Texas College
Entrance to Texas College
Former names
Phillips University
MottoPer lumen scientiae viam invenient populi (Latin)
Motto in English
"Give The People Light, and They Will Find Their Way"
TypePrivate, HBCU
Religious affiliation
Christian Methodist Episcopal Church
Endowment$3.2 million (2016)[1]
PresidentDr. Dwight J. Fennell, Sr.
Location, ,
United States

32°22′32″N 95°18′45″W / 32.375603°N 95.312394°W / 32.375603; -95.312394Coordinates: 32°22′32″N 95°18′45″W / 32.375603°N 95.312394°W / 32.375603; -95.312394
ColorsPurple and Gold    
Sports9 varsity teams (7 sports)
(5 men and 4 women teams)

Texas College is a private, historically black Christian Methodist Episcopal college in Tyler, Texas. It is affiliated with the United Negro College Fund. It was founded in 1894 by a group of ministers affiliated with the Christian Methodist Episcopal (CME) Church, a predominantly black denomination which was at the time known as the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church in America. They planned to provide for education of African-American students, who were excluded from the segregated university system of Texas. They planned a full literary, scientific and classical education for theology, normal training of lower school teachers, music, commercial and industrial training, and agricultural and mechanical sciences.


On January 9, 1894, Texas College was founded by a group of ministers affiliated with the Christian Methodist Episcopal (CME) Church, a black denomination. They planned a full, co-educational college to serve people in eastern Texas.

On June 12, 1909, the name of the college was changed from Texas College to Phillips University. It was named for Bishop Henry Phillips and his leadership. The name reversal occurred in 1910 at the Third Annual Conference of the church. In May 1912, the college was officially renamed Texas College. The subsequent years of the College were spent with refinements and enhancements of the educational enterprise.

The Articles of Incorporation reflect such efforts with modifications and amendments during periods 1909 to 1966. The College today is open to all individuals without discrimination on the grounds of national origin, race, religion, or sex. It is authorized to offer instruction in the areas of Arts and Sciences, Humanities, Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, preparation of teachers, and the provision of instructional supports, to those in pursuit of an education.


Texas College offers bachelor's degree programs in biology, business administration, criminal justice, computer science, English, interdisciplinary studies (teacher certification), mathematics, music, liberal studies, religion, social work and sociology. Also available are Associate of Arts degrees in early childhood education and general studies, as well as a post-baccalaureate alternative certification teacher education program for people with bachelor's degrees.[2]


In 1920, eight men representing six historically black colleges in the state of Texas met to discuss collegiate athletics and their respective challenges. By the time the session in Houston had concluded, they had founded an athletic league that is now part of the highest level of collegiate sports competition in the U.S. (NCAA Division I), the Southwestern Athletic Conference. The founding fathers of the original "Super Six" were C. H. Fuller of Bishop College, Red Randolph and C. H. Patterson of Paul Quinn College, E.G. Evans, H. J. Evans and H. J. Starns of Prairie View A&M, D. C. Fuller of Texas College, and G. Whitte Jordan of Wiley College.

Texas College was a member of the SWAC from 1920 to 1961 (41 years). Texas College was SWAC football champions in 1934, 1935, 1936, 1942 and three-way champions with Wiley College and Langston University in 1944, finishing the season with a conference record of 5-1 and an overall record of 8-1. The last SWAC football victory was against Prairie View A&M University in 2003 by a score of 21 to 10.

Today, the Texas College Steers are members of the NAIA, which competes in the Red River Athletic Conference. Its football team was revived as an official sport in 2004, and competes in the Central States Football League. The Texas College football team won two CSFL Conference Co-Championships in 2005 and 2006. In 2018, the Texas College football team joined the Sooner Athletic Conference as an associate member.

Men's sports include baseball, basketball, football, golf, soccer, cross country, and track & field. Women's sports include basketball, soccer, softball, track & field, cross country, and volleyball.

Student life

Residence halls

Texas College constructed a new residence hall, The Living and Learning Center (LLC), that opened in 2016.

Residence halls also include the Daniel and the Maddie A. Fair Residence Hall, which were renovated in 2016 as well.[3]

Marching Band

The Texas College Marching Band is a 30+ member band that performs at athletic and special events. The band is accompanied by the "Golden Girls" dance team and a flag team.

Greek organizations

Notable alumni

This article's list of alumni may not follow Wikipedia's verifiability policy. Please improve this article by removing names that do not have independent reliable sources showing they merit inclusion in this article AND are alumni, or by incorporating the relevant publications into the body of the article through appropriate citations. (September 2018)
Name Class Year Notability Reference(s)
Irma P. Hall 1956 Poet, stage and film Actress; nominated and has received NAACP Image Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Soul Food. In 2004, won Prixe du Jury from Cannes Film Festival for her performance in The Ladykillers ; inducted into the Texas Film Hall of Fame in 2005; co-founder of the Dallas Minority Repertory Theatre.
Dr. Jesse W. Jones 1954 Professor of Chemistry Baylor University; member of the Texas House of Representatives 1992-2006.
Dr. Mildred Fay Jefferson 1944 The first black woman to graduate from Harvard Medical School, the first woman to graduate in surgery from Harvard Medical School and the first woman to become a member of the Boston Surgical Society,

Notable faculty

Department Name Notability Reference(s)
President 1931-1961 Dominion Robert Glass Under his direction, Texas College became accredited by the Texas Education Agency as a Standard Senior College and was given an “A” rating by the Southern Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools. The college also gained membership in the Association of American Colleges, the Association of Church-Related Colleges, the American Council on Education, the National Association of Collegiate Deans and Registrars, the United Negro College Fund, Inc., the National Institute of Science, and the Association of Texas Colleges. During Glass’s tenure, the school’s enrollment grew from 233 students to 2,274. The number of faculty members increased from ten members to 100. Thirty-five new buildings were built; the school’s income tripled, and a special program was implemented for veterans.
Head of the Humanities Division at Texas College Dr. Lena Beatrice Morton American educator and literary scholar. While at T.C., she was recipient of the Minnie Stevens Piper Professor Award for excellence in teaching. She was a life fellow of the International Institute of Arts and Letters in Switzerland. Author of Negro Poetry in America (1925), Farewell to the Public Schools, I'm Glad We Met: A Handbook for Teachers (1952), Man Under Stress (1960), Patterns of Language Usage, My First Sixty Years: Passion for Wisdom (1965), and The Influence of the Sea Upon English Poetry from the Anglo-Saxon to the Victorian Period (1976). She graduated from the University of Cincinnati (UC) and was a founding member of the school's first African American Greek organization, Zeta chapter of Delta Sigma Theta sorority. Dr. Morton earned her Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University in 1947. She is featured in vol. 6 of African American National Biography, edited by H. L. Gates, Jr. and E. B. Higginbotham.


  1. ^ "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2016 Endowment Market Value and Change* in Endowment Market Value from FY2015 to FY2016" (PDF). NACUBO.org. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-04-02. Retrieved 25 March 2017.
  2. ^ Texas College Catalog
  3. ^ "Residential Life Handbook" (PDF).[permanent dead link]