Texas Southern University
Motto"Excellence in Achievement"
EstablishedMarch 7, 1927
Religious affiliationIndependent
PresidentJohn Rudley
ProvostSunny E. Ohia
Admin. staff350
Students10,026 (2011)
LocationHouston, Texas,
United States

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CampusUrban, Script error
Former namesWiley College Extension (1925–1927)
Houston Colored Junior College (1927–1934)
Houston College for Negroes (1934–1947)
Texas State University for Negroes (1947–1951)
ColorsMaroon and Gray
AthleticsNational Collegiate Athletic Association Division I Football Championship Subdivision
NicknameMaroon and Gray Tigers
AffiliationsSouthwestern Athletic Conference

Texas Southern University (shortened to Texas Southern, or simply TSU) is a historically black university (HBCU) located in Houston, Texas, United States accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.[1]

The University was established in 1927 as the Houston Colored Junior College, through its private college phase as Houston Colored College. On March 3, 1947, the state declared this to be the first state university in Houston and it was renamed Texas State University for Negroes. In 1951, the name changed to Texas Southern University.

Texas Southern University is one of the largest and most comprehensive HBCUs in the nation and is one of only four independent public universities in Texas (those not affiliated with any of Texas' six public university systems). TSU is the only HBCU in Texas recognized as one of America's Top Colleges by Forbes.[2] TSU is also recognized as the leading producer of college degrees to African-Americans and Hispanics in Texas and ranks fourth (4th) in the nation in African-American conferred doctoral and professional degrees.[3] The University is a member-school of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.

History Edit

The beginnings of Texas Southern University can be traced to the March 7, 1927 resolution by the Houston Independent School District school board to establish junior colleges for each race. The resolution created Houston Junior College (now the University of Houston) and Houston Colored Junior College. The Houston Colored Junior College first held classes at Jack Yates High School during the evenings. It later changed its name to Houston College for Negroes. In February 1946, Heman Marion Sweatt, an African American man, applied to the University of Texas School of Law. He was denied admission because of race, and subsequently filed suit. (See Sweatt v. Painter (1950).) The state had no law school for African Americans. Instead of granting Sweatt a writ of mandamus to attend the University of Texas, the trial court granted a continuance for six months to allow the state time to create a law school for blacks.

As a result, the state founded Texas Southern University under Senate Bill 140 by the Fiftieth Texas Legislature on March 3, 1947 as a state university to be located in Houston. Originally named Texas State University for Negroes, the school was established to serve African Americans in Texas and offer them fields of study comparable to those available to white Texans. The state took over the Houston Independent School District (HISD)-run Houston College for Negroes as a basis for the new university. At the time, Houston College just moved to the present site (adjacent to the University of Houston) donated by Hugh Roy Cullen and had one permanent building and an existing faculty and students. The new university was charged with teaching "pharmacy, dentistry, arts and sciences, journalism education, literature, law, medicine and other professional courses." The legislature stipulated that "these courses shall be equivalent to those offered at other institutions of this type supported by the State of Texas."

Given the differences in facilities and intangibles such as the distance of the new school from Austin and other law students, the Supreme Court ruled it did not satisfy "separate but equal" provisions, and that African Americans must also be admitted to the University of Texas Law School at Austin.[citation needed]



The University has a Script error urban campus in the middle of Houston's Third Ward (immediately southeast of Downtown Houston).

University MuseumEdit

Opened in 2000, the Script error exhibition space displays a variety of historical and contemporary art and is the permanent home of the Web of Life mural by John T. Biggers.[1]

Jesse H. Jones School of BusinessEdit

Jesse H. Jones (JHJ) School of Business is one of 11 colleges and schools at Texas Southern University. Named as one of the "Best 300 Business Schools" by the Princeton Review,[2] the Jesse H. Jones School of Business is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).[3] The Jesse H. Jones School of Business currently has bachelor's degree majors in Accounting, Finance, Management, Management Information Systems, and Marketing with master's degree majors in Masters of Business Administraion (MBA) and Executive Masters of Business Administraion (eMBA). The Jesse H. Jones School of Business has approximately 1,600 students enrolled in undergraduate and graduate studies. JHJ was recognized as one of the nation’s “Best Business Schools” by the U.S. News & World Report[4] and its eMBA program ranks fifth (5th) in the nation by Business MBA.[5]

Barbara Jordan–Mickey Leland School of Public AffairsEdit

An extensive set of curricular offerings is provided through the Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs that includes courses in Administration of Justice (AJ), Political Science (POLS), Public Affairs (PA), Military Science (MSCI), and Urban Planning & Environmental Policy (UPEP). Four undergraduate degrees and seven graduate/professional degrees are offered.[6] The school houses two doctoral programs known for high standards of teaching and research currently awarding PhD degrees: Doctor of Administration of Justice and Doctor of Urban Planning and Environmental Policy. Students of the school have gone on to occupy important positions of practice, research and leadership in the Houston area community and beyond. Sociologist Robert D. Bullard currently is Dean of the school.

School of Science and TechnologyEdit

One of the newer facilities on the campus this building is home to several scholastic programs such as the Houston Louis Stokes Alliance Minority Program (H-LSAMP) and the Thomas Freeman Honors College. It is also home to several research programs like the NASA University Research Center for Bio-Nanotechnology and Environmental Research (NASA URC C-BER)and Maritime Transportation Studies and Research as well as the STEM research program The College of Science and Technology offers extensive research experiences through various centers, partnerships and collaborations designed to strengthen the overall collegiate experience, and meet critical social needs. TSU’s NASA University Research Center (C-BER) addresses important human health concerns related to manned exploration of space. Programs such as TSU’s NASA University Research Center (C-BER) and participation in The Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Preparation Program (LSAMP) support undergraduate, graduate and faculty development while helping to increase the number of US citizens receiving degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields.[7]

Thurgood Marshall School of LawEdit

The Thurgood Marshall School of Law (TMSL) is one of only four public law schools in Texas and has been deemed the most diverse law school in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.[8] TMSL is accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA) and has approximately 600 students.

College of Pharmacy and Health SciencesEdit

The College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (COPHS) have approximately 800 students and is ranked #80 in the nation by U. S. News and World Report. COPHS has the distinction of being one of the nation’s leading producers of minority health professionals. For the past half‑century, the College has distinguished itself by graduating almost one‑third of the Black pharmacists practicing nationwide. TSU has also been a leading producer of Black medical technologists and respiratory therapists, meeting local, state and national health care needs[9]

Sterling Student Life CenterEdit

Centrally located on the Tiger Walk, the Ernest S. Sterling Student Life Center (SSLC) is the nucleus of campus life at TSU. It provides cultural, social, recreational, educational and religious programs and services for students, faculty, staff, alumni and guests, as it creates constructive leisure and educational activities. The Student Center is home to the TSU Bookstore, Student Government Association (SGA), University Program Council (UPC), Herald Newspaper, Tiger Yearbook, Cafeteria, Office of Campus Organizations, TSU Cheerleaders, Student Activities administrative offices and Office of Events.[10]

Granville M. Sawyer AuditoriumEdit

Recently renovated, the Sawyer Auditorium is Texas Southern University’s historical landmark. Sawyer Auditorium features split level seating for up to 1,800 guests for hosting university sponsored events. It also has an adjacent drama playhouse.[11]

Newman HallEdit

Constructed in 1969 and recognized as an innovative landmark in campus design. Housing the Texas Southern University campus ministry, the building blends three activity areas. The worship, library and social functions all revolve around a central, sky-lit interior. Flexibility is achieved with moveable furniture and rolling barn doors. The plaza draws students inside through a welcoming, residential-scaled entry. Designed by, then, Houston architect Clovis Heimsath.

Tiger WalkEdit

The Tiger Walk (affectionately named by alumni, students, and faculty/staff) is the maroon and gray paved center street on campus where most of TSU outdoor social activities are held and students socialize.

Residential facilitiesEdit

The school has apartments and two residence halls for first-year students.[12]

  • Lanier East Hall, co-ed
  • Lanier West Hall, for female students
  • The Urban Academic Village, co-ed

Other housing options include:

  • Apartments with utilities included[13]
    • University Courtyard Apartments
    • Tierwester Oaks

Postal servicesEdit

Athletic facilitiesEdit

  • BBVA Compass Stadium - The $95 million brand new 22,000 seat stadium in East Downtown is the new permanent home of Tiger Football as of Fall 2012.
  • Health and Physical Education Arena (H&PE Arena) - 8,100 seat athletic arena (largest arena in the SWAC).
  • TSU Recreation and Wellness Center - State-of-the-art multi-purpose athletic facility that features three basketball courts, an indoor track, swimming pool, weight room, exercise studios, lounge areas (equipped with Satellite TVs), and a health conscious food court.[14] Only TSU students and employees are eligible for annual membership.
  • Alexander Durley Stadium - The 5,500 seat stadium is home to TSU soccer games and the annual TSU Relays.


As of Fall 2010, Texas Southern University offers college courses in partnership with Lone Star College at its new campus in northwest Houston. And thanks to a new partnership with the City of Houston and Houston Public Library, Texas Southern will offer fine arts classes as well as theatre and dance performances in the historic Deluxe Theater in Houston’s Fifth Ward district which the city is currently renovating.

Texas Southern University currently comprises 11 schools and colleges along with several scholastic and research programs:
  • The College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences: RCMI Institute for Biomedical and Health Disparities Research, Center for Cardiovascular Diseases, Center for Human Performance and Material Science, Center of Excellence in Health Disparities Research: Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke
  • The Thurgood Marshall School of Law: Earl Carl Institute for Legal and Social Justice,Center for Legal Pedagogy, Institute for International and Immigration Law (IIIL), Center for Government
  • The College of Education
  • The College of Continuing Education
  • The College of Science and Technology: National Transportation Security Center of Excellence for Petro-Chemical Transportation (NTSCOE-P), Center for Transportation Training and Research (CTTR), TSU NASA University Research Center for Bionanotechnology and Environmental Research (TSU NASA C-BER), Innovative Transportation Research Institute (ITRI), Houston National Summer Transportation Institute (HNSTI), Research Center in Minority Institution (RCMI) Computational Core: Advanced Computational Simulation Center, Research Center in Minority Institution (RCMI) Computational Core: Data Analysis and Visualization Center, NASA C-BER Fellows Program, NASA C-BER Scholars Program, Houston Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (H-LSAMP) Program, Science & Engineering Summer Program, Science Technology and Enhancement Program (STEP)
  • The Jesse H. Jones School of Business (AACSB accredited): Economic Development Center, Gerald B. Smith Center for Entrepreneurship and Executive Development, JPMorgan Chase Center for Financial Education, Kase Lawal Center for Global Trade,
  • The Graduate School
  • The School of Communication: The Center for the Radio, Television and Print Media Professional Studies
  • The College of Liberal Arts and Behavioral Sciences (COLAB): The Thomas F. Freeman Center for Forensic Excellence
  • The Thomas F. Freeman Honors College [15] (formerly the Frederick Douglass Honors Program)


The University main library is the Robert J. Terry Library. The Brown Foundation re-invested in Texas Southern University with a two-year $1.2 million commitment to the Robert J. Terry (RJT) Library to improve its Urban Learning Center. The Urban Learning Center is an integral part of a new era of initiatives at Texas Southern and will provide critical support to the currently planned Academic Village. The new improvements will enhance the ability of the RJT Library to address the literary and academic needs of TSU students.

The Thurgood Marshall School of Law also houses an extensive library.


As of 2012, the student body is 83% Black, 6% Hispanic, and 3% White.[16]

Student activitiesEdit

TSU Alma Mater[17]

The air is filled as our voices ring
From earth to the heav’ns above.
With voices raised; we’re singing praise,
To the school we dearly love.
Hail, Hail, Hail! to Texas South-ern
Hail, to our dear Maroon and Gray
Undivided we will stand
By the greatest in the land,
T-S-U, T-S-U, we love you.
All roads lead to Texas South-ern,
Paved with light for one and all.
T-S-U’s a shining star
And we’re proud of what you are,
T-S-U, T-S-U, we love you.
Hail, Hail, Hail! To Texas South-ern
Hail to our Chiefs in reverence we sing.
In our hearts you’ll always stay
As you lead us on our way,
T-S-U, T-S-U, we love you.

Words and Music by C.A. Tolbert

Marching BandEdit

The University's marching band the Ocean of Soul has won numeral awards and performed at Super Bowls[18] and The Stellar Awards.[19] The 100+ member band has well-known alumni such as Grammy award-winning jazz saxophonist Kirk Whalum. The Motion of the Ocean is the high-energy, innovative all-female dance team that complements the marching band.



Texas Southern sports teams participate in NCAA Division I (Championship Subdivision for football) in the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC). Texas Southern is part of the West Division in the SWAC Conference.

Men's varsity sports include baseball, basketball, football, golf, tennis, and track and field. Women's varsity sports include basketball, bowling, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, tennis, track and field, and volleyball.

TSU's best known rivals are Prairie View A&M, Southern University, Jackson State University and Grambling State University.

Tiger FootballEdit

Script error In October 2012, the NCAA found Texas Southern University guilty of massive violations in 13 sports over a seven-year period from 2005 to 2012. The most serious violations occurred within the football and men's basketball programs, involving academic fraud, illicit benefits given to student athletes, lying on the part of coaches, and lying to the NCAA about previously self-imposed sanctions.[1]

Prior to the NCAA's verdict, the school had taken numerous corrective measures—including the April 2011 firing of football coach Johnnie Cole (2010 SWAC Football Coach of the Year) and vacating every game that the Tiger football team had won from 2006 to 2010 - including the 2010 SWAC Championship, their first championship in 42 years.[2]

The NCAA banned TSU's football team from the 2013 and 2014 postseason.[3]

KTSU 90.9 FMEdit

Script error

In addition to serving as a training unit for TSU students, the station was also established to serve the University at the program level as well as the community by presenting various types of educational, TSU athletic, cultural and social programs to a primarily listening area within a Script error radius of the University. A 1973 survey indicated that radio was generally the preferred source of information of African Americans, particularly those with less than a high school education. By the late 1970s, the station had secured an ample audience and programming increased in scope. At the same time, the station increased its power range from 10 watts to 18,500 watts. According to the Arbitron Rating Service (ARS), KTSU has an audience of 244,700 listeners and is number one over all of Houston/Galveston stations for its Sunday format and its Friday format of Golden Oldies.[1]

Notable TSU AlumniEdit

Name Class year Notability References
Honorable Barbara Charline Jordan Congresswoman in the United States House of Representatives from Texas from 1973 to 1979 [2]
Mickey Leland Anti-poverty activist and later a congressman from the Texas 18th District and chair of the Congressional Black Caucus .[3]
Doris Hollis Pemberton 1955 civic leader, reporter, and author. In 1944, she was the first African-American reporter to cover a state Democratic convention in Texas [4]
Yolanda Adams American Grammy and Dove-award winning Gospel music singer and radio show host. She has sold 4.5 million albums since 1991 according to Soundscan [5]
Michael Strahan 1993 former NFL defensive end for the New York Giants. Currently a football analyst on Fox NFL Sunday, co-host of Live! with Kelly and Michael, and also a host for Pros vs. Joes alongside fellow Fox football analyst Jay Glazer [6]
Kirk Whalum jazz saxophonist
Rocky Williform American entrepreneur and founder of, the microblogging network for hip-hop. The one-time New York investment banker also founded StreetCred, the social network for hip-hop culture, and is the creator of the Hip-Hop Emblem. In 2011 he was named one of the 100 most influential people in hip-hop culture. [7]
Harry E. Johnson current President of the Washington, D.C. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation, Inc [8]
Ronald C. Green current City Controller of Houston and a former member of the Houston City Council [9]
Rodney Ellis Member of the Texas Senate, District 13
Jarvis Johnson Member of the Houston City Council from the B District
Kase Lukman Lawal chairman and chief executive officer of CAMAC International Corporation and chairman of Allied Energy Corporation in Houston, Texas, Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, CAMAC HOLDINGS;[1] vice chairman, Port of Houston Authority Commission
Senfronia Thompson Member of the Texas House of Representatives from the 141st district
Lloyd C. A. Wells Sports photographer and civil rights activist on the behalf of black athletes
Robert Taylor winner of gold medal in 4x100 m relay at the 1972 Summer Olympics, and was a member of gold medal winning 4x400 m relay team at the 1975 Pan American Games,.
Ken Burrough former NFL wide receiver
DeJuan Fulghum current NFL linebacker
Brett Maxie former NFL defensive back and current NFL assistant coach
Lloyd Mumphord former NFL defensive back
Julius Adams former NFL defensive lineman
Markus Howell former CFL wide receiver and current CFL Assistant Coach [10]
Cortez Hankton former NFL wide receiver [11]
Oliver Celestin former NFL defensive back [12]
Don Narcisse former CFL wide receiver, held record of 216 Consecutive games with a catch [13]
Warren Bone former NFL player [14]
Belvin Perry Chief Judge of the Ninth Judicial Circuit in Orlando, Florida and was involved in the Casey Anthony trial. [15]
Jim Hines 2 Gold medals at 1968 Olympics, First sprinter to officially break the 10-second barrier in the 100 meters [16]


  1. "KTSU".
  2. "JORDAN, Barbara Charline – Biographical Information". Retrieved 30 August 2010.
  3. "LELAND, George Thomas (Mickey) – Biographical Information". Retrieved 30 August 2010.
  4. "PEMBERTON, DORIS HOLLIS - The Handbook of Texas Online - Texas State Historical Association". Retrieved 14 November 2012.
  5. "Yolanda Adams – Biography of Urban Gospel Artist Yolanda Adams". Retrieved 30 August 2010.
  6. "Michael Strahan Biography". Retrieved 30 August 2010.
  7. "Rocky Williform Featured Experts". Retrieved 24 Jun 2012.
  8. "Tavis Smiley . Shows . Harry Johnson . April 4, 2007". Retrieved 30 August 2010.
  9. "City of Houston > Office of the City Controller". Retrieved 30 August 2010.
  10. "Markus Howell, Football Career". Retrieved 15 January 2013.
  11. "Cortez Hankton, Past Statistics History Awards". Retrieved 13 January 2011.
  12. "Oliver Celestin, Past Statistics History Awards". Retrieved 13 January 2011.
  13. "Canwest". Retrieved 30 August 2010. "... your alma mater, Texas Southern University..."
  14. "Warren Bone". Retrieved 2010-11-09.
  15. "Biography". Retrieved 2011-07-05.
  16. "USATF Hall of Fame". Retrieved 2012-08-03.

External linksEdit

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