Introduction to Austin College from Austin College Website:
Founded in 1849, Austin College is a private, coeducational, liberal arts institution affiliated with the Presbyterian Church. The College’s 70-acre campus is located in Sherman, Texas, north of the Dallas / Fort Worth metroplex, one of the top ten regions in the nation in terms of population, as well as offering professional and cultural opportunities to Austin College students and alumni. Through liberal arts and sciences coursework, Austin College students learn to question, to think critically, and to arrive at their own informed conclusions. Combined with first-rate preparation in their major fields of study, our academic program nurtures the intellectual skills that make for lifetime learners. Extraordinary opportunities for study abroad and community service round out the Austin College undergraduate experience. Austin College is pleased to call itself a contributing member of the larger community. The College serves the Sherman and North Texas Region through public forums, exhibits, and performances, and by making its facilities available to local organizations. The College’s faculty makes itself available as expert sources in a variety of fields.
Founded in 1849 by Princeton-educated Presbyterian Missionary Dr. Daniel Baker, Austin College has long been known for innovative programs, a strong faculty and state-of-the-art facilities.
Austin College received a charter signed by Texas Governor George Wood in November of 1849. Modeled after that of Princeton University, the College’s charter is still in use today, making Austin College the oldest institution of higher education in Texas operating under its original charter.
The college opened in Huntsville and admitted its first class in the fall of 1850. Its original building still stands in Huntsville. Two presidents of the Republic of Texas, Sam Houston and Anson Jones, served on its original board of trustees. Three yellow fever epidemics, the Civil War years, and difficult economic conditions prompted its relocation to north Texas.
Austin College moved to Sherman, a more promising area, in 1876. The college became coeducational in 1918, merging in 1930 with Texas Presbyterian College, an institution for women. The Depression and World War II interrupted expansion and development. Beginning in the 1950s, the college engaged in extensive experimentation aimed at improving the traditional liberal arts curriculum. In 1972, the college adopted the comprehensive educational program that still shapes the academic life and curriculum of the college.
Since its founding by the Brazos Presbytery, Austin College has been related to the Presbyterian Church; that relationship continues to give the College a distinctive flavor to this day.
Austin College was the first college in Texas to grant a graduate degree.