College History

From the inception in 1876, industrial education has been a vital part of the philosophy of Prairie View A&M University’s Roy G. Perry College of Engineering. The college originated with the establishment of industrial education as early as 1888, with the establishment of the Mechanical Department. During the time, vocational and technical education programs were established with a total of 36 students. The curriculum included courses such as masonry, Woodwork, Blacksmithing, cabinet making, tailoring and printing, in which students were able to gain experience in the field of their choice. In 1896, a Mechanic Arts program officially began and in 1902 introduced carpentry, broom and mattress making. E.H Holmes served as the first Mechanic Arts Director and W.P. Terrell became director in 1906. Drafting and building were taught in 1920s.

Over time, the standards of the program were elevated and baccalaureate degrees were offered in Mechanic Arts. To continue their knowledge in engineering and to further participate within the community and the program, students formed clubs and organizations such as Mechanic Arts and Woods Workers Club, which originated in the early 1930s.

In 1940, under the direction of J.J. Abernathy, mechanics Arts students received a bachelor’s degree in any of four major areas, including industrial arts education, building construction, stationary engineering and industrial education. In 1945, Claude L. Wilson was named the Director of the Mechanical Engineering within the Division of Mechanic Arts. In 1949, the division Mechanic Arts was formally named School of Engineering.

During the year of 1952, the Gibb Gilchrist Engineering Building was completed and named in honor of the first Director of the Texas State Highway Department and Chancellor of the Texas A&M College System. Within the year of 1964, the first Engineering institute was developed and put into action. The chairman of the institute was Austin E. Greaux, chairman of the department of architectural engineering. It was intended to create interest in engineering high school principal, counselors and teachers, so that they could encourage qualified students to study Engineering. Soon after, Greaux was appointed dean of the school of Engineering in 1966.

In 1972, the curriculum in Architecture changed to a five-year Bachelor of Architecture Program. In 1973, the School of Engineering formerly transitioned into the College of Engineering. In 985, Dr. Wayne D. Perry was appointed dean of the College, which experienced tremendous growth in its programs and attracting national recognition. Dr. Milton R. Bryant later became the Dean of the College of Engineering AND Architecture in 1997 and redefined the standards in CEA program.

In 2005, a building for the school of Architecture was built and named in 2006 in honor of the architecture program’s first female graduate, Nathelyne Archie Kennedy. She graduated in 1959 with a degree in Architectural Engineering and was the first African American Engineering graduate in Texas and the first African American to become a licensed Professional Engineer (P.E.) in Texas.

The year 2007, Dr. Kendall T. Harris was appointed dean of the College of Engineering.  In 2008, the Texas A&M University Board of Regents approved the naming of the College of Engineering for PVAMU Alumnus Roy G. Perry, a member of the class of 1978. To date, the college attracts scores of talented students each year from across Texas and the world.


Throughout the history and origins of Prairie View A&M University, students have matriculated to obtain a specific trade and a collection of academic skills to benefit themselves and their respective communities. Uncompromised dedication, teaching, scholarship, research and services are the guiding principles that have propelled the College to unparalleled heights and years of joyous success. It will be these same principles matched with its loyal faculty, staff, students, alumni and supporters that will ensure continued portraits of excellence and innovation for its future.






   Pamela Holland Obiomon, PhD
Dean and Professor