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University Moves to the UT System, 1965

officials sign document

From 1917 to 1964, UT Arlington was aligned with the Aggies as part of the Texas A&M University System. After reaching four-year-college status in 1959, enrollment at the school then known as Arlington State College eclipsed the College Station campus in fall 1963 with 9,116 students. But a rift had developed. Many faculty, staff, students, and community members thought the A&M System Board of Directors favored College Station over Arlington. A proposal to rename the college Texas A&M University at Arlington, combined with plans to have newly proposed master’s degree programs directed from College Station, outraged supporters, who began a campaign to separate from Aggieland. A turning point came in 1965 when Gov. John Connally announced plans to revamp higher education in Texas, including making Arlington State College part of The University of Texas System. That same year, Don Kennard, a state senator from Tarrant County, introduced a bill that would make the transfer official Sept. 1. With no opposition from A&M, the bill passed both houses. On hand for the signing were, from left, UT System Chancellor Harry Ransom, Arlington State College President Jack Woolf, Connally, and Arlington Mayor Tom Vandergriff.