Protest against Texas A&M System, 1964

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Before joining The University of Texas System in 1965, UT Arlington was part of the Texas A&M System. In the early 1960s, a rift developed between University supporters and the A&M System board of directors over the Arlington school’s future. In 1964 the board presented a reorganization plan that proposed changing the name of Arlington State College, as UT Arlington was called then, to Texas A&M University at Arlington. Other recommendations included establishing graduate degree programs in 11 fields but granting those degrees in the name of the College Station campus. The plan outraged University supporters and spawned student protests on campus. A turning point came in 1965 when Texas Gov. John Connally announced plans to revamp the state’s higher education structure. Under his proposal, Arlington State College would become part of the UT System. Later that year, the switch became reality as both houses of the Legislature passed a bill introduced by Sen. Don Kennard of Fort Worth. Two years after joining the UT System, the college changed its name to The University of Texas at Arlington. Photograph courtesy of The University of Texas at Arlington Photographic Collection, Special Collections, UT Arlington Library.

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