Texas A&M University–Commerce is a U.S. State University located in the rural North Texas city of Commerce. It is a member of the Texas A&M University System, and, with over 12,000 students, is the second largest university within the system behind Texas A&M University–College Station, and is the fifth oldest public university institution in Texas.
Located within the boundaries of the Dallas – Fort Worth Metroplex, approximately 60 miles from downtown Dallas, the university has traditional resident students, both from smaller northeast Texas cities, and from the Metroplex and commuters. In addition to the main campus in Hunt County, there are additional satellite buildings in Downtown Dallas, Texas, Rockwall, Texas and Mesquite. Classes from the institution are also offered in McKinney and Mount Pleasant as an outreach to students in the geographic region.
This 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 the original campus was destroyed by a fire 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.
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 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.
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 was transferred to the Texas A&M University System, in the process of renaming the school, the names North Texas A&M, East Texas A&M, and Northeast Texas A&M 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.
Texas A&M University–Commerce is made up of 4 academic colleges that offer degrees in over 100 majors and areas of study.
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.
The College of Business and Entrepreneurship, formerly the College of Business and Technology, has over the past 3 decades has 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.
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, Engineering, and Agriculture is the newest collegiate department to open at A&M-Commerce. This college offers degrees in Biology, Environmental Sciences, Chemistry, Mathematics, Engineering Technology, Physics, and Astronomy. The college owns and operates an educational farm and ranch roughly 5 miles south of Commerce on Texas State Highway 50 where agriculture students have a chance for a true hands on approach to agriculture sciences and animal handling. 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.
A&M-Commerce has a vibrant student life and numerous opportunities for its students, regardless of status in school or if they are residential or commuter, to join numerous clubs and organizations. There are numerous honor societies and scholastic fraternities that have members based on major or course of study. Greek life plays a major role at Texas A&M Commerce, where there are 13 registered fraternities and 9 sororities that are of a social nature.
There are also numerous religious organizations such for students such as the Baptist Student Ministry, Wesleyan Ministry, Catholic Student Association, Episcopal Student Association, Lions for Christ, Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship, and the Muslim Student Association.
The Sam Rayburn Student Center is the hub for student activity. A new building was built in 2008 to replace the aging student center that bore the same name.
Other noteworthy structures include a new building for the Department of Music, which opened at the beginning of the Fall 2010 academic semester.
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.
The East Texan is the weekly student newspaper of A&M-Commerce. Started in 1915, it is part of the department-based Texas Intercollegiate Press Association, headquartered in the Journalism Building. Circulation is 2,000. Adam Troxtell is the current editor.
Newscenter 3 is a weekly news broadcast produced by the students of Radio and Television.
International Student Organizations- India Student Association at Texas A&M University-Commerce - ISATAMUC Hispanic Students at Texas A&M-Commerce.
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 and New Mexico. 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 six women's sports: basketball, soccer, volleyball, golf, cross country, and track and field.
Football is A&M-Commerce's most tradition-rich sport. The Lions have won 24 Lone Star Conference Titles and many more North Division Titles. They have produced professional standouts such as Wade Wilson, Harvey Martin, Kevin Mathis, and Arena Football League star Clint Dolezel. Every year the Lions host the Harvey Martin Classic at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas (it was previously played at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas) and play host to a random LSC opponent to reach out to the numerous Dallas alumni and also most of the Lion football players are from the DFW area. The Lions won the National Football Championship in 1972, defeating Carson-Newman College, and were national semi-finalists in 1980. The also played in the Tangerine Bowl four times, (1953,1954,1957,1958) winning 3 of the bowls against Tennesse Tech University, The University of Southern Mississippi, and Missouri Valley College and tying once against Arkansas State University.
The Men's Basketball team was featured as an opponent of Texas Western University's (now The University of Texas at El Paso) historic color barrier breaking team in the Walt Disney film Glory Road during the 1966 season. The game was shown as being played in Commerce as the arena it was shot in had very close resemblance to the University Fieldhouse, where the Lions play to this day.
Memorial Stadium is home to Lion Football, and the Men's and Women's track teams. A&M-Commerce hosts its own invitational collegiate meet, in addition to hosting the conference championship meet on a regular basis. Texas A&M-Commerce Fieldhouse is home to Lady Lion Basketball, Lion Basketball, and Lady Lion Volleyball. Other athletic facilities are the Lady Lion Soccer complex, one of the best in the Lone Star Conference, and the Cain Sports center, which housed the club baseball and softball teams in addition to intramural fields, and will most likely be the home of the future Baseball and Softball programs that will be put in place by the 2015 school year. The Cross Country program also hosts a dual collegiate and high school meet during the fall at Centennial Park in Commerce, the Dr. Margo Harbison Invitational.
The Texas A&M-Commerce athletic department also hosts the University Interscholastic League's Conference AAA Region II Championships in Boy's and Girl's Basketball, Boy's and Girl's Track and Boy's and Girl's golf. These are High School Regional tournaments that decide who will compete in the State Championships in Austin, Texas.
Located approximately one hour northeast of Dallas, A&M-Commerce attracts students mainly from the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. The overwhelming majority of students are from DFW and/or the surrounding smaller cities and smaller Northeast Texas cities and towns. Texas A&M-Commerce also has a large number international students that are Indian, Arab (from Saudi Arabia), and Oriental (mostly from Korea) descent, making TAMUC a very diverse campus. Approximately 3.5% of the students are international, which is quite high when compared with other big universities in the US.