For 140 years, Prairie View A&M University has been a leader in serving underserved communities and has maintained a strict adherence to its founding principles of teaching, research and service. Prairie View A&M University is the second oldest public institution of higher education in Texas. On August 14, 1876, the Texas Legislature established the “Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas for Colored Youths” and placed responsibility for its management with the Board of Directors of the Agricultural and Mechanical College at Bryan (present day Texas A&M University, linking the 1862 and 1890 Land Grant Universities).
The University’s original curriculum was designated by the Texas Legislature to be that of a “Normal School” for the preparation and training of teachers. This curriculum was expanded to include the arts and sciences, home economics, agriculture, mechanical arts and nursing after the University was established as a branch of the Agricultural Experiment Station (Hatch Act, 1887) and as a Land Grant College (Morrill Act, 1890). Thus began the tradition of agricultural research and community service, which continues today.
The University’s enrollment now exceeds 8,000 including more than 1,500 graduate students. In fact, our student population continues to be diverse – with students from around the nation – and even from around the globe -calling Prairie View A&M University home. During the University’s 140-year history, some 60,000 academic degrees have been awarded. Our Engineering, Architecture, Psychology, Nursing and Business programs continue to be nationally recognized as among the best in the country and our graduates have been identified as earning higher salaries than the state average. Indeed, we have a thriving and passionate alumni base that is second-to-none in terms of the support and love that they have for this university. Prairie View really does live up to its motto of “Producing Productive People.”
As we reflect upon this university’s humble beginnings, we must marvel at the growth and expansion that decades of faith, hard work, determination, passion and an unwavering vision of have brought to this university. Thousands of people fought, lived and died for this university to become and remain a beacon of hope for an underserved population. We honor them and their immeasurable contributions as well as the current administration, faculty and staff who now carry the torch as we usher in another 140 years of excellence in teaching, research and service.
George C. Wright, President
Prairie View A&M University