Texas Day by Day
On this day in Texas history…
Legislature approves appropriation for Agricultural and Mechanical College
April 17th, 1871
On this day in 1871, the state legislature approved a bill providing for the organization of the Texas Agricultural and Mechanical College (now Texas A&M University) and appropriating $75,000 for the construction of academic buildings and suitable accommodations. A committee selected a site near Bryan, now known as College Station, following the donation of 2,416 acres by local citizens. The college, the oldest public institution of higher education in the state, opened in October 1876 with 106 students and a faculty of six under President Thomas S. Gathright. By the year 2000, the College Station campus was the fifth-largest university in the nation, with more than 44,000 students, and the Texas A&M University System included nine schools across the state.