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Sam Houston State University

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  • Evelyn "Blair" Miska (1928 - 2012)
    EVELYN BLAIR WALZEL MYSKA, age 83, of Richmond, Texas, died at home surrounded by her family on August 19, 2012 after a long and courageous struggle with a rare disease known as Multiple System Atrophy...
  • Ruth Martin Burchard (Stephens) (1929 - 2013)
    Biography== Ruth Martin Burchard (Stephens) was born on January 27, 1929, in Austin, Travis County, Texas, United States. Her parents were James Edgar Stephens and Julia Eugenia Stephens (Lancaster) . ...
  • Genevieve H. Collins (1908 - 1997)
    Genevieve H. Collins @ find a grave ____________________Genevieve received her Master's degree in Education from Sam Houston State University.
  • Dana Andrews (1909 - 1992)
    Dana Andrews (January 1, 1909 – December 17, 1992) was an American film actor and a major Hollywood star during the 1940s. He continued acting in less prestigious roles into the 1980s. He is remembered...
  • Bess Brannen (1905 - 1958)
    Bess Brannen(Courtney)@find-a-grave -------------------------------An elementary school in Lack Jackson Texas, "Bess Brannen," is named for Bess Courtney Brannen. Because of the value that her parents ...

Sam Houston State University (known as SHSU or Sam) was founded in 1879 and is the third oldest public institution of higher learning in the State of Texas. It is located approximately one hour north of downtown Houston in the hills, lakes, and forests region of East Texas in Huntsville. It is one of the oldest purpose-built institutions for the instruction of teachers west of the Mississippi River and the first such institution of its type in Texas. The school is named for Sam Houston, who made his home in the city and is buried there.

SHSU is a member of the Texas State University System and has an enrollment of more than 18,400 students across over 80 undergraduate, 54 masters', and 6 doctoral degree programs. The university also offers more than 20 online bachelor's and graduate degrees, and its programs are ranked high by U.S. News & World Report. It was the first institution classified as a Doctoral Research University by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education within the Texas State University System, and while education continues to be the most popular major among students at the university, SHSU has nationally recognized programs in banking, performing arts, mathematics and criminal justice.

The Sam Houston State University campus was originally home to Austin College, the Presbyterian institution that relocated to Sherman, Texas in 1876. Austin Hall was constructed in 1851 and is the oldest university building west of the Mississippi still in operation. It was renovated in 2012 and is used today for special meetings and events. Notably, Sam Houston himself attended and participated in the original dedication of the building.

Created by legislation signed by Governor Oran M. Roberts on San Jacinto Day, April 21, 1879, Sam Houston Normal Institute's dedicated goal was to train teachers for the public schools of Texas. It was the first teacher-training school in the southwestern United States. On October 10 of the same year, the first class of 110 students and four faculty commenced instruction. The first President of the school, Bernard Mallon, died eleven days after the institute opened.

The one-room Peabody Memorial Library was the first free-standing campus library in Texas; it was constructed in 1901 with funds provided by the George Peabody Foundation. According to the Normal Institute's catalogue, the library was "a very handsome structure, and especially designed for the purpose for which it is to be used. It is said that no school of this kind in the South has a Building equal to it." Fully restored, it is now used as a venue for special university events.

When the university first opened, students received a certification to teach in the state's elementary and secondary schools. After 1919, the university began to award bachelor's degrees. In 1936, the school awarded its first postbaccalaureate degree.

SHSU celebrated its 125th year of operation in 2004.

The university launched its first capital campaign in March 2006 with a $50 million goal and closed the campaign's books on August 31, 2010, with $61.2 million in commitments. The university has 110,000 living, addressable alumni and an active Alumni Association with 10,000 members, holding 200 meetings and events annually.

SHSU-The Woodlands Center opened on May 30, 2012, on the Lone Star College-Montgomery campus. It is a 144,164 sq. ft. facility that has a five-story parking garage. The university also operates SHSU-University Park on the property of Lone Star College-University Park in unincorporated Harris County near Tomball.

Name changes

Throughout the course of its history, Sam has undergone several name changes.

April 21, 1879, founded as Sam Houston Normal Institute 1923: Sam Houston State Teachers College 1965: Sam Houston State College 1967: Sam Houston State University In April, 2007, Texas House Bill 1418 passed without objection in the Texas Legislature, preventing The Texas State University System’s Board of Regents from changing the university's name to Texas State-Sam Houston.