John Tarleton Agricultural College:
An Inventory of its Collection, c.1921-1941
"For the last one hundred years, Tarleton State University, a public coeducational institution, has provided a broad-based education. Established by a $100,000 bequest of John Tarleton, an Erath County pioneer, John Tarleton College opened in 1899 as a private preparatory school and college for the youth of the surrounding rural region. During the next decade students could earn a baccalaureate degree. But in 1908, to compensate for declining enrollment and inadequate funding, college officials reorganized the institution on a two-year degree program, emphasizing a liberal arts education while retaining the two-year preparatory division. Again in 1916 Tarleton experienced financial difficulty; consequently, the Texas Legislature in 1917 placed the college in the state system of the Agricultural and Mechanical College, which would later become The Texas A&M University System. John Tarleton Agricultural College, as renamed by the Legislature, retained the two-year degree as well as the preparatory program and specialized in agriculture, home economics, and military training."
To meet the needs of a changing constituency, Tarleton has adjusted and enriched its curriculum since the 1920s. Accredited as a junior college by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in 1926, Tarleton gradually redeveloped a liberal arts education. Then in 1949 the Legislature again changed the name of the school to Tarleton State College, and in 1953 discontinued the preparatory division, reflecting the increased access to public school throughout the state. By a 1959 act of the Legislature, Tarleton once again became a four-year degree-granting institution, the first class graduating in 1963. Accredited as a senior college in 1966, Tarleton initiated many new programs, including graduate courses in 1970. Since Tarleton offered a broad liberal arts education within undergraduate and graduate degrees, the Texas Legislature recognized the institution as a university in 1973, the name officially changed to Tarleton State University. Under a cooperative agreement with Texas A&M - Commerce, a doctoral degree in Educational Administration became available in 1998. Over the past century, Tarleton has grown from a small private college into a thriving state university with more than 7,400 students. In 1999, Tarleton established the first university system center in Texas, providing public upper-level academic programs for the citizens of central Texas. The Tarleton University System Center - Central Texas in Killeen and other sites located at the Terrell School of Clinical Laboratory Sciences in Fort Worth and the Dora Lee Langdon Center in Granbury have enabled Tarleton to meet diverse educational demands from across the state. Throughout its first one hundred years, Tarleton has never lost the commitment to excellence that was the vision of its founder, John Tarleton."
Source: "History of Tarleton", TSU @ Stephenville web site, http://www.tarleton.edu/~iap/StCampus.htm.
Eighty-one drawings and one map document the work of architecture students at John Tarleton Agricultural College during the approximate years of 1921-1941.
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