College Timeline

This timeline is based an original document created by former Dean Harry Kunkel for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences 90th anniversary celebration. Are there events you think should be added? Email cady@tamu.edu with your thoughts.

  • 1862: Morrill Land Grant College Act signed by US President Abraham Lincoln.
  • 1866: Texas Legislature accepts an obligation to provide for the Agricultural and Mechanical College (AMC) of Texas.
  • 1876: Board of Directors of AMC selects Thomas S. Gathright as first president of AMC and among other faculty, Carlisle P.B. Martin as professor of agriculture and science.Initial organization of the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas into courses and departments; One department was Agricultural and Scientific Courses which included chemistry, farm tillage; horticulture, arboriculture, and the care of stock in the senior year.First students matriculate to AMC.Formal opening ceremonies held at AMC.
  • 1880: Courses in agriculture suspended with departure of C.P.B. Martin.
  • 1881: Charles C. Gorgeson appointed professor of agriculture. Curriculum focus was on a vocational type of instruction with manual field work required.
  • 1884: George W. Curtis elected professor of agriculture. He reorganized curriculum and solidified the department of agriculture.
  • 1886: Administration of College farm placed under direction of the professor of agriculture.
  • 1890: Work on plant pathology initiated with appointment of Helga Ness.First two Master of Science degrees awarded.Second Morrill Act authorized southern states to establish land-grant College for African Americans. This led the Texas Legislature to establish Prairie View A&M University.
  • 1892: Department of Horticulture formed; Robert H. Price, head.
  • 1893: James H. Connell named professor of agriculture and director of the Agricultural Experiment Station.
  • 1899: Texas Legislature authorizes AMC to employ a professor of entomology for teaching and devising ways to control boll weevil and other pests. Frederick E. Mally was hired to this position in April, 1899.
  • 1900: Erection of the Agriculture Building (later Science Hall).
  • 1902: William D. Gibbs appointed dean of the department of Agriculture and Director of Experiment Station.
  • 1903: Department of Agriculture divided intro three departments:
    • Animal Husbandry (John A. Craig, Head)
    • Plant Husbandry (Edwin J. Kyle, Head)
    • Farm Husbandry (F.S. Johnston, Head)
    • John A. Craig appointed director of Texas Agricultural Experiment Station and head of the department of Animal Husbandry.
    • Bachelor of Science in Agriculture offered at AMC.
    • Common courses in agriculture established which remained as curriculum guidelines until after World War II.
  • 1904: Permanent athletic field designated and named for Edwin J. Kyle, professor of horticulture and chairman of the athletic council.
  • 1906: Department of Farm Husbandry becomes general department of agriculture; Plant Husbandry became Horticulture.
  • 1911: AMC Board of Directors forms School of Agriculture with Edwin J. Kyle named as first Dean.
  • 1913: International livestock judging contest won by team from AMC.
  • 1915: Department of Agricultural Engineering formed.AMC evolved into three separate divisions: Resident teaching, Agricultural Research, Agricultural Extension.
  • 1916: Separation of School of Agriculture from the Texas Agricultural Experiment Stations. For the next 40 years, with only a few exceptions, the faculty of the School of Agriculture and the staff of the Experiment Station were separate.Department of Agricultural Education organized.Stock Judging Pavilion and Dairy Barn erected.Congress passes Smith-Hughes Act for training teachers of agriculture, trades and industries, and home economics.1917: John Tarleton Agricultural College, Stephenville, and North Texas Agricultural College (NATC), Arlington, as junior college branches of Texas A&M. (Tarleton now Tarleton State University and NTAC is now University of Texas at Arlington.) School of Agriculture includes departments of Agricultural Engineering, Agronomy, Animal Husbandry, Biology, Dairy Husbandry, Entomology, Farm Management, Forestry, Horticulture and Rural Social Science.Four-year curriculum offered in Agricultural Administration.
  • 1917: John Tarleton Agricultural College, Stephenville, and North Texas Agricultural College (NATC), Arlington, as junior college branches of Texas A&M. (Tarleton now Tarleton State University and NTAC is now University of Texas at Arlington.)School of Agriculture includes departments of Agricultural Engineering, Agronomy, Animal Husbandry, Biology, Dairy Husbandry, Entomology, Farm Management, Forestry, Horticulture and Rural Social Science.Four-year curriculum offered in Agricultural Administration.
  • 1920: Department of Rural Social Science created, shortly thereafter renamed Rural Sociology.
  • 1922 Agriculture Building erected.Department of Agricultural Economics established.
  • 1923: Campus creamery built.Department of Poultry Science separated out of Animal Husbandry with Duncan H. Reid as head.Department of Genetics created with E.P. Humbert named head.
  • 1924: Establishment of School of Arts and Sciences. Biology transferred from School of Agriculture.Graduate School formed.Poultry Husbandry Building constructed.
  • 1927: Department of Agricultural Economics divided into four departments:
    • Accounting and Statistics
    • Agricultural Economics
    • Farm and Ranch Management
    • Marketing and Finance
  • 1932-34: Enlarged campus building program: Administration Building; Animal Industries Building; and Agricultural Engineering Building (now Scoates Hall).
  • 1933: Recombined department of Agricultural Economics formed by merging with Farm and Ranch Management and Marketing and Finance. The department of Accounting and Statistics continued.
  • 1936: Doctorate programs in agriculture and engineering authorized by AMC Board of Directors.
  • 1937: Department of Wild Game created as a result of Texas legislative action adding curriculum in wildlife conservation and wildlife management. Became department of Fish and Game in 1939, Wildlife Management in 1954, Wildlife Science in 1964, and is currently the department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences.
  • 1941: Purchase of the Brazos Plantation Farm to be used under direction of the School of Agriculture.
  • 1944: E.J. Kyle retires as Dean of Agriculture ending 33 year tenure in the position; succeeded by Charles Noah Shepardson.
  • 1946: AMC Board of Directors ordered unification and coordination of the School of Agriculture, Texas Agricultural Experiment Station, and Texas Agricultural Extension Service. Coordination of Poultry Husbandry accomplished in 1946; other departments coordinated in 1947.Department of Range and Forestry created; became Range Science in 1965 and Rangeland Ecology and Management in 1991 and now Ecosystem Science and Management.Department of Plant Physiology and Pathology created with scientists from the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station.Five-year undergraduate degree program in Food Technology initiated.
  • 1947: Department of Biochemistry and Nutrition organized Paul Pearson as head. Faculty came from the department of Animal Husbandry and the Chemistry and Swine Divisions of the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station. Now the department of Biochemistry and Biophysics.Department of Agricultural Engineering became jointly administered by Schools of Agriculture and of Engineering.
  • 1947-50: Department heads join the parts of the land-grant mission and become coordinators of teaching, experiment station and extension.
  • 1948: Two interdepartmental curricula – Animal Science and Plant and Soil Science – established to prepare undergraduates for graduate work.
  • 1950: Academic program in Agricultural Engineering is accredited by Engineers Council for Professional Development.Cytology and genetics of cotton program underway at College Station.Era of substantial animal nutrition research and graduate programs begins.
  • 1950-51: Erection of Dairy Center, Beef Cattle Center, Poultry Building and Laboratories, Poultry Classroom Building, Swine Classroom Building and Laboratory, Two Horse Barns, Dairy Feeding Barn and Horticulture Greenhouse.
  • 1951: Erection of new Administration Building for AMC. Vacated space in System Administration Building filled with administrative offices of Texas Agricultural Extension Service and Texas Agricultural Experiment Station and subsequently the Offices of Vice Chancellor and Dean of Agriculture.
  • 1952: First graduate course in molecular biology, Biochemical Genetics, taught at Texas A&M.
  • 1955: James E. Adams, soil scientist, named Dean of AgricultureDepartments of Dairy Husbandry and Poultry Husbandry became Dairy Science and Poultry Science. Similar name change for Animal Husbandry delayed until 1965.
  • 1956: James C. “Jack” Miller, animal scientist, named Dean of Agriculture.
  • 1958: Gustav McKee Watkins, plant pathologist, named Dean of Agriculture.
  • 1960: Raleigh Elwood “Pat” Patterson, Vice President of System for Agriculture became Dean of Agriculture.
  • 1961: Departments of Agronomy, Horticulture, Floriculture and Landscape Architecture combined to form the department of Soil and Crop Science. Programs in Landscape Architecture transferred to the Division of Architecture, School of Engineering.Department of Plant Physiology and Pathology and of Genetics combined to form the Department of Plant Sciences.Plant Sciences Building built with the Department of Plant Sciences as the major occupant.
  • 1962: R.E. Patterson, Dean of Agriculture, also became Director of the Agriculture Experiment Station.
  • 1963: A&M College of Texas renamed Texas A&M University and “schools” become “colleges.”Women allowed to enroll in Texas A&M University on a limited basis.
  • 1965: Department of Dairy Science merged into Department of Animal Science.Department of Recreation and Parks created, Leslie M. Reid as head. Renamed the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences in 1989.
  • 1966: Department of Biochemistry and Nutrition re-designated Biochemistry and Biophysics.Undergraduate degree program in Biochemistry approved.
  • 1967: Harriott O. Kunkel named acting Dean of Agriculture, and acting Director of the Agricultural Experiment Station.
  • 1969: College of Education established. Department of Agricultural Education began cooperative work in graduate studies with the new College.Department of Forest Science created, B.S. and M.S. degrees approved; Ph.D. approved in 1965 with R.G. Merrifield, head.Professional graduate studies authorized for the College of Agriculture combining management skills and technical knowledge (internships and papers utilized rather than thesis). First degrees led to the Master of Agriculture degree, the first professional graduate degree at a land-grant college.Undergraduate degree in Mechanized Agriculture approved for the department of Agricultural Engineering. Master of Agriculture degree approved in 1974.
  • 1973: Department of Agricultural Education extends scope in “general agriculture,” which would become a separate undergraduate curriculum in 1989 known as Agricultural Development.
  • 1975: Robert Justus Kleberg, Jr. Animal and Food Sciences Center and the Heep Center for Soil and Crop Sciences and Entomology built.
  • 1976: Department of Horticultural Sciences established separately from Soil and Crop Sciences.Associate Dean L.S. Pope named coordinator of international programs, signaling an increased emphasis on international outreach, a college goal which continues to present day.
  • 1979: Norman Borlaug, 1971 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, joins College of Agriculture faculty.
  • 1980: M.S. and Ph.D. degree programs in Animal Nutrition re-designated programs in Nutrition, paving the way for creating an interdepartmental and intercollegiate Faculty of Nutrition.
  • 1981: College of Agriculture Development Council appointed and organized.
  • 1982: B.S. degree in Scientific Nutrition (now Nutritional Sciences) authorized adding home economics to the role and scope of Texas A&M University by Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.The development of different colors of bluebonnets begins, ultimately resulting in white, pink and of course, maroon, bluebonnets.
  • 1983: Department of Plant Sciences reorganized. Faculty in Genetics and Plant Physiology transferred to other departments in the College. Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology created out of the reorganization of the department of Plant Sciences.First classes were held in the Rosenthal Meat Science and Technology Center.
  • 1984: Fred McClure, an agricultural economics student, elected first African-American Student Body President. McClure will later become a Texas A&M RegentHorticulture–Forest Science building built.
  • 1986: Undergraduate degree programs in Genetics approved and assigned to the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics.
  • 1987: Meat Science and Technology Center named for Manny Rosenthal.
  • 1988: Master of Agribusiness degree program initiated.Charles J. Arntzen, Plant Biochemist, named Dean of Agriculture and Sciences and Deputy Chancellor for Agriculture, and would later assume the position of director of the Experiment Station. Reformed the “Agriculture Program” to include the College of Agriculture, Experiment Station, Extension Service, Forest Service and Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory.
  • 1989: College of Agriculture renamed the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.Faculty of Nutrition organized to administer graduate programs in Nutrition.Dr. Leonard Pike begins to breed the Maroon Carrot.
  • 1990: Agricultural Natural Resources Policy Internship Program (ANRP) begins.
  • 1992: Edward A. Hiler, agriculture engineer, named Deputy Vice Chancellor and Dean of Agriculture and Life Science and Director of the Agricultural Experiment Station.Plant and Soil Science curriculum changed to Plant and Environment Soil Science.Research and graduate programs initiated in molecular and cellular aspects of animal reproduction by F.W. BazerUndergraduate degree program in Agribusiness approved as a joint program with the College of Business.
  • 1993: First phase of Center of Southern Crop Improvement Center built and complex named for Norman E. Borlaug in 1999.
  • 1994: Brooke Leslie, an agricultural development student, is elected the first female student body president.
  • 1997: Undergraduate degree program in Biological Systems Engineering approved.Animal Science Teaching, Research and Extension Center (ASTREC) built.
  • 1998: The four agricultural agencies and the agricultural divisions of five System universities – Prairie View A&M, Tarleton State, Texas A&M University – Kingsville, Texas A&M University – Commerce, and West Texas A&M University – joined in partnership called the Agriculture Program.
  • 2001: Department of Agricultural Engineering re-designated Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering.
  • 2005: Elsa Murano, first female and first Hispanic, appointed Vice Chancellor and Dean for Agriculture and Life Sciences and Director, Texas Agricultural Experiment Station. Murano will resign in 2007 to become President of Texas A&M University.
  • 2008: Mark A. Hussey, appointed Vice Chancellor and Dean for Agriculture and Life Sciences.
  • 2011: Agriculture and Life Sciences Building, AgriLife Center and the AgriLife Services building constructed on the Texas A&M University west campus.

Comments are closed.