes Director/Coordinator|
|Mrs. Shanita Jeffery||Staff Assistant (Office Manager)|
|Prof. George W. Edwards (1948–2009)||Former Director of Bands (Deceased)|
|Dr. Marget Sherrod||Former Black Foxes Director/Coordinator|
|Dr. William McQueen||Former Assistant Band Director|
|Prof. Larry Jones||Assistant Band Director/Percussion Coordinator|
|Mrs. Cynthia McDade||Former Staff Assistant (Office Manager)|
|Mr. Mark Gordon||Former Staff Assistant|
The university's official marching band is referred to as the Marching Storm and supports the Delta Psi chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi honorary band fraternity along with the Epsilon Psi chapter of Tau Beta Sigma honorary band sorority. Past performances include President George W. Bush’s 2001 Presidential Inaugural Parade in Washington, D.C., the 2004 Dallas Cowboys' Thanksgiving Day game, the Honda Battle of the Bands Invitational Showcase in Atlanta, Georgia and during the 2011 Super Bowl XLV halftime show with The Black eyed Pea's.
The marching band traveled to the 2009 Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California and performed in the opening act in front of the grandstands for the world-wide television audience. In Summer 2009, the Marching Storm mourned the death of their leader, Professor George Edwards. Students affectionately referred to him as "Prof" and will forever be remembered in their hearts.
Visit the PV Marching Storm Website for more information.
- Black Foxes
The Marching Storm is joined by the Black Foxes, the university majorette/dance line.
- The McFunk B.O.X.
The McFunk B.O.X. is the nickname for the drumline. "The B.O.X.", as they are affectionately called for short, was the first black collegiate showstyle drumline to incorporate a feature in the middle of a halftime show. The B.O.X. made their debut in the fall season of 1989 and as of 2013, referred to as M.S.D.
All nine members of the National Pan-Hellenic Council are represented at PVAMU. Though not a member of the National Pan-Hellenic Council, Kappa Kappa Psi a national Honorary Band Fraternity, was the first Greek organization to have a chapter on campus. Sigma Lambda Gamma, a multicultural sorority, also has a chapter.
Student organizations There are more than 150 organizations registered at the university representing various interests to include academic, honor societies, volunteer causes, political, special interests, etc. These organizations make up the social, political and economical structure of the university. If an organization does not exist to match the student's interest, students are encouraged to form the organization.
|Hise Austin||1973||former NFL defensive back|
|Kirko Bangz (real name Kirk Randle)||Did not graduate||Rapper|||
|Sebastian Barrie||1992||former NFL defensive tackle|||
|Cynthia Cooper-Dyke||2005||former WNBA player, Women's Basketball Hall of Fame inductee, published author, and Head Coach of the USC women's basketball team|||
|Zelmo Beaty||professional basketball player in the NBA and ABA from 1962 to 1975|
|Julius W. Becton, Jr.||1960||Lieutenant General US Army, Federal Emergency Management Agency Director, educator, and past president of PVAMU|
|J. Don Boney||1948||First president of the University of Houston–Downtown|||
|Charlie Brackins||1955||one of the first African-American NFL quarterbacks|||
|Col. Anthony Mitchell||1991||First African-American to command the St. Louis Army Corps of Engineers|||
|David L. Brewer III||1970||Retired vice admiral of the United States Navy and superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District (2006-2008)|||
|Charles Brown||1942||Legendary blues recording artist and member of Rock & Roll Hall of Fame|||
|Emanuel Cleaver||1972||Member of the U.S. House of Representatives for the 5th district of Missouri since 2005|||
|Cecil Cooper||Did not graduate||5-time MLB All-Star who played first baseman from 1971 to 1987, Houston Astros manager from 2007 to 2009|||
|Clem Daniels||1959||former NFL running back|||
|Dorrough (real name Dorwin Demarcus Dorrough)||Did not graduate||Rapper|||
|Terry Ellis||1990||vocalist and member of female R&B group En Vogue|||
|Clement Glenn||1986 (BBA)
|2010 Democratic candidate for Texas Governor; current associate professor of education at Prairie View A&M|||
|Adrian Hamilton||2012||Linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens of the NFL since 2012|
|Ken Houston||1966||Member Pro Football Hall of Fame, 13-year career as strong safety with Houston Oilers and Washington Redskins|
|Louise Daniel Hutchinson||Historian|||
|Jim Kearney||1964||Defensive back in the NFL and AFL from 1965 to 1976|
|Jermaine McGhee||2007||former NFL defensive end|
|Jim Mitchell||1968||former NFL tight end|||
|Sidney A. McPhee||President of Middle Tennessee State University|
|Thomas Monroe||1990 AFL Ironman of the Year|
|Frederick D. Patterson||founder of United Negro College Fund|
|DJ Premier (real name Christopher Edward Martin)||Did not graduate||member of Gang Starr|||
|Inez Beverly Prosser||1913||the first African-American woman to receive a doctoral degree in psychology|||
|Dewey Redman||jazz saxophonist|
|Alvin Reed||1966||former NFL tight end|||
|Clay Smothers||member of the Texas House of Representatives from Dallas County from 1977 to 1981; operator of St. Paul Industrial Training School in Malakoff, Texas|||
|Quinton Spears||2011||current NFL linebacker|
|James H. Stewart||member of the Texas House of Representatives from Robertson County from 1885 to 1887|||
|Mr. T (real name Laurence Tureaud)||Did not graduate||Actor who played B. A. Baracus in The A-Team|||
|Otis Taylor||former NFL wide receiver and member of 1969 World Champion Kansas City Chiefs Hall of Fame|
|Calvin Waller||1959||U.S. Army General and Deputy Commander-in-Chief in the Persian Gulf War|||
|Craig Washington||1966||Member of the U.S. House of Representatives for the 18th district of Texas from 1989 to 1994|||
|Craig Watkins||1990||District attorney of Dallas County, Texas since 2007|||
|Mark Hanna Watkins||1926||Linguist and Anthropologist; first African-American to be awarded a Ph.D. in anthropology; first American to write a grammar of an African language|||
|Dave Webster||1959||Former American Football League All-Pro football player for the Dallas Texans/Kansas City Chiefs, Prairie View A&M University Hall of Fame inductee and one of the first blacks to play professional football in the American Football League.|
|James E. White||1986||Republican member of the Texas House of Representatives from Tyler County|||
|Clarence Williams||1968||former NFL defensive end|||
|Gayla Turner McMichael||1983||2015 Black Engineer of the Year Awardee (BEYA) Cooperate Promotion of Education|||
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- Rose Parade Participants
- "Home". MARCHING STORM.
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- Cynthia Cooper-Dyke
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- Birchmeier, Jason. "Dorrough Biography". allmusic.com. Retrieved February 23, 2013.
- "Terry Ellis". HBCU Connect. Retrieved February 23, 2013.
- "Clement Glenn for Governor". clementeglennforgovernor.com.
- "Louise Daniel Hutchinson Interviews". Record Unit 9558. Smithsonian Institution Archives. Retrieved 20 April 2012.
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