The University of Texas at Arlington originally opened as Arlington College in 1895, as a private school for younger children. In 1902, the school changed its name to Carlisle Military Academy and accepted both boys and girls to the curriculum. In 1913 the school became Arlington Training School and from 1916-1917, was the Arlington Military Academy.
In 1917 the school came to be called Grubb’s Vocational College and became a branch of the Texas A&M System. At that time the school’s campus consisted of about nine buildings, including East and West Barracks, a women’s dormitory, a gymnasium, a mess hall and one academic building. In 1923 the name changed again to North Texas Agricultural College (NTAC) and kept that name until 1949, when it became Arlington State College (ASC). Finally, in 1953, the first student center was built.
The first construction, which makes up less than one-fourth of the current structure, housed the college exchange store, the post office, the confectionary, and recreational facilities. In 1959 ASC gained senior status as a college and in 1961 completed the first of many renovations and additions to the student center. The building was named after the first president of NTAC (all former figure heads were simply referred to as deans), E.H. Hereford, who would hold the position into the ASC days. President Hereford, for his efforts in helping to establish the precedent for an aesthetically pleasing campus by planting flowers around the student center, was known as ‘Old Rosebud.’ Tragically, he died suddenly while in office on November 24, 1958, suffering a fatal heart attack while sitting at his desk.
Part of ASC’s graduation was the traditional march across campus. Students graduating in 1958 were also reminded of the school’s recent football championships by the two goal posts which were taken from the Rose Bowl and erected in front of the student center.
Another renovation began in 1976. What is now called the Palo Duro Lounge was added and many of the offices were redesigned. In 1978 a campus pub, the Dry Gulch, and a faculty/staff dining room, the Caprock, opened. The General Store also started operation, but in 2010 it was remodeled, enlarged and renamed P.O.D. Market. More recently, in 2016, it was once again remodeled and the name shortened to simply The Market. In 1983, the Fast Copy Center moved to the University Center where Wells Fargo is now. The bank opened for operation in 2006. To the left, you can see a picture of what the front façade of the UC looked like prior to the Palo Duro Lounge being added.
In 1984, the Olympic Torch passed through the UT Arlington campus, on its way to Los Angeles, California as onlookers lined up in front of Palo Duro Lounge to cheer it on.
The next major addition began in 1985. The Rosebud Theatre (so named after President Hereford’s nickname), Bluebonnet Ballroom, Bowling and Billiards, as well as a new cafeteria, The Paradise Café, and an expanded kitchen were all completed in 1987. Older sections of the University Center were also restored and a renovated University Center opened its doors in 1988.
The Plaza, a food court, opened in 1991. Although many concepts have come and gone through the years, today the Plaza features Chick-Fil-A, Moe’s, Panda Express, Starbucks, Subway and Sushic. As well, with more and more residential students living on and very near to campus, a meal plan was instituted with the opening of a new residential facility, Arlington Hall, and with the construction of that dormitory, Paradise Café was closed for the summer as a new and larger cafeteria was built called Connection Café. That project was completed in 2004. As well, in 2016, Connection Café got a bit of a facelift with some minor adjustments and a few additions.
There was one major renovation/addition project in 2016: The Career Development Center, Vice President for Student Affairs administrative offices, and The Leadership Center all moved into the space that had previously been occupied by Bowling and Billiards. This project led to a major modernization to the look of the east side of the building. As well, it added over 5,300 square feet to the building increasing the overall square footage of the UC to 237,449.
In addition to all the student support services and food options found inside the building, the E.H. Hereford University Center offers 19 different meeting and event venues, while hosting in excess of 185 events per week. We hope to see you HERE!