Passion, Pride, and Pursuit of Preserving A&M-Corpus Christi History

A Brief History of Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi

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. This short documentary was created by Islander business student Christopher Potter, who is also a member of the Island Ambassadors, and details the 70+ year history of the Island University.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Christopher Potter, senior business major at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, is the epitome of Islander pride. Led by a fascination with the University’s origins and a desire to share that information with others, Potter created a documentary detailing the entire history of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. His video soon received attention and praise from Dr. Kelly Quintanilla, President and CEO of the Island University, and with assistance from the Division of Marketing and Communication, Potter fine-tuned the amateur video and it was recently posted on the University’s official history website.

“Knowing that in trying to preserve Islander history, I became part of it makes my heart flutter,” Potter shared. “It’s awesome that I left my mark, especially since it’s my senior year and I’ll be graduating soon.”

Potter, who is from Cibolo, a small town outside of San Antonio, came to the Island University in fall 2015 with the intention of transferring to College Station but quickly decided to stay. His love of A&M-Corpus Christi led him to join the Island Ambassadors – a group of student volunteers with exceptional Islander spirit who assist the Office of Recruitment and Admissions by leading University tours, working Island Day, and helping with other University programs.

“At my first Island Ambassadors training, Russell Wagner, executive director of the National Islander Alumni Association, taught us about the history of the anchor,” said Potter. “I thought that was super cool and it inspired me to start investigating the rest of the University’s history.”

After beginning his research, Potter shared interesting facts with other Island Ambassadors. Seeing how helpful this information was, Jasmine DeLeon, former Island Ambassador program coordinator, encouraged Potter to compose an orientation presentation for his Ambassador peers. 

Potter searched through the University archives at the Mary and Jeff Bell Library to find old yearbooks, documents, and books on the history of the University. Potter also combed through newspaper articles to find additional facts, more recent information, and images. He gathered photos from the University’s official image gallery, and used an instrumental version of the University’s alma mater as background music for his documentary. Potter even wrote his own script for the project.

“Processing through so much information was easy for me because I was really passionate about the topic,” said Potter, who is also member of the National Society of Leadership and Success. “What made it difficult was the two-month time restraint, which was set because the video had to be ready for Island Ambassadors training.”

Potter is humbled and proud the video has been a hit with his friends, the Island Ambassadors, the Islander Alumni Association, and the University President.

“When I first set out to discover the University’s history, I didn’t expect so many people to be interested in my findings,” Potter shared. “I’m extremely proud and excited that the University will have something to remember me by.”