Texas A&M University-Kingsville

Javelina Heritage

What is Javelina Heritage? It’s the university legacy fueled by pride. THEN. NOW. ALWAYS

July 14, 1917

Javelina Nation. Kingsville, Texas was selected as the site for a “normal” school aimed to train teachers to further educate the South Texas region.

June 1, 1924

Leading the pack. State Superintendent of Education, Robert B. Cousins was named the first president of the soon-to-be institution.

September 15, 1924

Constructing the future. Robert J. Kleberg turns the initial shovel of earth at the groundbreaking ceremony for the first campus building.


President Cousin’s is first to occupy the newly built, President’s Home located on the east end of campus. The building still stands and occupied by the current president.

March 21, 1925

Set in stone. Governor Miriam A. Ferguson along with more than 10,000 people lay the cornerstone of the first campus building Manning Hall, which housed administrative offices, a library, an auditorium, laboratories and classrooms.

June 8, 1925

Now open for business. South Texas State Teachers College(STSTC) begin its first session with 276 students.

June 22, 1925

Finding their niche. Students and faculty found the first student organization on the STSTC campus – the Robert J. Kleberg History Club. Within days other organizations followed, including the Dora K. Cousins English Club, the Elena Mar Spanish Club, the Classical Club, the Chorus Club and more.

November 18, 1925

Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Students make headlines by publishing the first issue of the school’s newspaper, the South Texan.

January 6, 1928

They work out! Javelinas are now able to enjoy fitness activities on campus with the newly built Health and Recreation building located on Engineering Avenue.

June 12, 1929

Improving on excellence. Over 200 upcoming freshmen wait to enroll in the growing institution that was then known as, Texas College of Arts and Industries (TCAI).

1935 - 1942

Building knowledge. Campus thrives with the construction of many new facilities for faculty, staff and students including Seale Hall, the Connor Museum, Nierman Hall and College Hall.

July 23, 1946

 The College of Arts and Industries is approved to use Naval Air Auxiliary Station in Kingsville to accommodate classes and living quarters for faculty and staff. This site was known as East Campus.


Symbol of excellence. College Hall construction is completed. An image of the College Hall bell tower is a part of the official university logo and still stands in the heart of campus.

Hog Call. The school’s fight song, Jalisco was introduced to a crowd of screaming fans during this football season.

October 28, 1950

The new hangout. The Student Union Building opens during Homecoming festivities and becomes the center of campus social life. Other buildings completed in the same year included Alfred L. Kleberg Engineering Hall.

April 15, 1951

A Signal Corps ROTC unit is established on campus with the activation of the Texas A&I Detachment of 4305 ASU Texas ROTC Instructor Group.

September 15, 1951

Game on! Javelina Stadium opens its doors for the first home football game with the Javelinas claiming victory over the Texas Lutheran Bulldogs 37-7.


A place to call home. Lorine Jones Lewis Hall and R.C. Eckhardt Hall opens, providing students with their first on-campus residences.

TOUCHDOWN! The first documented firing of the victory cannon fired in celebration of football score in Javelina Stadium.


A fresh habitat. Agriculture enthusiasts are pleased to welcome the opening of the Robert J. Kleberg Agricultural Hall.


Texas College of Arts and Industries becomes officially known as Texas A&I University.


Taking over the airwaves. KTAI, the university student-run radio station, officially launches the station’s first broadcast.  


Taking the lead. A&M-Kingsville becomes the first university to offer a doctoral program in the nation in Bilingual Education.


With collection of diverse items, the John E. Connor Museum is named in honor of the university’s first history professor and located at Loftin Hall.


Life on the wild side. Through a grant from the Caesar Kleberg Foundation for Wildlife Conservation, The Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute is established.


A new page. Students have a new place to read and study with the addition of Jernigan Library.

 February 14, 1986

A point of pride. The “Leaders of the Pack statue”, a symbol of unity and pride, is unveiled on University Boulevard (then known as College Boulevard). University officials commissioned alumnus Armando Hinojosa to create the statue.

September 1, 1989

A Texas-size merger. Texas A&I University joins the Texas A&M University System. It is one of the largest systems of higher education in the nation, with a statewide network of 11 universities, seven state agencies and a comprehensive health science center.


Educating to the highest degree. The Doctor of Education Degree (Ed.D.) in the College of Education and Human Performance offers prospective educational leaders new opportunities.

September 1, 1993

Texas A&I University officially changes its name to Texas A&M University-Kingsville.

March 24, 2000

The Texas A&M System Board of Regents recognized the excellent biomedical research and established the Natural Toxins Research Center at Texas A&M University-Kingsville. The center is now known as the National Natural Toxins Research Center (NNTRC).

September 1, 2002

Sustaining our future. The Frank H. Dotterweich College of Engineering is now home to the Ph.D. program in Environmental Engineering.


An Institute fit for a King. To commemorate the 150 Anniversary, long history of leadership and philanthropy, King Ranch® and its family and friends create and endow the King Ranch® Institute for Ranch Management in collaboration with Texas A&M University-Kingsville. 

August 2009

Oh, so suite! University Village, the new 210,000 square-foot co-ed residence hall welcomes 600 students to kick off the fall semester.  Suite-style living accomadates for one or two bathrooms, a living room and kitchenette – The first of its kind at A&M-Kingsville. In May2013, University Village is renamed the Eduardo and Josefa Lucio Hall.

March 2010

Need a lift? The new state-of-the-art Student Recreation Center opened its doors to students looking to keep fit. The 36,000 square-foot facility houses two multi-purpose gymnasiums, an elevated indoor jogging track, a 5,400 square-foot cardio & weight room and outdoor basketball court.

March 2011

Feast your eyes on the NEW Javelina Dining Hall. This state-of-the-art facility churns out 20,000 meals a week and feeds 1,800 to 2,000 students per day.  

August 2011

Hall of Honors.  With 98,000 square-feet, Mesquite Village West is now home to 300 students and the Honors College. 

This page was last updated on: May 22, 2013