Text by Lynn McDaniel
Did you know Texas A&M University, (originally named the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas), is Texas’ first public institution of higher education?
The Agricultural and Mechanical College was founded on April 17, 1871, five years after the Eleventh Texas Legislature approved a joint resolution on November 1, 1866, which ratified the Federal Morrill Land-Grant College Act of July 2, 1862. The terms of the Morrill Land-Grant Act provided lands “in equal quantity to 30,000 acres” for each senator and representative in Congress for the establishment of at least one college, “where the leading object shall be, without excluding other scientific and classical studies and including military tactics, to teach such branches of learning as are related to agriculture and the mechanic arts.” Texas A&M is one of the few universities in the nation to hold triple federal designations as a land-grant, sea-grant and space-grant university.
From that humble beginning in 1871, Texas A&M University has grown into one of the nation’s premier research universities, providing students the opportunity to excel in studies of agriculture/life sciences, architecture, education, geosciences, liberal arts, science, veterinary medicine, engineering, government/public service, and business.
In order to provide Texas A&M students the opportunity to see and experience fine arts, the Forsyth Galleries were established in 1989 as a museum to house the Bill (TAMU class of 1935) and Irma Runyon Art Collection. The Runyon Collection contains one of the world’s leading collections of English Cameo Glass, Tiffany and Steuben glass and other 19th and early 20th century art glass, as well as an important collection of American paintings.
The Forsyth Galleries, along with the Stark Galleries, the University Art Department, and the student-run Visual Arts Committee, provide world-class works of art in a wide variety of styles and mediums to stimulate and educate the students at Texas A&M University. All exhibitions are free of charge, allowing students (faculty and staff) to pursue their creativity and explore the world of art at will, supporting the mission of Texas A&M.
Dethloff , Henry C. “TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY,” Handbook of Texas Online. (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/kct08). Published by the Texas State Historical Association. Date accessed: 12/3/12.
Division of Marketing and Communications. Website: http://marcomm.tamu.edu/documents/tamuFacts.pdf. Date accessed: 12/3/12.
Texas A&M University. Website: http://www.tamu.edu/about/facts/history.html. Date accessed: 12/3/12.
Forsyth Galleries. Website: http://forsyth.tamu.edu/history.html. Date accessed: 12/3/12.