Texas Southmost College

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This article is about Texas Southmost College. For information on the educational partnership from 1991-2011, see University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College.

Texas Southmost College was established in 1926 under the name of The Junior College of the Lower Rio Grande Valley and admitted its first class on September 21 of that year. The school was originally a subsidiary of the local school district in Brownsville. It has always been located in Brownsville, Texas since its inception; from 1928 to 1948 it was housed with the Brownsville High School and Elementary Schools on Palm Boulevard between Washington Street and Jefferson Street. Despite hard times during the Great Depression the college continued to maintain nominal levels of enrollment. The name of the college changed in 1931 to Brownsville Junior College then again to Texas Southmost College in 1950. During World War II enrollment dwindled with the number of graduates halved from 1943-1945. This changed in 1948 when the city of Brownsville acquired the lands owned by the decommissioned army base known as Fort Brown, which had been closed in 1944. In 1948 when the college had an enrollment of around 1,250 students, their own campus, and a generous budget, talks started within the district about creating a separate district for the college. It was decided that the new district would cover Southern Cameron County. In 1950 on the silver anniversary of the college the Brownsville Independent School District handed over the deed to the college to the newly formed Southmost Union Junior College District.

The Texas Southmost College athletics program flourished in the 1950s: the school had football, basketball, boxing and track teams and many of these teams won accolades for their performance. Unfortunately, in the mid to late 1960s the TSC athletic program experienced a great decline and many competitive programs did not survive into the 70's. In the 1960s, despite declining competitive sports programs, the college gained the Rancho Del Cielo research center, located 300 miles south of Brownsville, in Mexico. This few acre research center has abundant plant life and rainforest life conditions. In 1973 Texas Southmost College received its first Bachelor's degree programs and Graduate courses cooperating with Pan American University (now known as University of Texas-Pan American and located in Edinburg, Texas). This created the entity known as Pan American University at Brownsville which worked independently from Texas Southmost College. In the late 1980s Pan American University created a partnership with the University of Texas System and the entity in Brownsville became known as The University of Texas Pan American at Brownsville. Texas Southmost College and The University of Texas-Pan American at Brownsville combined their educational functions as The University of Texas at Brownsville on September 1, 1991. This created the University of Texas at Brownsville/Texas Southmost College. Since 1991 UTB/TSC has continued to grow boasting over 10,000 students. On November 2, 2004, voters in the Texas Southmost College district voted yes to a $68-million bond package so the college could do a number of building projects.

End of educational partnership with the University of Texas at Brownsville[edit]

On November 10, 2010, the University of Texas System Board of Regents voted to end the University of Texas at Brownsville's educational partnership with Texas Southmost College as it stood.[1] On February 17, 2011, the TSC Board of Trustees voted 4-3 to separate from UTB.[2]

Texas Southmost College presidents[edit]

  • Lily F. Tercero 2011–Present [3]
  • Juliet V. Garcia 1986-2011
  • Robert Phillips 1985-1986
  • Albert Besteiro 1977-1985
  • Arnulfo Oliveira 1971-1977
  • William Walton 1970-1971
  • Quentin Bogart 1968-1970
  • C. J. Garland 1953-1968
  • John Barron 1950-1953(*)

Note: College presidents before 1950 were BISD superintendents

Brownsville Junior College presidents[edit]

  • John Barron 1945-1950
  • Ben Brite 1941-1945
  • E. C. Dodd 1934-1941
  • G. W. Gotke 1931-1934(**)

Junior College of the Lower Rio Grande Valley presidents[edit]

  • G. W. Gotke 1928-1931
  • Thomas J. Yoe 1926-1928


(*) John Barron was simultaneously superintendent of the BISD and president of TSC from 1950-1953.

(**) 'Gotke's double entry was put to denote the college name change in 1931.


External links[edit]