A Brief History

Texas 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.

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 Quintanilla 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.

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.