Texas Southern University (shortened to Texas Southern or simply TSU) is a historically black university (HBCU) located in Houston, in the U.S. state of Texas, accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The university was established in 1927 as the Houston Colored Junior College. It developed through its private college phase as the four-year Houston Colored College. On March 3, 1947, the state declared this to be the first state university in Houston; it was renamed Texas State University for Negroes. In 1951, the name changed to Texas Southern University.
Texas Southern University is one of the largest and most comprehensive HBCUs in the nation. TSU is one of only four independent public universities in Texas (those not affiliated with any of Texas' six public university systems) and the only HBCU in Texas recognized as one of "America's Top Colleges" by Forbes magazine. TSU is a leading producer of college degrees to African Americans and Hispanics in Texas and ranks fourth in the United States in doctoral and professional degrees conferred to African Americans. The university is a member-school of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.
Dr. Waldivia Ardlaw of Cite: The Architecture + Design Review of Houston wrote that the university serves as "the cultural and community center of" the Third Ward area where it is located, in addition to being its university. Also, the university serves as a notable economic resource for Greater Houston, contributing over $500 million to the region's gross sales and being directly and indirectly responsible for over 3,000 jobs.
Texas Southern University intercollegiate sports teams, collectively known as the Tigers, compete in NCAA Division I and the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC). The university recruits nationwide for its notable Ocean of Soul marching band.
|Houston Colored Junior College (1927–1934)
Houston College for Negroes (1934–1947)
Texas State University for Negroes (1947–1951)
|Motto||"Excellence in Achievement"|
|Type||State university, HBCU|
|Established||March 7, 1927|
|Students||10,514 (Fall 2017)|
|Location||Houston, Texas, U.S.
|Campus||Urban, 150-acre (0.61 km2)|
|Newspaper||The TSU Herald|
|Colors||Maroon and gray
|Athletics||NCAA Division I FCS – SWAC|
On March 7, 1927, the Houston Independent School District board resolved to establish junior colleges for each race, as the state was racially segregated in all public facilities. The resolution created Houston Junior College, which later became the University of Houston, and Houston Colored Junior College, which first held classes at Jack Yates High School during the evenings. The school's name was later changed to Houston College for Negroes.
In February 1946, Heman Marion Sweatt, an African American man, applied to the University of Texas School of Law. He was denied admission because of race, and subsequently filed suit in Sweatt v. Painter (1950). The state had no law school for African Americans. Instead of granting Sweatt a writ of mandamus to attend the University of Texas, the trial court granted a continuance for six months to allow the state time to create a law school for blacks.
As a result, the Fiftieth Texas Legislature passed Texas Senate Bill 140 on March 3, 1947, authorizing and funding the creation of Texas State University for Negroes as the first state university to be located in Houston. The school was established to serve African Americans in Texas and offer them fields of study comparable to those available to white Texans. The state took over the Houston Independent School District (HISD)-run Houston College for Negroes as a basis for the new university. Houston College moved to the present site (adjacent to the University of Houston), which was donated by Hugh Roy Cullen. It had one permanent building and an existing faculty and students. The new university was charged with teaching "pharmacy, dentistry, arts and sciences, journalism, education, literature, law, medicine and other professional courses." The legislature stipulated that "these courses shall be equivalent to those offered at other institutions of this type supported by the State of Texas."
Given the differences in facilities and intangibles, such as the distance of the new school from Austin, the University of Texas School of Law, and other law students, the United States Supreme Court ruled the new facility did not satisfy "separate but equal" provisions. It ruled that African Americans must also be admitted to the University of Texas Law School at Austin. See Sweatt v. Painter (1950).
In March 1960, Texas Southern University students organized Houston's first sit-in at the Weingarten's lunch counter located at 4110 Almeda. The success of their efforts inspired more sit-ins throughout the city, which, within months, led to the desegregation of many of Houston's public establishments. Today, a historical marker commissioned by the Texas Historical Commission stands on the property of the first sit-in to commemorate the courageous acts of those TSU students. That property is now a U.S. Post Office. TSU journalism professor Serbino Sandifer-Walker worked for nearly two years with the Texas Historical Commission, the original students who led the march, and many other stakeholders, to have the historic marker designated on March 4, 2010, the fiftieth anniversary of that sit-in.
The university today has more than 45 buildings on a 150-acre (0.61 km2) urban gated campus centrally located in Houston. The campus is three miles southeast of Downtown Houston and six miles east of Uptown Houston. TSU is recognized as a Tree Campus USA school for its commitment to preserving and increasing campus trees.
The school's first structure was the Thornton B. Fairchild Building, built 1947–1948 and housing administration and classroom space. Temporary buildings served as faculty housing during that time. The Mack H. Hannah hall, designed by Lamar Q. Cato and opened in 1950, was the second building. In the late 1950s many more buildings opened, including classroom, dormitory, and student union facilities.
Completed in 2000, the 11,000-square-foot (1,000 m2) exhibition space displays a variety of historical and contemporary art. The museum is the permanent home of the Web of Life, a twenty-six-foot mural masterpiece by world-renowned artist Dr. John T. Biggers, founding chairman of the TSU art department.
In 2014, TSU unveiled a $31 million, 108,000-square-foot, four-story structure named after the school's fifth president. In addition to having 35 state-of-the-art labs, the facility is home to a new Tier 1 University Transportation Center, the Center for Transportation Training and Research, and the new National Science Foundation Center for Research on Complex Networks. The departments of Engineering, Transportation Studies, Computer Science, Industrial Technology, Physics, and Aviation Science and Technology academic programs are housed in the building. TSU is the only four-year state supported university in Texas to offer a Pilot Ground School course and the first HBCU to implement a Maritime Transportation degree program.
Jesse H. Jones (JHJ) School of Business is located in a three-story, 76,000-square-foot building completed in 1998 and accommodates approximately 1,600 students in undergraduate and graduate studies. The Jesse H. Jones School of Business is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) and been named one of the "Best Business Schools" by the Princeton Review. JHJ School of Business is consistently one of the highest ranked business schools from a public HBCU in the U.S. News & World Report rankings.
The Jesse H. Jones School of Business offers bachelor's degree majors in Accounting, Finance, Management, Management Information Systems, and Marketing with master's degree majors in Masters of Business Administration (MBA), Masters in Management Information Systems, and Executive Masters of Business Administration (eMBA). Its eMBA program was ranked 5th in the United States by Business MBA.
The College of Education building consists of the Department of Counseling, the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, the Department of Educational Administration & Foundations, and the Department of Health and Kinesiology. The college has an enrollment of approximately 1,000 in undergraduate and graduate studies. In 2014, the National Council on Teacher Quality ranked TSU's College of Education 56th in the nation for best secondary education programs and gave the college a "top-ranked" distinction.
An extensive set of curricular offerings is provided through the Barbara Jordan - Mickey Leland School Of Public Affairs, which offers courses in Administration of Justice (AJ), Political Science (POLS), Public Affairs (PA), Military Science (MSCI), and Urban Planning & Environmental Policy (UPEP) on the undergraduate, graduate, or doctoral level. The school sits in a 82,000-square-foot facility completed in 2008. Sociologist Robert D. Bullard currently is Dean of the school.
The TSU Science Center building is home to several scholastic programs, such as the Houston Louis Stokes Alliance Minority Program (H-LSAMP) and the Thomas Freeman Honors College. It also houses several research programs, such as the NASA University Research Center for Bio-Nanotechnology and Environmental Research (NASA URC C-BER), Maritime Transportation Studies and Research, as well as the STEM research program.TSU’s NASA University Research Center (C-BER) addresses human health concerns related to manned exploration of space. Programs such as TSU’s NASA University Research Center (C-BER) and participation in The Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Preparation Program (LSAMP) support undergraduate, graduate and faculty development while helping to increase the number of US citizens receiving degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields. The science center also houses the only doctoral degree program in environmental toxicology in Southeast Texas.
The College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (COPHS) is housed in the Spurgeon N. Gray Hall. COPHS has approximately 800 students. The 2016 pharmacy graduates had a 90% first-attempt pass rate on the NAPLEX which was above the national average (85%), third highest in Texas, and highest among HBCUs. COPHS has the distinction of being one of the nation’s leading producers of minority health professionals. For the past half‑century, the College has produced nearly one‑third of the Black pharmacists practicing nationwide. TSU has also been a leading producer of Black medical technologists and respiratory therapists. TSU is one of only two public HBCUs in the nation with an accredited and comprehensive pharmacy program. COPHS is the first and only in Houston to offer a Masters of Science in Health Care Administration degree.
The Thurgood Marshall School of Law (TMSL) is one of only four public law schools in Texas and ranks as one of the most diverse law schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. TMSL is accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA) and a member-school of The Association of American Law Schools (AALS). Enrollment is at approximately 600 students.
The Ernest S. Sterling Student Life Center (SSLC) is the nucleus of campus life at TSU. It provides cultural, social, recreational, educational and religious programs and services for students, faculty, staff, alumni and guests, as it creates constructive leisure and educational activities. The Student Center is home to the TSU Bookstore, TSU Cheerleaders, Bowling Alley, Game Room, Student Government Association (SGA), University Program Council (UPC), Herald Newspaper, Tiger Yearbook, Cafeteria, Office of Campus Organizations, Student Activities, Administrative Offices and Office of Events.
Renovated in 2014, the Sawyer Auditorium is Texas Southern University’s historical landmark. Sawyer Auditorium features split-level seating for up to 1,800 guests for hosting university-sponsored events. It also has an adjacent drama playhouse.
Constructed in 1969, Newman Hall houses the Texas Southern University campus ministry, blending three activity areas. The worship, library and social functions all revolve around a central, sky-lit interior. Flexibility of interior use is achieved with moveable furniture and rolling barn doors.
The Tiger Walk is the maroon and gray paved central street on campus where most of TSU outdoor social activities are held and a popular destination for students to relax or socialize.
Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (METRO) operates public transportation services, including buses and the METRORail tram service, which serve the university. The METRORail Purple Line station serving the university is Robertson Stadium/UH/TSU station.
Texas Southern University offers over 100 bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees. The Thomas F. Freeman Honors College is a selective non-degree granting college established to uniquely cultivate the most high-achieving undergraduate students of all majors in their academic and leadership endeavors. The university is classified by the Carnegie Foundation as a "Doctoral university with moderate research activity" and currently comprises 11 schools and colleges along with several scholastic and research programs.
Texas Southern University annually receives over 10,000 undergraduate applications and offer admissions to approximately 50% of applicants.
Texas Southern University's main library is the Robert J. Terry (RJT) Library. The Brown Foundation re-invested in TSU with a two-year $1.2 million commitment to the Robert J. Terry Library to improve its Urban Learning Center. The Urban Learning Center is an integral part of a new era of initiatives at Texas Southern and will provide critical support to the currently planned Academic Village. The new improvements will enhance the ability of the RJT Library to address the literary and academic needs of TSU students. The RJT library is home to an African Art Gallery, The Heartman Collection, and many types of valuable archives.
In 2017, the university moved forward with plans to construct a brand new library. The new state-of-the-art library will be 137,000 square feet and six stories tall.
The Thurgood Marshall School of Law building also houses an extensive library.
As of 2015, the student body is 76% African American, 9% Hispanic, 7% International, 3% White, and 5% other. Approximately 86% of the student body is from Texas; the top three counties of origin for in-state students are Harris County, Fort Bend County, and Dallas County. The top three state origins for out-of-state students are California, Louisiana, and Georgia, and the top three country origins of international students are Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, and China. The student body is 42% male and 58% female. The student-to-faculty ratio is 19 to 1.
The air is filled as our voices ring
|Words and music by C. A. Tolbert|
There are several traditions established on the campus of Texas Southern University. Some of the most well-known ones are electing a Mister and Miss TSU and Royal Court, Labor Day Classic festivities, Tiger Day/Tigre Dia, TSU founding day celebration, Springfest week, the TSU Shuffle (line dance), and homecoming week.
Texas Southern University's debate team has won hundreds of national and international debate competitions since its inception. The debate team was founded by professor emeritus and coach Thomas Freeman in 1949. Freeman has led the team for over 60 years and is credited for training notable leaders such as former U.S. Congresswoman Barbara Jordan and civil rights activist Martin Luther King, Jr. while serving as a visiting professor at Morehouse College.
Texas Southern's marching band the Ocean of Soul has won numerous awards and performed at Super Bowls, The Stellar Awards, various parades, NBA and Houston Texans games. The 200-plus-member band alumni include Grammy award-winning jazz saxophonist Kirk Whalum. The Ocean of Soul is complemented by The Motion of The Ocean, a female dance team that has been featured on America's Best Dance Crew.
Texas Southern sports teams participate in NCAA Division I (Championship Subdivision for football) in the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC). Texas Southern is part of the Western Division in SWAC divisional sports.
Men's varsity sports include baseball, basketball, football, golf, and track and field. Women's varsity sports include basketball, bowling, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, track and field, and volleyball.
Texas Southern's most well-known rivals are Prairie View A&M, Southern, Grambling State, and Jackson State.
Texas Southern Lady Tigers golf team made history this year when they were the first ever to win the (SWAC) championships for the ladies golf team.
In addition to serving as a training unit for TSU students, the station was established to serve the university at the program level as well as the community by presenting various types of TSU athletics, educational, cultural and social programs to a primarily listening area within a 10-mile (16 km) radius of the university. A 1973 survey indicated that radio was generally the preferred source of information of African-Americans, particularly those with less than a high school education. By the late 1970s, the station had secured an ample audience and programming increased in scope. At the same time, the station increased its power range from 10 watts to 18,500 watts. According to the Arbitron Rating Service (ARS), KTSU has an audience of 244,700 listeners and is number one overall of Houston and Galveston stations for its Sunday format and its Friday format of Golden Oldies.
|Matthew Knowles||Communications||Beyoncé Knowles-Carter and Solange Knowles father, founder of Music World Entertainment, former manager for the members of Destiny's Child and Solange, and adjunct instructor in the School of Communication and Jesse H. Jones School of Business.|||
|Robert D. Bullard||Sociology||Well-noted scholar of environmental justice|