General Information

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University Purpose

Our History

Texas A&M University-Commerce began as East Texas Normal College in 1889 when founder William Leonidas Mayo opened the doors to a one-building campus in Cooper. After the original campus was destroyed by fire in 1894, Professor Mayo moved the college 16 miles to Commerce, Texas to take advantage of westward railroad lines to Dallas and other parts of the state. His creed, which continues today, was “ceaseless industry, fearless investigation, unfettered thought and unselfish service to others." The State of Texas took over the campus in 1917 and the name was changed to East Texas State Normal College. In 1923, the school was renamed East Texas State Teachers College. The graduate program was added in 1935, and in 1957 the Legislature, recognizing that the purpose of the institution had broadened from teacher education, changed the name to East Texas State College. Following the inauguration of the first doctoral program in 1962, the name was changed once more to East Texas State University. The name change to Texas A&M University-Commerce occurred in 1996, when the university joined The Texas A&M University System. Today, the University meets the undergraduate, graduate, and professional needs of the citizens of Northeast Texas and beyond through its main campus in Commerce, various off-campus instructional sites, and state-of-the-art distance learning. Its mission is achieved through teaching, scholarship, and service activities on its campuses, and in the community and region.

For the past 20 years, the University has grown in both stature and student population, expanding its foundations to include agriculture, engineering, music, nursing, and various distance education programs.


Located only 60 miles northeast of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, A&M-Commerce offers a small-town atmosphere ideal for living, learning, teaching, and research. As one of the largest members of the prestigious Texas A&M University System, A&M-Commerce is home to more than 12,000 students, more than 1540 degree programs, five academic colleges, and two schools.

The majority of students attending the University are Texas residents, many coming from the counties surrounding A&M-Commerce. There are five off-campus teaching sites in the DFW Metroplex. Known for its care of and support for its students, A&M Commerce also attracts many students from out-of-state who are enrolled in online degree programs as well as more than 500 international students. The founder of East Texas Normal College, William L. Mayo, was committed to providing affordable educational opportunities to first-generation college students. A&M-Commerce was recently recognized recognized as having the "Most Military Friendly" online master's program. The University has a large number of graduate programs for a university of its size. Student access and success are the hallmarks of the University. A&M-Commerce is recognized as an innovator and leader in distance education with an AACSB-accredited online MBA program and the Organizational Leadership program, the first accredited, competency-based bachelor's degree offered at a public university in the state. A&M-Commerce now offers a second competency-based program, with a major in Criminal Justice, following the success of the Organization Leadership program.

Our Vision

Texas A&M University-Commerce, as part of the A&M family of universities, will become the university of choice for all those seeking a higher education in the Northeast Texas region and beyond. It will provide traditional and non-traditional learning opportunities through existing and new programs that set high expectations and goals for students, faculty, and staff. The University will provide a sense of community through a nurturing environment for all individuals in order to maximize learning, career, and personal development. A&M-Commerce will become a place where students, faculty, staff, and community are engaged in the pursuit of excellence.

Our Mission

Texas A&M University-Commerce provides a personal, accessible, and affordable educational experience for a diverse community of learners. We engage in creative discovery and dissemination of knowledge and ideas for service, leadership, and innovation in an interconnected and dynamic world.

The Campus

Texas A&M University-Commerce covers 2,094 acres of land in and near Commerce. The University is located eight blocks southwest of Commerce’s business center, and has a book value in excess of $227 million.

University Libraries

The Texas A&M University-Commerce Libraries are comprised of the James G. Gee Library on the Commerce campus and the Metroplex Center Library in Mesquite.  Together, they offer the University community nearly 800,000 print and electronic items.  Access to e-books, e-journals, and electronic databases is available 24/7.

The main facility, James G. Gee Library, provides many areas for study and working with technology. The Computer Lab provides access to 138 computers.  Networked and wireless printing is offered in both black-and-white and in color.  Two "KIC" scanners allow students to make digital copies at no charge.  The Library also features an Assistive Technology Lab and a Teacher Resource Center.  Additional services include secure cell phone charging bays, a multimedia studio, and 30 study rooms, including three that are available to students for practicing classroom presentations.  Laptops are also available for checkout from kiosks located in the student center and library.  An ATM, photocopy machines, and an account management kiosk for university Lion Cards are also located in the library. The Library Bistro is a popular food service and casual meeting area with Wi-Fi and recharging outlets that seats 84 people. 

In support of undergraduate and graduate programs, the libraries provide interlibrary loan and document delivery services.  The Interlibrary Loan Department borrows books and articles from libraries around the world and provides electronic document delivery service for articles and book chapters held by the A&M Commerce Libraries.  A&M-Commerce Libraries are members of the Texas A&M University System, Amigos, TexShare, and the Greater Western Library Alliance. A TexShare Card provides A&M-Commerce students with access to print collections at all state-supported academic libraries plus many of the regional private universities as supplementary resources to the Gee Library collections. 

Additional information is available at the department's website: or by calling 903-886-5718.

The Campus: Administration Building

The three-story McDowell Administration/Business Administration Building houses administrative offices, classrooms, laboratories and computer facilities. The building was completed in 1970.

The Offices of the President, Provost & Vice President for Academic Affairs, Vice President for Business & Administration, Vice President for Institutional Advancement, Vice President for Economic Development, and Chief Compliance Officer, are housed on the second floor of the McDowell Administration Building. The Offices of the Graduate School, Center for IT Excellence, Chief Information Officer, Procurement Services, Human Resources, Payroll, Contract Administration, Bursar, and Financial Services are located on the ground floor. The Office of Annual Programs is on the third floor. The College of Business is located in the eastern portion of the building.

The Campus: Student Services Building

Built in 1970, the three-story D. Whitney Halladay Student Services Building houses the Offices of the Dean of Students, Assistant Dean of Campus Life & Student Development, Counseling Center, Residential Living & Learning, and TRiO Programs.

The Department of Residential Living & Learning  offers a variety of living environments, including traditional residence halls, suite-style residence halls, single student apartments, and limited married and family apartments. The Department of Residential Living & Learning strives to create a living-learning environment in each residence hall that will enable each resident to succeed academically and developmentally. For more information about student housing, see the Department of Residential Living & Learning and/or visit the department’s website at

Rayburn Student Center (RSC)

As a department, the Rayburn Student Center provides premier programs and activities, service with excellence, and state-of-the-art facilities for the campus community to gather, connect, and experience. The Rayburn Student Center provides 120,000 square feet of modern meeting rooms, a food court, dining room, student Club, Pride Shop for graphic design and campus marketing needs, game room, informal lounges, patios and the Student Involvement Suite (SIS). In addition, the RSC features a University Bookstore, the Mane Card student ID office, the Serving Engaged, Empowered and Diverse Students (S.E.E.D.S.) suite, and the Leadership Engagement and Development (L.E.A.D.) suite.


  • First Floor: Welcome Desk, The Club, Pride Shop, Campus Bookstore, Mane Card Office, Campus Dining, Food Court, and S.E.E.D.S. Suite.
  • Second Floor: Student Involvement Suite includes the hub for student organizations, Fraternity & Sorority Life, Campus Activities Board, Student Government Association, and Scheduling Office. The Leadership Engagement and Development (L.E.A.D.) Suite provides opportunities for students to learn about and enhance leadership skills. A large combo Conference Room and 15 additional rooms for meetings, luncheons and presentations can be utilized by students, faculty, staff and community guests.

The Student Involvement Suite (SIS)

The Student Involvement Suite provides many services and opportunities to help maximize students' college experiences. Much of what it does is centered on providing resources, increasing involvement, and enhancing learning experiences. Students are encouraged to get involved and make the most of their college experience! Being involved helps students to connect with one another, their campus, and their community. Students have opportunities to participate in events, join organizations, access resources and develop their leadership skills through its programs and services. The Student Involvement suite is home to the Campus Activities Board, Student Government Association, Fraternity & Sorority Life, Golden Leos, and approximately 140 other student organizations.

The student center is located on the corner of Neal and Stonewall Streets right across from the McFarland Science Center.

Morris Recreation Center (MRC)

All students who have paid the Recreation Center fee in their tuition have access to the Morris Recreation Center (MRC) by showing their ID card at the front desk. The MRC includes two multi-purpose basketball courts, a 45-foot climbing and bouldering wall, three lane jogging track, four multi-purpose racquetball courts, a three-tiered space dedicated to cardiovascular & weight equipment and functional training, fitness activity room, classroom, lounge, and men's and women's locker rooms.  Also located at the MRC is an outdoor heated leisure pool, two-tier spa, two outdoor basketball courts, covered pavilion, and a sunbathing area.  There is also an artificial turf field located at the MRC.  The MRC provides full services including equipment checkout, lockers, workout towels, and even hammocks to use at the outdoor hammock grove. The MRC is managed by Campus Recreation, and hours can be found online: or by calling 903-468-3181.

Cain Sports Complex

Located west of Highway 11, off of Hubbell Drive, the Cain Sports Complex features two lighted multi-purpose softball fields, three multipurpose Intramural/Club Sports fields, multipurpose green space, four tennis courts, and four lighted sand volleyball courts.   During open hours, staff are available to check out equipment. The Cain Sports Complex is managed by Campus Recreation, and hours can be found online:


Outdoor Adventure Center

Located west of Highway 11, off of Culver Street, the Outdoor Adventure Center offers bike rentals, a bike repair shop, disc golf course, and outdoor gear rental.  The Outdoor Adventure center also features a challenge course which offers adventure-based learning opportunities to enhance leadership, decision-making and communication skills through an interactive process for groups to develop as a team.  The course offers 13 low challenge course elements and 18 high element challenges.  Across the street from the OA Center, there is a 5 mile biking and hiking trail comprised of four different loops.   The Outdoor Adventure Center is managed by Campus Recreation, and hours can be found online:

Other Recreational Facilities

A&M-Commerce’s Memorial Stadium, which seats nearly 10,000, is used for football, track and field and other special events. The Field House, which seats approximately 2,500, is used for athletic and other special events, including concerts and various commencement exercises for the University and local high schools. In intercollegiate athletics, the A&M-Commerce Lions compete in football, basketball, track and field, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, and volleyball. Texas A&M University-Commerce is a member of the Lone Star Conference of Texas and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II.

Imagine learning in the state-of-the-art Keith D. McFarland Science Building, with one of the most technologically sophisticated planetariums in the southwest or playing in the $29 million Music Building, completed in the fall of 2010. The Music Building includes the Jack and Lou Finney Concert Hall, recital hall, four rehearsal halls, classrooms, piano and electronic music labs, studios and practice rooms. The Department of Music sponsors 21 musical groups, including the award-winning A&M-Commerce "Pride" Marching Band, Wind Ensemble, and Concert Chorale.

The Performing Arts Center has two modern theaters, a 300-seat Mainstage Theater, a variable capacity Studio Theater, a computerized lighting system, scene shop, dressing rooms, makeup rooms, and studios for the KKOM radio station and ManeMedia Television cable Channel 3. The University Playhouse produces several plays during the school year.

The University’s 100,000 watt public radio station, 88.9 KETR, is an NPR member station providing locally and nationally-produced programming. KETR-FM, heard within 75 miles of Commerce and online at, is the radio home for A&M-Commerce Lions football and basketball broadcasts each fall and spring. The mission of the station, which operates from historic Binnion Hall, is to provide Northeast Texas citizens and the A&M-Commerce community with entertaining, educational, and informative programming, and to serve as a learning environment for students to pursue excellence in broadcasting and journalism. The station is supported by listener contributions, corporate sponsorships, foundation gifts, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

The 1,200-seat University Auditorium is housed in the Ferguson Social Sciences Building.

More than 100 social, departmental, special interest, and religious organizations offer many opportunities for students to participate in campus life.