1876: Texas A&M College officially opens its doors as the first offering of public higher education in the state. Forty students are enrolled and six faculty members there to instruct.

1891: First known Hispanic graduates from Texas A&M.

1913: First known Chinese student arrives at the college for his master’s degree.

1923: First Japanese student to play football in the Southwest Conference.

1925: Resolution prohibiting admission of female students is adopted by the College Board of Directions.

1934: Brazos County District Judge W.C. Davis hands down an opinion that A&M’s Board of Directors is within its right to limit enrollment to men.

1944: Bi-racial Conference on Negro Education releases a study that acknowledges lack of professional and graduate education for African-Americans in Texas.

1954: U.S. Supreme Court unanimously rules that racial segregation in public schools violates equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment, reversing a decision that allowed “separate but equal.” Statewide poll shows 80 percent of the white population in Texas opposes public-school integration.

1956: Texas A&M Student Senate votes 24-7 “opposing segregation.” Student election results in vote to continue segregation.

1962: A&M System Board decides to “admit qualified students regardless of race” to Arlington State College to avoid threat of lawsuit for admittance by three African-Americans.

1963: Those three quietly enroll for first summer session as “special students” at A&M, becoming the first African-Americans to attend.

1963: The Board of Directors permit women to enroll on a “limited basis.”

1964: Civil Rights Act and Assurance of Compliance with Title VI of that act bring an end to the era of segregation in Southern higher education. Five male freshmen become the first African-Americans in the Corps of Cadets.

1965: Sallie Sheppard, class of 1965, is one of the first women admitted to Texas A&M, though accounts of professor’s daughters and wives show some attended classes but weren’t allowed to receive a degree.

1967: First African-American athletes on scholarship signed on to the track team.

1968: Dr. Betty Miller Utenberger becomes the first female faculty member at Texas A&M with an appointment to the Department of History at the rank of full professor with tenure.

1969: Women are permitted to enroll at Texas A&M in unrestricted numbers.

1970: First known Hispanic woman graduates from Texas A&M with a degree in secondary education.

1970: Transgender Aggie Phyllis Frye graduates from TAMU; during her time at A&M, Frye was known as Phillip Randolph.

1972: Campus housing opens to women for the first time.

1974: Women are admitted as members of the Corps of Cadets.

1974: Gail Y. Sedberry becomes first African-American woman in Corps.

1975: Women’s Drill Team created as alternative to women participating in the Fish Drill Team. Ruth Anne Schumacher, class of 1977, was the commander; she later was the first woman commissioned from A&M into the armed forces. During this time, women were not allowed to participate in almost all other elite cadet organizations.

1975: Women’s tennis team created.

1975: Fred McClure elected as first African-American student body president.

1978: Swimmer Vicki Brown-Sobecki was first woman to receive official athletic scholarship at Texas A&M and first woman elected to Lettermen’s Association Board of Directors. She also started the Association of Professional Women, which evolved into a 2,000-member organization.

1978: First women’s history course taught.

1979: First female Aggie Olympian Linda Waltman breaks track records; can’t go to Olympics because the U.S. boycotted the games in Moscow. She’s the first woman elected into A&M’s Athletic Hall of Fame.

1980: Cadet uniforms for women include boots for the first time.

1981: Leaugeay C. “Beebe” Barnes is first woman to be a part of Parson Mounted Cavalry.

1985: Aggie Band and other organizations in the Corps are forced to admit women. In the fall, three women applied and were admitted to the band. Two other women joined the Ross Volunteers. First woman appointed to a brigade-level post in the Corps.

1986: Woman appointed deputy Corps commander, the highest rank for a female cadet at the time. The Battalion appoints its first African-American editor — a woman.

1987: Sallie Shepard became first female associate provost.

1990: Jane Stallings becomes first dean of a college (education).

1990: First gender-integrated Corps units are formed.

1991: Dr. Karan Watson becomes first woman in the College of Engineering to hold dean’s position.

1994: Brooke Leslie becomes the first woman to be elected student body president.

1994: Mary Nan West becomes first woman to be named president of the A&M Board of Regents.

1994: Women’s Programs opened in the Department of Student Life.

1999: Erica R. Smith reaches one of highest cadet leadership positions — combined band commander. She also was the first African-American to hold both positions.

2008: Elsa Murano becomes first woman president at Texas A&M. She also was the first Hispanic to hold the position.

2009: Dr. Eleanor Green named dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, becoming first female dean.

2011: Dr. Karan Watson makes news again, becoming the first female provost.

2015: Alyssa Marie Michalke is named commander of the Corps. She will become the first woman to lead the 2,400-member ROTC program in the university’s 139-year history.

Source: Texas A&M University Cushing Library

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(15) comments

Lisako McKyer

Preston: How does diversity strengthen an organization or a nation?

Imagine a football team comprised solely of Left Tackles. How well do you think the field will be covered?

How about a QB who can do only running plays?

When you get a group of people who are raised the same way, think the same way, behave the same way . . . it becomes difficult to think outside of the box and get creative...and it affects performance.

How about your stock investments? Do you put ALL your money into one company? No, you hedge your bets by spreading it out - knowing that one entity's strength will make up for another's weakness.

People from various backgrounds bring their experiences - and combined, make a team which can tackle whatever comes their way.

Bryce Essary

When you get a group of people who are raised the same way, think the same way, behave the same way . . . it becomes difficult to think outside of the box and get creative...and it affects performance.

That sounds to me a lot like the Chancellor and BOR who run this university. They contributed campaign dollars to the gov. Since A&M is on a diversity obsession, how about some diversity at the top starting with not having to pay to play. Thinking outside of the Perry-Bush crony box would be quite refreshing for a change.

Preston Wigginton

Nice in theory but just doesn't work in practice. If it worked so naturally then why are we FORCED to do it? Why do we spend so much money on it? Please read the Jared Taylor article.

As well the work of Prof. Tatu Vanhanen finds that the more diverse a nation the more conflict with in the nation.

Diversity is a pipe dream sold to whites while it actually is a political agenda to displace them. The America Indian fought almost till their death to preserve their unique heritage, culture and genetics. I can respect that. Whites in America and Europe celebrate their own demise, their own genocide via political correctness and fear of being called a racist.

Nunya Bidness

E Pluribus Unum, I wonder how diversity squares with the motto that on the seal of the United States of America, and on every coin?

Preston Wigginton

I wonder when that was started as the seal? Like "In God We Trust" try recently. Aside when the founders of America created their documents people of Western European origin and ONLY people of Western European origin were citizens so on such in a legal and political matter would pertain to them.


native Americans were here first, are they European too?

Preston Wigginton

Who was here first has nothing to do with who created the political entity called the United States of America. The indians were conquered and they as tribal entities conquered other tribes as well. Europeans were just better at it. I can't say I can agree with doing so in the name of Christ, a jewish deity, but it certainly made for their survival and propagation, the true biological purpose of life, continuing one's own genes.

Everything we have today is a gift from the people that came before. No civilization before us had this stupid idea of Political Correctness. They were warrior societies that laid waste of everyone who got in their way, they had slaves, they took land, and they weren't a bunch of middle class wimps living in some Utopian fairy tale.They were doers. They helped create everything we enjoy. It's the ultimate hypocrisy to kick back and enjoy the benefits that others have given us, then whine like a middle class wimps because they didn't live up to your moral standards.



Preston Wigginton

"The idea that status diversity is a strength is not merely a myth, but a particularly transparent one. Explaining why diversity is bad for a country is a little like explaining why cholera is bad for it; the trick is to understand how anyone could possibly think it was good."


Diversity divides and creates much resentment. In the terms of racial diversity at A&M it is only displacement not diversity. Of course this is a political agenda from the top down as whites are being displaced in America via open borders and as the silicon valley has recently found out via HB1 visas. White people in America will be displaced by the religion of diversity in just 100 years. Displaced all out of the fear of being called racist.

A Jewish woman named Ilana Mercer explains in her book Into the Cannibal's Pot: Lessons for America from Post-Apartheid South Africa how America will soon become like South Africa. A country of chaos where white people who once lived in affluence now live in poverty and are victims of rape and murder at will by non whites. Over 1 million Boers out of 4 million (whites of Dutch decent) now live in sqauters camps).

I also often wonder why there is no German or Czech or Irish groups at A&M? Why isn't any European diversity ever celebrated?

Oh now I must go to the temple of diversity and confess and beg forgiveness for I have not only sinned for questioning diversity but even more so I have committed the ultimate sin for being Anglo Saxon white and proud.

Brad Dressler

FYI, students can start European cultural groups. Actually (since you obviously didn't do your research)... 2 of the 3 you mentioned actually ALREADY exist! A&M has a Czech Heritage Club (https://stuactonline.tamu.edu/app/organization/profile/public/id/1424) and a German Club (https://stuactonline.tamu.edu/app/organization/profile/public/id/773). Also, A&M has others including Aggie French Club, Texas A&M Polish Association, etc.

Preston Wigginton

You are correct and these are just recent. The did not exist when I was there in 2006 to 2008. They are cultural and that is good. But the Hispanic and Black organizations are very political. Where is the white political organization at A&M that gets funding to promote their interest? Where is one on any campus in the USA? Oh there isn't one because why? Because the PC police would call that racist.

Nunya Bidness

I wonder if The Eagle knows that Texas A&M is on the verge of being the first AAU institution to earning the designation of being a Hispanic Serving Institution?

I wonder if The Eagle knows what the AAU is?

Brad Dressler

Agreed. Great resource. However, if you are talking about diversity at A&M, then the recognition of Gay Student Services (1985) should have been included, especially since that case went all the way to the US Supreme Court. Plus, once GSS was official, A&M had to allow fraternities, sororities, and many other social/ non-academic student organizations.

Brad Dressler

This is a great resource. However, I do agree that excluding the recognition of the Gay Student Services organization (1985) was a major oversight, since it went all the way to the US Supreme Court... And by recognizing GSS, A&M was then obligated to allow fraternities, sororities and many other social or non-academic campus organizations.


Thanks for this great resource. I was surprised that the GSS inclusion in student organizations was left out. This Aggie is celebrating our new President and Alyssa! Now let's hope that our new First Lady is a rescue dog........it can be a rescued Collie.

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