Texas College

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Texas College
Texas College Tyler Texas 2019.jpg
Entrance to Texas College
Former names
Phillips University
MottoPer lumen scientiae viam invenient populi (Latin)
Motto in English
"Give The People Light, and They Will Find Their Way"
TypePrivate historically black college
Religious affiliation
Christian Methodist Episcopal Church
Academic affiliations
Endowment$3.2 million (2016)[1]
PresidentDwight J. Fennell, Sr.

32°22′32″N 95°18′45″W / 32.3756°N 95.3124°W / 32.3756; -95.3124Coordinates: 32°22′32″N 95°18′45″W / 32.3756°N 95.3124°W / 32.3756; -95.3124
Colors    Purple and gold
Sporting affiliations

Texas College is a private, historically black Christian Methodist Episcopal college in Tyler, Texas. It is affiliated with the United Negro College Fund. It was founded in 1894 by a group of ministers affiliated with the Christian Methodist Episcopal (CME) Church, a predominantly black denomination which was at the time known as the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church in America. They planned to provide for education of African-American students, who were excluded from the segregated university system of Texas. They planned a full literary, scientific and classical education for theology, normal training of lower school teachers, music, commercial and industrial training, and agricultural and mechanical sciences.


On January 9, 1894, Texas College was founded by a group of ministers affiliated with the Christian Methodist Episcopal (CME) Church, a black denomination. They planned a full, co-educational college to serve people in eastern Texas.

On June 12, 1909, the name of the college was changed from Texas College to Phillips University. It was named for Bishop Henry Phillips and his leadership. The name reversal occurred in 1910 at the Third Annual Conference of the church. In May 1912, the college was officially renamed Texas College. The subsequent years of the college were spent with refinements and enhancements of the educational enterprise.

The Articles of Incorporation reflect such efforts with modifications and amendments during periods 1909 to 1966. The college today is open to all individuals without discrimination on the grounds of national origin, race, religion, or sex. It is authorized to offer instruction in the areas of Arts and Sciences, Humanities, Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, preparation of teachers, and the provision of instructional supports, to those in pursuit of an education.


Texas College offers bachelor's degree programs in biology, business administration, criminal justice, computer science, English, interdisciplinary studies (teacher certification), mathematics, music, liberal studies, religion, social work and sociology. Also available are Associate of Arts degrees in early childhood education and general studies, as well as a post-baccalaureate alternative certification teacher education program for people with bachelor's degrees.[2]


The Texas College athletic teams are called the Steers. The college is a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), primarily competing in the Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC) for most of their sports since the 1998–99 academic year; while its football team competes in the Sooner Athletic Conference (SAC). The Steers previously competed as a member of the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) from 1920–21 to 1960–61, which is currently a Division I FCS athletic conference affiliated with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

Texas College competes in 12 intercollegiate varsity sports: Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, football, soccer and track & field; while women's sports include basketball, cross country, soccer, softball, track & field and volleyball.


Texas College was a member of the SWAC from 1920 to 1961 (41 years). Texas College was SWAC football champions in 1934, 1935, 1936, 1942 and three-way champions with Wiley College and Langston University in 1944, finishing the season with a conference record of 5–1 and an overall record of 8–1. The last SWAC football victory was against Prairie View A&M University in 2003 by a score of 21 to 10.

Its football team was revived as an official sport in 2004, and competed in the Central States Football League (CSFL). The Texas College football team won two CSFL Conference Co-Championships in 2005 and 2006. In 2018, the Texas College football team joined the SAC as an associate member.

Student life[edit]

Residence halls[edit]

Texas College constructed a new residence hall, The Living and Learning Center (LLC), that opened in 2016.

Residence halls also include the Daniel and the Maddie A. Fair Residence Hall, which were renovated in 2016 as well.[3]

Greek organizations[edit]

Notable alumni[edit]

Name Class Year Notability Reference(s)
Irma P. Hall 1956 Poet, stage and film Actress; nominated and has received NAACP Image Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Soul Food. In 2004, won Prixe du Jury from Cannes Film Festival for her performance in The Ladykillers ; inducted into the Texas Film Hall of Fame in 2005; co-founder of the Dallas Minority Repertory Theatre.
Dr. Jesse W. Jones 1954 Professor of Chemistry Baylor University; member of the Texas House of Representatives 1992 to 2006.
Dr. Mildred Fay Jefferson 1944 The first black woman to graduate from Harvard Medical School, the first woman to graduate in surgery from Harvard Medical School and the first woman to become a member of the Boston Surgical Society,

Notable faculty[edit]

Department Name Notability Reference(s)
President 1931-1961 Dominion Robert Glass Under his direction, Texas College became accredited by the Texas Education Agency as a Standard Senior College and was given an “A” rating by the Southern Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools. The college also gained membership in the Association of American Colleges, the Association of Church-Related Colleges, the American Council on Education, the National Association of Collegiate Deans and Registrars, the United Negro College Fund, Inc., the National Institute of Science, and the Association of Texas Colleges. During Glass's tenure, the school's enrollment grew from 233 students to 2,274. The number of faculty members increased from ten members to 100. Thirty-five new buildings were built; the school's income tripled, and a special program was implemented for veterans.
Head of the Humanities Division at Texas College Dr. Lena Beatrice Morton American educator and literary scholar. While at T.C., she was recipient of the Minnie Stevens Piper Professor Award for excellence in teaching. She was a life fellow of the International Institute of Arts and Letters in Switzerland. Author of Negro Poetry in America (1925), Farewell to the Public Schools, I'm Glad We Met: A Handbook for Teachers (1952), Man Under Stress (1960), Patterns of Language Usage, My First Sixty Years: Passion for Wisdom (1965), and The Influence of the Sea Upon English Poetry from the Anglo-Saxon to the Victorian Period (1976). She graduated from the University of Cincinnati (UC) and was a founding member of the school's first African American Greek organization, Zeta chapter of Delta Sigma Theta sorority. Dr. Morton earned her Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University in 1947. She is featured in vol. 6 of African American National Biography, edited by H. L. Gates, Jr. and E. B. Higginbotham.


  1. ^ "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2016 Endowment Market Value and Change* in Endowment Market Value from FY2015 to FY2016" (PDF). NACUBO.org. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-04-02. Retrieved 25 March 2017.
  2. ^ Texas College Catalog
  3. ^ "Residential Life Handbook" (PDF).[permanent dead link]

External links[edit]