Category Archives: History

Enrollment Equality

The next decade or so brought change in enrollment. Because Texas A&M was no longer an all-male military school, the university was able to welcome students of both genders. And the women of Texas responded – in large numbers. Enrollment in the College of Agriculture grew as the university’s did. In the early years of the 1970s, the numbers of students in the almost doubled by 1976; women’s enrollment alone rose from 223 to 1,311. The number of women students continued to rise through the next two decades,… Read More →

The Times, They are a-Changin’

Released in 1964, singer-songwriter Bob Dylan’s third studio album, The Times They Are a-Changin’, captured the spirit of social and political upheaval characteristic of the era. And at Texas A&M University and the College of Agriculture, the times were also changing. In 1961, the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences is formed in the School of Agriculture. In 1963, the Department of Animal Husbandry is renamed as the Department of Animal Science to better reflect the broadened scope and focus of the discipline. Today the department is one… Read More →

The Golden Age of Science

During the 1950s, a quiet technological and social revolution was taking place across the United States. Chartered in 1950 by the U.S. Congress, the National Science Foundation reflected the public’s interest in scientific research. The foundation’s mission was to set scientific policy and encourage basic research through grants. Dollars for research flowed in, and a new generation of scientists attracted to public research joined the professional ranks at agricultural experiment stations nationwide. Employment increased by 50 percent in less than a decade. Hollywood producers of the 1950s reacted… Read More →

The Formative 50s: New Direction, Discovery, and Potential

In 1949, the Texas A&M yearbook officially changed its name to Aggieland, signaling the beginning of a decade filled with scientific discovery and new directions for the college, even as it continued to recognize its agricultural roots. In 1950, the new Biological Sciences Building was completed. Over the next two years, many new buildings and centers opened, including the Administration Building, poultry and swine classroom buildings and laboratories, dairy and beef cattle centers, and the horticulture greenhouse. The vacated System Administration Building became the new administrative offices for… Read More →

Postwar Reconstruction: A Time of Change

More teachers, more space, more books. Cadets returning after the war, veterans taking advantage of the G.I. Bill, and a new generation of young A&M students flooding the campus. Enrollment swelled to 8,651 for the 1946–47 academic year. Dormitories were converted, and temporary family dwelling units were built to house the ever-increasing number of students. Freshmen and veterans resided and took classes at the Bryan Air Base (now the Riverside Campus). The post–World War II years were a time of change and confusion across America and at Texas… Read More →

World War II: Your Country Needs You

By 1941, the Great Depression was over. The Texas A&M campus had more buildings, but lower salaries, more students, and fewer courses. That same year, the Brazos Plantation Farm was purchased for use under the direction of the School of Agriculture. In 1937, President Franklin Roosevelt toured the A&M campus. By 1939, the A&M Board of Directors had authorized the use of the College by the federal government in any capacity. In 1940, Congress passed the Selective Training and Service Act. The United States entered World War II… Read More →

Dust Bowl Days

Drought, wind, bad farming practices, and market forces combined to create massive dust storms and crop failures that dominated the 1930s and rivaled the market crash of 1929 in the devastation it caused throughout the Great Plains. By 1931, topsoil from overplowed and overgrazed land began to blow across the Texas Panhandle, New Mexico, Colorado, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska. By 1934, the drought covered more than 75 percent of the nation, severely affecting 27 states. At its height, an estimated 100 million acres of farmland topsoil was lost… Read More →

Roots and Shoots: The College Grows

In the first few decades of the 20th century, Texas A&M expanded both upward and outward. As enrollment increased and funding became available, the directors initiated a building program that would continue throughout the 1920s and 1930s. They also formed new departments and expanded the college system by adding branches in other parts of the state. In 1916, the Stock Judging Pavilion and a dairy barn were built, and the Department of Agricultural Education was established. In 1917, John Tarleton Agricultural College in Stephenville and North Texas Agricultural… Read More →

Under Construction

Today, many students are accustomed to the seemingly endless cycle of construction. While the Depression of the 1930s dominated politics and the economy, new buildings being constructed on campus offered jobs and a renewed hope for the future. In 1933, the School of Agriculture moved into its new, state-of-the-art facilities. Some of which are still in use today: Scoates Hall, the new home for agricultural engineering Animal Industries Building for animal husbandry, which included an area for meat processing Administration Building Former associate dean Richard Potts was quoted… Read More →

The Depression Era: Gloom and Boom Times

Until 1929, Texans were optimistic about their future. The state population continued to grow, adding more than one million people over the decade. And while cotton was still king, the economy was diverse. By October, much of the optimism faded when Wall Street recorded its worst day ever, and stocks on the New York Stock Exchange tumbled more than 40 percent. By 1931, the Great Depression deepened across the United States and even rural farmers in Texas, already accustomed to hard times, needed relief from the worsening situation…. Read More →