Higher education develops in Beaumont
On this day in 1923, Lamar University originated as South Park Junior College when the South Park Independent School District in Beaumont instructed superintendent L. R. Pietzch to develop plans for "a Junior college of the first class." SPJC opened on September 17, 1923, with an enrollment of 125 students and a faculty of fourteen. Classes were held on the third floor of the new South Park High School. In 1923 the name of the institution was changed to Lamar College, in honor of Mirabeau B. Lamar, second president of the Republic of Texas. The college was later renamed Lamar State College of Technology and, in 1971, Lamar University.