The University has had eight different names since its inception:
Arlington College 1895-1902
Arlington College was established at the urging of Edward Emmett Rankin, an Arlington civic leader, to improve the availability of quality education in the recently founded rural town. Lee M. Hammond and William M. Trimble were the founding co-principals of the institution. The original two-and-a-half story wood-frame schoolhouse was built on property near the present University Center donated by J.W. Ditto and A.W. Collins. A private institution, Arlington College’s first class of roughly 75 students received schooling from the elementary to about today’s high school level.
Left to right: Edward E. Rankin, Lee M. Hammond, William M. Trimble
The Military Training Schools, 1902-1917
Carlisle Military Academy, 1902-1913
Col. James M. Carlisle arrived in 1902 and converted the campus into a private academy “for the literary, military, and manual training of boys,” as its charter stated. Despite its official admission policy, the school had at least eight female graduates during its eleven-year existence.
Arlington Training School, 1913-1916
Educator H.K. Taylor re-opened the institution as Arlington Training School with military-style discipline and high-school level coursework. Although the institution focused still on boys’ preparatory education, females were admitted as day students.
Arlington Military Academy 1916-1917
Opened by John B. Dodson, Arlington Military Academy operated only for the 1916-17 academic year. This marked the end of Arlington’s community attempts to support a private intermediate and secondary institution. However, the presence of military training units on campus survives to this day.
Grubbs Vocational College, 1917-1923
In 1917, the institution became a branch of the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas (now Texas A&M). Named for Judge Vincent W. Grubbs of Greenville who led a campaign to create the school, the state junior college’s curriculum focused on the agricultural, mechanical and industrial trades, as well as household arts for female students. In keeping with the school’s military tradition, all male students were required to be cadets in the ROTC. The college completed the $112,500 Administration Building in 1919. Now W.A. Ransom Hall, it is the oldest standing building on campus. Enrollment at Grubbs reached 808 during the 1922-23 school year.
North Texas Agricultural College, 1923-1949
In 1923 the college was renamed to better reflect the fact that it had become a public institution with a liberal arts curriculum that was no longer strictly vocational, as well as a rapidly expanding enrollment. The students of “Northaggieland” looked fondly on their years at NTAC. Life on campus was alive with a host of clubs, dances, performances and sporting events. Unsatisfied with NTAC’s two-year status, the administration unsuccessfully petitioned Texas A&M’s board throughout the 1940s to elevate it to senior-college status.
Arlington State College, 1949-1967
As the largest state-supported junior college in the Southwest, the school had transitioned into a comprehensive academic institution. Its name once again changed, and in 1959 after over a decade of effort, Arlington State became a four-year institution. The Rebel football team won the Junior Rose Bowl in 1956 and 1957. Also, the college was the first in the A&M system to integrate African-American students in 1962. Tensions culminated in 1964 between ASC and the A&M board of directors, many in the community believing that the campus’ interests were unfairly subordinated to those of College Station. In 1965, the institution was transferred to the University of Texas System. During ASC’s years, enrollment grew from 1,532 students to more than 11,000.
The University of Texas at Arlington, 1967-Present
The institution received its current name by act of the state legislature making each of the UT System campuses “The University of Texas at…” The students adopted the Mavericks nickname in 1971 after controversy over the former Rebel theme and Old South symbols. Since then, the University has advanced quite an amazing distance. Its ever-expanding facilities span 420 acres and include over 100 buildings, with a newly established campus in downtown Ft. Worth. UT Arlington has become a high-activity research university with an active and diverse campus of 28,000 students, 5,000 on-campus residents, 12 NCAA Division I athletic teams, and over 180 bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs.Source:
Saxon, G.D. (1995). Transitions: A centennial history of The University of Texas at Arlington 1895-1995. The UTA Press: Arlington, TX.
Held during Commencement weekend in May, the annual Graduation Celebration honors graduating students and commemorates the previous year’s successes.