Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi

By: Nancy Young

Type: General Entry

Published: 1976

Updated: August 5, 2020

Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi was chartered on April 1, 1947, as Arts and Technological College, a four-year liberal arts college affiliated with the Baptist General Convention of Texas. Its first campus was Chase Field, a deactivated naval air training field at Beeville. In August 1947 the college moved to temporary quarters at Cuddihy Field in Corpus Christi. The board of trustees changed the school's name to the University of Corpus Christi in October, and in December of the same year the school was moved again, permanently, to Ward Island on Ocean Drive, occupying the former naval radar training school. The total number of students in attendance for the 1949–50 term was 556. By 1965 six buildings were completed, including dormitories, an administration building, a science building, and a library. The university continued to use the frame buildings formerly occupied by the navy. The school offered bachelor's degrees in twenty areas by 1964. The library moved to fully equipped (fireproof) quarters in 1963. Holdings increased from 13,220 to 57,000 volumes between 1955 and 1969. Student activities included varsity competition in football, basketball, and tennis, as well as intramural competition in several other sports. By the regular 1964–65 term 711 students were registered, and the faculty was thirty-nine members. By 1972 enrollment had decreased to 501 students. Kenneth A. Maroney was president in 1972. The University of Corpus Christi was subsequently sold and became a part of the Texas A&I University System; the first students were admitted to the new school in the fall of 1973. In the fall of 1974 Texas A&I University at Corpus Christi had an enrollment of 1,603 students, and its president was D. Whitney Halladay. In 1971 the state legislature approved the plans of the Texas A&I University System to establish a new university at Corpus Christi. The Board of Directors of the Texas A&I University System was given authority to chart the course of this new junior, senior, and graduate level school. Corpus Christi residents approved a bond issue that funded the purchase of the University of Corpus Christi. The old site was then given to the state, and the new institution received state support. On September 4, 1973, the new institution opened as Texas A&I University at Corpus Christi with 969 students enrolled. The name was changed to Corpus Christi State University in 1977, and the name of the University System that governed the school became the University System of South Texas. The state legislature in 1989 combined the University System of South Texas with the Texas A&M University System, making Corpus Christi State University a part of that system. The legislature also approved expansion of the school to four year status, allowing for the enrollment of the first freshman class in September 1994. The school was accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi is divided into four colleges: Arts and Humanities, Business, Education, and Science and Technology. The campus is located on a 240-acre island surrounded by the Corpus Christi and Oso bays. In 1993 the school was included in the South Texas Initiative, a group of bills passed by the state legislature designed to bolster certain public colleges in the South Texas region. That year Corpus Christi State University became part of the Texas A&M University System, and its name was officially changed to Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi. The school dedicated Dr. Hector P. García Plaza 1996, in honor of the Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient who donated his papers to the school in 1992. In the fall of 1998 enrollment was 6,335 with a faculty of 282. Robert R. Furgason was president in 2001.

Austin American-Statesman, May 30, 1993.

  • Education
  • Public Four-Year Colleges and Universities

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Nancy Young, “Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 27, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/texas-a-m-university-corpus-christi.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

August 5, 2020