A Brief History

Video created by TAMU-CC student Christopher Potter. Read more about Christopher Potter.

TAMU-CC Official SealTexas A&M-Corpus Christi traces its beginning to 1947 as the area’s premier institution of higher education. Today, we’re part of The Texas A&M University System, a network of nine universities, seven state agencies and a comprehensive health science center. The following dates are significant milestones marking our amazing transformation.

1947

Ward Island becomes home to the University of Corpus Christi (UCC), an institution affiliated with the Baptist General Convention of Texas. A total of 312 students are enrolled.

1970

Hurricane Celia causes more than $1 million in damage to the campus.

1971

Legislature authorizes the Texas A&I University System to establish a state-supported upper-level institution of higher education in Corpus Christi.

1973

Texas A&I University at Corpus Christi opens its doors on Sept. 4, 1973, to 969 students as an upper-level institution offering courses at the junior, senior and graduate levels.

1977

The Legislature changes the school’s name to Corpus Christi State University.

1989

Corpus Christi State University joins The Texas A&M University System.

1992

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board authorizes the University’s first doctoral degree program.

1993

The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents renames the institution Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. A year later, it becomes a four-year comprehensive university and enrollment increases to 5,000 students.

1995

The Legislature of the State of Texas appropriates special funding to have the Art Museum of South Texas affiliated with Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi and administered as a cooperative joint venture. State dollars are matched at a minimum of 2:1 from private and community sources.

1997

The University revives its intercollegiate athletics program. Today, A&M-Corpus Christi competes in 14 men’s and women’s sports as a member of the Southland Conference.

2004

The Board of Regents approves the University’s College of Nursing and Health Sciences which opened the following year.

2005

Dr. Flavius Killebrew becomes the University’s President/CEO and initiates Momentum 2015, a 10-year plan to establish Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi as the flagship university for South Texas.

2007

The City of Corpus Christi donates 156 acres for the expansion of Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. The land is off Ennis Joslin Road and Nile Drive.

2009

The first group of mechanical engineering students begin classes, a culmination of a years-long process to bring engineering to the Island University. The mechanical engineering program is a direct result of community leaders’ call for more homegrown engineers.

2011

Thomas J. Henry Tennis Center is dedicated at the Momentum Campus at Nile Drive and Ennis Joslin Road.

2013

The University celebrates the opening of the Dr. Jack A. Dugan Family Soccer and Track Stadium on the Momentum Campus at Nile Drive.

December 2013

The Federal Aviation Administration names A&M-Corpus Christi one of seven test sites for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS.)

2014

The University announces Momentum 20/20, a five-year strategic plan that looks forward to 2020. Read more about the plan here(//momentum2020.tamucc.edu/).

September 2014

Islander Dining Hall opens, an 18,700 square-foot facility with indoor and outdoor seating for up to 400 students. It is the eighth dining facility on campus.

January 2015

The Harte Research Institute (HRI) for Gulf of Mexico Studies at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi was named as a lead organization of the state’s RESTORE Research Centers of Excellence. This center will guide research and restoration efforts in the Gulf of Mexico.

April 2015

An expanded, remodeled University Center is celebrated during a grand re-opening event.

June 2015

Sand volleyball announced as an intercollegiate athletics program for the spring 2016 season. New sand volleyball courts open on Momentum Campus.

August 2015

Momentum Village, housing 482 students, opens on the Momentum Campus at Ennis Joslin Road and Nile Drive.

July 2016

The University holds a groundbreaking ceremony for the second phase of Momentum Village. The 560-bed student housing project is expected to open in 2017.

August 2016

Fall enrollment hits an all-time high of 12,000 students.

September 2016

The University holds a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Life Sciences Research and Engineering Building, named Tidal Hall. The building is expected to be completed by summer 2018.

December 2016

Dr. Flavius Killebrew retires as President and CEO of Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.

January 2017

Dr. Kelly M. Miller named Interim President of Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.

February 2017

Dr. Flavius Killebrew, Immediate Past President of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, granted status of President Emeritus.

August 2017

Dr. Kelly M. Miller named the 11th President of Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.

December 2018

Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi was classified as an “R2 Doctoral University – High Research Activity” campus by Carnegie Commission of Higher Education for the first time in its history.

April 2019

The $60-million Tidal Hall Life Science Research Building opened in support of the Island University’s fastest growing programs including environmental ecology, biomedical/genetics, marine genomics, fisheries & mariculture, and marine microbiology. The Island University also established a presence in downtown Corpus Christi with the opening of the new Islanders Pavilion and Courts.

August 2019

NASA’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems Traffic Management (UTM) project teamed up with the Lone Star UAS Center of Excellence & Innovation to test drone traffic management in downtown Corpus Christi, one of only two test sites selected nationwide.

January 2020

Administrators from the Lone Star UAS Center of Excellence & Innovation signed a memorandum of understanding to develop an airspace management plan and to create a flight operations cell to support aeronautics research at the A&M System’s RELLIS Campus in Bryan, Texas.

January 2020

Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi and the Corpus Christi Regional Transportation Authority unveiled “SURGE,” the only autonomous vehicle in Corpus Christi used for public transportation.


For more in-depth history, read Dr. Thomas H. Kreneck’s introduction to “Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi: The Island University.” Kreneck was associate director of Special Collections & Archives at the Mary and Jeff Bell Library and in that role was curator of the historical records of the University.