#TJFBHM18: Texas College’s Deep Roots in East Texas


Founded in 1894 in a four-room house, Texas College set out to educate six hopeful students who were just tasting their freedom from slavery. 124 years later, with its roots running deeply in east Texas, the school is thriving and home to some 950 students. Read more about the rich history of Texas College below.

Historic Beginnings
The College’s history states that in the Spring of 1894, Texas College was founded by a group of ministers affiliated with the Christian Methodist Episcopal (CME) Church. The founding represented the start of the educational process for a group of disenfranchised individuals in the area of east Texas, City of Tyler.

The Charter as originally issued July 1, 1907, indicates that the name of the corporation was established as “Texas College,” with the purpose of an educational institution designed to operate under the supervision care and ownership of the CME Church in America. The exclusive educational direction was to include the education of youths, male and female, in all branches of a literary, scientific and classical education wherein [all] shall be taught theology, normal training of teachers, music, commercial and industrial training, and agricultural and mechanical sciences.

On June 12, 1909, the name of the college was changed from Texas College to Phillips University. The noted change was associated with Bishop Henry Phillips, as a result of his leadership and educational interests for mankind. The name change was short lived and reportedly lasted until actions for a name reversal occurred in 1910 at the Third Annual Conference of the church. In May 1912, the college was officially renamed Texas College.

The subsequent years of the College were spent with refinements and enhancements of the educational enterprise. The Articles of Incorporation reflect such efforts with modifications and amendments during periods 1909 to 1966.

Today, the College complies with its founding principles in that she remains open to all individuals without
discrimination on the grounds of national origin, race, religion, or sex…with the right to offer instruction in the
areas of Arts and Sciences, Humanities, Natural Sciences, Social Sciences preparation of teachers and the
provision of instructional supports, to those in pursuit of an education.

Mission Statement
Texas College is a historically black college founded in 1894, by a group of CME ministers. The mission, which continues to embody the principles of the Christian Methodist Episcopal church, is to ensure that the student body experiences balanced intellectual, psychological, social and spiritual development, aimed at enabling them to become active productive members of society where they live and work.




Notable Texas College Alumni and Influencers

Irma P. Hall, actress


Danny Glover, received honorary degree from Texas College

Billy Aaron (Class of 1958), television personality and wife of baseball legend, Hank Aaron


Cherie S. White
Cherie S. White
Cherie S. White is Director of Digital Strategy for the Tom Joyner Foundation, a writer and editor.

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