Houston (KIAH)- Founded in 1927, Texas Southern University is a historically black college/university (HBCU) located in the heart of Houston’s historic Third Ward. The original campus was founded through a loan from the Houston Public School Board for $2,800. In 1934, the institution became a four-year college known as the Houston College for Negroes.
According the the university, in February of 1946, Heman Marion Sweatt, an African American Houston mail carrier, applied to enroll in the law school at the University of Texas. Because Texas was one of the segregated states, Sweatt was denied admission and later filed a suit against the University of Texas and the State of Texas with the support of the NAACP. In response, believing the separate but equal doctrine would carry the day, the Texas Legislature passed Senate Bill 140 on March 3, 1947, providing for the establishment of a Negro law school in Houston and the creation of a university to surround it. This bill was complemented by House Bill 788, which approved $2,000,000 to purchase a site near Houston to house this new college and support its operation.
On June 1, 1951, the name of this new university for Negroes was changed from Texas State University for Negroes to Texas Southern University after students petitioned the state legislature to remove the phrase “for Negroes.”
Today, TSU offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate programs and concentrations, a diverse faculty, 80-plus student organizations, and an extensive alumni network comprised of educators, entrepreneurs, public servants, lawyers, pilots, artists, and more, many of whom are change agents on the local, national and international stage.