Prairie View A&M University
Prairie View A&M University is a historically black university
Historically Black Colleges and Universities
Historically black colleges and universities are institutions of higher education in the United States that were established before 1964 with the intention of serving the black community....

 located in Prairie View
Prairie View, Texas
Prairie View is a city in Waller County, Texas, United States. The population was 4,410 at the 2000 census.Prairie View A&M University is located in the city.-Geography:Prairie View is located at ....

, Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

 (Northwest of Houston) and is a member of the Texas A&M University System
Texas A&M University System
The Texas A&M University System is one of the largest systems of higher education in the United States. Through a statewide network of eleven universities, eight state agencies and a comprehensive health science center, the Texas A&M System educates over 100,000 students, conducts more than $600...

. PVAMU offers baccalaureate degrees in 50 academic majors, 37 master’s degrees and four doctoral degree programs through nine colleges and schools. PVAMU is one of Texas' land grant universities.


Founded in 1876, Prairie View A&M University is the second oldest state-sponsored institution of higher education in Texas.

In 1876, the Fifteenth Texas Legislature
Fifteenth Texas Legislature
The Fifteenth Texas Legislature met from 18 April to 21 August 1876 in its regular session. All members of the House of Representatives and about half of the members of the Senate were elected in 1875.-Senate:Lieutenant GovernorPresident pro tempore...

, consistent with terms of the federal Morrill Land-Grant Colleges Act
Morrill Land-Grant Colleges Act
The Morrill Land-Grant Acts are United States statutes that allowed for the creation of land-grant colleges, including the Morrill Act of 1862 and the Morrill Act of 1890 -Passage of original bill:...

, which provided public lands for the establishment of colleges, authorized an "Agricultural and Mechanical College for the Benefit of Colored Youth" as part of the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas (now Texas A&M University
Texas A&M University
Texas A&M University is a coeducational public research university located in College Station, Texas . It is the flagship institution of the Texas A&M University System. The sixth-largest university in the United States, A&M's enrollment for Fall 2011 was over 50,000 for the first time in school...

). Governor Richard Hubbard
Richard B. Hubbard
Richard Bennett Hubbard, Jr. was the 16th Governor of Texas from 1876 to 1879 and United States Envoy to Japan from 1885 to 1889. He was a Confederate veteran of the American Civil War and was a member of the Democratic Party.-Early years:Hubbard was the son of Richard Bennett and Serena Hubbard...

 appointed a three-man commission, including Ashbel Smith
Ashbel Smith
Ashbel Smith was a pioneer physician, diplomat and official of the Republic of Texas, Confederate officer and first President of the Board of Regents of the University of Texas.-Early life:...

, a long-time supporter of public education. The Commissioners bought Alta Vista Plantation, near Hempstead in Waller County, Texas for $15,000, and turned the school over to the A&M board. Texas A&M President Thomas S. Gathright selected L. W. Minor of Mississippi as the first principal, and on March 11, 1878, eight young African-American men enrolled in the short-lived Alta Vista Agricultural College. They were charged tuition of $130 which included nine months of instruction, board, and one uniform. In 1879, as the institution was struggling to find resources to continue, Governor Oran Roberts suggested closing the college. But Barnas Sears, an agent for the Peabody Fund, persuaded the Sixteenth Texas Legislature
Sixteenth Texas Legislature
The Sixteenth Texas Legislature met from 14 January to 9 July 1879 in its regular session and one called session. All members of the House of Representatives and about half of the members of the Senate were elected in 1878 General Election.-Sessions:...

 to issue charters two normal school
Normal school
A normal school is a school created to train high school graduates to be teachers. Its purpose is to establish teaching standards or norms, hence its name...

s for the training of teachers, one of which would be called Prairie View Normal Institute. The Texas A&M College board met at Hempstead in August 1879, and established thirteen elementary and secondary subjects, and founded the coeducational institution. Women were housed in the plantation house called Kirby Hall (no longer exists), and boys were housed in a combination chapel-dormitory called Pickett Hall. Among the first faculty appointed to the new normal school was E. H. Anderson. In 1882, a strong storm damaged Pickett Hall. This came at the same time as state funds ran out. State Comptroller William M. Brown refused to continue paying the school's debts from the state's university fund, so Governor Roberts had to solicit money from merchants. E. H. Anderson died in 1885, and his brother L. C. Anderson became the principal of Prairie View. A longstanding dispute as to the mission of the school was resolved in 1887 when the legislature added an agricultural and mechanical department, thus returning the college to its original mission. Historian Dr. George Wolfok wrote, Prairie View, A Study In Public Conscience 1962) “Prairie View is an institution—a public institution. But an institution is an empty thing without the beating hearts and yearning souls of mortal men. And down the seventy-five years of Prairie View’s existence, men have lived and dreamed here until every blade of grass and every rock, in that wise primordial way in which the primitive earth knows and cares, has joined the choir invisible to bless their memory. For every man whose foot has touched this hallowed soil, has found a spirit, and has broadened and deepened it until what started out as an ambitionless meandering stream has become a purposeful river upon whose tide, now turbulent, now tranquil, floats the destiny of countless human hopes and dreams.”

In 1945, the name of the institution was changed from Prairie View Normal and Industrial College to Prairie View University, and the school was authorized to offer, "as need arises," all courses offered at the University of Texas. In 1947, the Texas Legislature changed the name to Prairie View A&M College of Texas and provided that "courses be offered in agriculture, the mechanics arts, engineering, and the natural sciences connected therewith, together with any other courses authorized at Prairie View at the time of passage of this act, all of which shall be equivalent to those offered at the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas at Bryan." On August 27, 1973, the name of the institution was changed to Prairie View A&M University, and its status as an independent unit of the Texas A&M University System was confirmed.

In 1981, the Texas Legislature acknowledged the University's rich tradition of service and identified various statewide needs which the University should address including the assistance of students of diverse ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds to realize their full potential, and assistance of small and medium-sized communities and businesses in their growth and development.

In 1983, the Texas Legislature proposed a constitutional amendment to restructure the Permanent University Fund to include Prairie View A&M University as a beneficiary of its proceeds. The Permanent University Fund is a perpetual endowment fund originally established in the Constitution of 1876 for the sole benefit of Texas A&M University and the University of Texas. The 1983 amendment also dedicated the University to enhancement as an "institution of the first class" under the governing board of the Texas A&M University System. The constitutional amendment was approved by the voters on November 6, 1984.

In January 1985, the Board of Regents of the Texas A&M University System responded to the 1984 Constitutional Amendment by stating its intention that Prairie View A&M University become "an institution nationally recognized in its areas of education and research." The Board also resolved that the University receive its share of the Available University Fund, as previously agreed to by Texas A&M University and the University of Texas.

In October 2000, the Governor of Texas signed the Priority Plan, an agreement with the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights to make Prairie View A&M University an educational asset accessible by all Texans. The Priority Plan mandates creation of many new educational programs, including graduate degrees in engineering and education, and facilities like the state-of-the-art Don Clark Juvenile Justice and Psychology building. It also requires removing language from the Institutional Mission Statement which might give the impression of excluding any Texan from attending Prairie View A&M University.

Around 2004, Oliver Kitzman, the district attorney of Waller County, attempted to challenge the voting rights of PVAMU students. As a result, the United States Department of Justice
United States Department of Justice
The United States Department of Justice , is the United States federal executive department responsible for the enforcement of the law and administration of justice, equivalent to the justice or interior ministries of other countries.The Department is led by the Attorney General, who is nominated...

 opened a civil rights investigation about Kitzman. Geoffrey Connor, the Texas Secretary of State, said that PVAMU students, like other university students, have the right to vote for officials in the university's voting districts as long as they are registered to vote there.


The university offers academic programs through the following administrative units:
  • College of Agriculture and Human Sciences
  • School of Architecture
  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • College of Business
  • College of Education
  • Roy G. Perry College of Engineering
  • College of Juvenile Justice and Psychology
  • College of Nursing


The university enrolls 6,324 undergraduate students and 1,758 graduate students who come from all 50 U.S. states and several countries throughout the world. Currently 56% of the students are female, and 44% are male.


The university sits on a 1440 acres (5.8 km²) campus in Prairie View, Texas and is 47.4 miles (76.3 km) from the city hall of Houston, Texas
Houston, Texas
Houston is the fourth-largest city in the United States, and the largest city in the state of Texas. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the city had a population of 2.1 million people within an area of . Houston is the seat of Harris County and the economic center of , which is the ...


Student housing

Both student residence housing properties at PVAMU are owned and operated by American Campus Communities
American Campus Communities
American Campus Communities Inc. is a university housing development company with its headquarters in Bee Cave, Texas, near Austin....

. Freshmen students on campus may reside in the University College community. Upperclassmen may live in apartment style living in University Village. University Village has phases I, II, and III. Phase III has an academic standard (3.0 GPA). The first of these apartment buildings was built in 1995.

In 1998 ACC was awarded the contract to develop, build, and manage a student housing property at PVAMU. University College opened in 2000. As of the northern hemisphere fall of 2001, 40% of on-campus students lived at University College and the remaining 60% lived at University Village.

Previous buildings that formerly housed students include Alexander Hall, Banks Hall, Buchanan Hall, Collins Hall, Drew Hall, L. O. Evans Hall, Fuller Hall, Holley Hall, and Suarez Hall. Suarez Hall was already closed in 1996. In 1997 Alexander Hall, Buchanan Hall, and Collins Hall had closed. In 1998 Holley Hall had closed. In 2000 Drew Hall, Evans Hall, and Fuller Hall had closed. During the same year, Alexander, Buchanan, and Holley had been demolished. In 2001 Banks Hall had closed.


Prairie View A&M's traditions are deeply rooted in its heritage as Texas's oldest historically black University. One of the premier traditions is marked by student gatherings at the Abner Davis Memorial and fountain. Abner Davis, a member of the varsity football team, met with an accident in a game with Texas College in Tyler on November 4, 1927. Davis sustained a broken neck in tackling a Texas College player. He tackled low, and the player’s knee struck his head at the base of the neck. Abner was paralyzed from his neck and shoulders down and died after an illness of seven or eight days. Abner’s classmates and the supervisor of the class erected a monument and plaque in his memory in the middle of the campus. Today, students and faculty still gather at the memorial to commemorate important activities on campus.

Honor’s Week is designated for students who have achieved outstanding accomplishments during the school year. Recognition for scholarship, student leadership, citizenship and athletic prowess are among the achievements recognized. The week culminates in a special convocation. Founder’s Day is celebrated annually by the Prairie View A&M University community on March 11. Although the 15th Legislature passed an act to establish the University on Aug. 14, 1876, the University did not open its doors until March 11, 1878. In 2006, PVAMU celebrated its 130-year anniversary. Homecoming . . . a time for welcome and celebration . . . a time to reflect on the traditions and heritage of a great University. . . a time for the return of “Loyal Panthers” to their alma mater to embrace the current University administration, faculty, staff, students, families and friends. The focal points of this week are the football game, homecoming University family. Springfest is held each year during the spring semester after the mid-semester examination period. A variety of cultural and social events are held throughout the week for students, staff and faculty. Highlights of the week’s activities are the Greek step show and “after party.”


Prairie View A&M University offers a wide variety of varsity and intramural sports programs. Prairie View A&M University has an outstanding tradition of athletics.

Men's and women's athletics teams are nicknamed the Panthers, and the team colors are purple and gold. Prairie View A&M is a charter member of the Southwestern Athletic Conference
Southwestern Athletic Conference
The Southwestern Athletic Conference is a college athletic conference headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama, which is made up of historically black universities in the Southern United States...

 (SWAC), and is a member of the West Division of the SWAC in sports where the conference is divided. Prairie View competes in NCAA Division I in all varsity sports; in football, the Panthers play in the Division I FCS.

Men's varsity sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, tennis, and track and field. Women's varsity sports include basketball, bowling, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, tennis, track and field, and volleyball.


The first football coach at Prairie View was H.B. Hucles
H.B. Hucles
Henry B. Hucles was an American football, basketball, and baseball coach and college athletics administrator. He served as the head football coach at Virginia Union University from 1919 to 1920 and again from 1926 to 1942 and at Prairie View A&M University from 1925 to 1926, compiling a career...

, who began in 1924. Before Hucles's arrival at Prairie View, the school played two games without a coach on record: a 1907 7-0 win against a team from Wylie, Texas
Wylie, Texas
Not to be confused with the unincorporated area of Wylie, Texas just outside Abilene, Texas.Wylie is a city in Collin, Dallas, and Rockwall Counties in the U.S. state of Texas, and a suburb of Dallas. At the 2000 Census, the population was 15,132; 2004 estimates pegged it at 25,850...

 and a 1920 7-6 loss to Tuskegee University
Tuskegee University
Tuskegee University is a private, historically black university located in Tuskegee, Alabama, United States. It is a member school of the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund...


Prairie View's most recognized and celebrated coach was William "Billy" Nicks
William J. Nicks
William J. "Billy" Nicks was an American football player and coach. He coached at historically black colleges in the Southern United States from 1930 to 1965...

. Nicks was head coach in 1945-47, assistant coach in 1948-51, and head coach again in 1952-65. His record for 17 years was 127-39-8. He led the Panthers to 8 Southwestern Athletic Conference championships and 5 black college national championships. Nicks was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1999. Coach Nicks was named the American Football Coaches Association’s recipient of the Trailblazer Award. The award was presented posthumously at the AFCA Kickoff Luncheon on Monday, January 7 at the 2008 AFCA Convention in Anaheim, California.

Prairie View is recognized as the first historically Black university to create and play in a post-season bowl game. The Prairie View Bowl was played in Texas between 1928 and 1962.

The Prairie View A & M Football team won Black college national championship titles in 1953, 1954, 1958, 1963, and 1964 and Southwestern Athletic Conference Championships SWAC
The term SWAC can mean: In Ghana, the Brahma Kumaris Youth Group uses SWAC Analysis, where SWAC means Strengths, Weaknesses, Attainments and Challenges.* School with a Circus...

 in 1933, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1958, 1960, 1963, 1964. and recently in 2009. Notable football players that have achieved success in the National Football League (NFL) are National Football Hall of Fame Inductee Kenny Houston and Otis Taylor, who won a World Championship with the Kansas City Chiefs in 1969. On a small note of significance, Charlie "Choo Choo" Brackins
Charlie Brackins
Charlie "Choo Choo" Brackins is a former quarterback in the National Football League for the Green Bay Packers during the 1955 NFL season.-Biography:...

, who played from 1952–1955, was the first HBCU alumnus to play quarterback in the NFL Reginald Gillard who played receiver for the New England Patriots.

The team lost 80 consecutive games in 1989-98, almost doubling Columbia University's
Columbia University
Columbia University in the City of New York is a private, Ivy League university in Manhattan, New York City. Columbia is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York, the fifth oldest in the United States, and one of the country's nine Colonial Colleges founded before the...

 44 straight losses between 1983-1988.

On November 10, 2007, it clinched its first winning season since 1976 with a 30-27 victory over traditional power Jackson State University
Jackson State University
Jackson State University is a historically black university founded in 1877 in Natchez, MS by the American Baptist Home Mission Society of New York. The Society moved the school to Jackson in 1882, renaming it Jackson College, and developed its present campus in 1902. It became a state supported...

 under coach Henry Frazier, III
Henry Frazier, III
Henry Frazier, III is an American football coach and former player. He is currently the head football coach at North Carolina Central University, a position he assumed in December 2010...


In 1999 the SWAC moved to a new Divisional format with Western Division and Eastern Division Champions to play for the SWAC Championship. On November 14, 2009, it clinched its first SWAC Western Division Championship by defeating Alcorn State. The next weekend would see the Panthers go undefeated in the SWAC by defeating Arkansas Pine Bluff and securing a 8-1 record, their only loss during the season to New Mexico State. They finished the season by winning the SWAC Championship on December 12, defeating Eastern Division Champion Alabama A&M 30-24 in the SWAC Championship Game
SWAC Championship Game
The SWAC Championship Game is an American college football game held on the first Saturday in December by the Southwestern Athletic Conference each year to determine its football champion. The game pits the champion of the Eastern Division against the champion of the Western Division in a game...

. They exit the 2009 SWAC football campaign with an unblemished 9-0 SWAC conference record. They were led by their quarterback 6'4' 225 pound, swift footed KJ Black who led all quarterbacks in the SWAC with an outstanding passer effiency rating of 168.1 their SWAC 2nd leading rusher in Donald Babers that averages 5.2 yards per carry.


Prairie View A&M University is notorious for its cheerleading program. Two Prairie View A&M University cheerleaders have been paralyzed under same coach who is still employed as the cheer coach. The first incident resulted in a death. The school tried to cover up the second incident. President George C Wright admits to never reporting the incident to the NCAA or its insurer. A federal lawsuit has been filed.

Women's basketball

The women's basketball team received national attention in 2005 with the naming of Cynthia Cooper
Cynthia Cooper
Cynthia Lynne Cooper is a former American basketball player who has won championships in college, the Olympics, and in the Women's National Basketball Association . She is considered by many as one of the greatest women's basketball players ever. In 2011, she was voted in by fans as one of the...

 as the head basketball coach. Cooper, a two-time WNBA MVP, led the Lady Panthers to the school's first ever SWAC title and NCAA Tournament berth in her second season as coach.

Women's outdoor track & field

The Lady Panther's Track and Field teams accumulated an unprecedented string of championships both indoor and outdoor. From 1965 to 1991 the Lady Panther's claimed 8 National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) outdoor titles and 2 indoor titles; won national titles in the Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women and the U.S. Track and Field Federation; won 8 Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) cross country titles, nine indoor titles and five outdoor SWAC titles in track and field. In total the Lady Panther's won 23 SWAC championships

Coach Barbara Jacket was named SWAC Coach of the Year on 23 occasions and NAIA Coach of the Year five times and Jacket tutored 57 All-Americans. As coach of the 1992 U.S. Women's Olympic Track Team during the Olympics which ran from July 25-August 9 in Barcelona, Spain, Ms. Jacket had the enviable task of coaching such greats as long jumper Jackie Joyner-Kersee and sprinters Gwen Torrance, Gail Devers, and Evelyn Ashford. The Women's team won overall 4 Gold Medals, 3 Silver Medals, and 3 Bronze Medals more than any team since 1956. She was the second Black female to coach an Olympic team


The Prairie View A&M Panther baseball team captured its first Southwestern Athletic Conference championship in the school's history and won back-to-back SWAC titles in 2006 and 2007. During the last five years, Prairie View A&M has made four consecutive appearances in the SWAC’s title game, finishing as the conference’s runner-up in 2005 and 2008.

Marching band

style="font-size: 1.25em;" |Marching Storm leadership
Prof. George W. Edwards (1948–2009) Director
Dr. Marget Sherrod Majorette Director
Dr. William McQueen Assistant Band Director
Prof. Larry Jones Assistant Band Director
Mr. Mark Gordon Assistant Band Director

The university's official marching band is referred to as the Marching Storm and supports the Delta Psi chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi
Kappa Kappa Psi
Kappa Kappa Psi is a fraternity for college and university band members. It was founded on November 27, 1919 at Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical College in Stillwater, Oklahoma. William Scroggs, now regarded as the "Founder," together with "Mr. Kappa Kappa Psi" A...

 honorary band fraternity along with the Epsilon Psi chapter of Tau Beta Sigma
Tau Beta Sigma
Tau Beta Sigma is a co-educational national honorary band sorority dedicated to serving college and university bands. The Sorority, headquartered at the historic Stillwater Station in Stillwater, Oklahoma, numbers over 3,500 active members in 145 active chapters, and over 40,000 alumni...

  honorary band sorority. Past performances include President George W. Bush’s 2001 Presidential Inaugural Parade in Washington, D.C., the 2004 Dallas Cowboys' Thanksgiving Day game, the Honda Battle of the Bands
Honda Battle of the Bands
The Honda Battle of the Bands is an annual marching band exhibition in the United States which features performances by bands from historically black colleges and universities...

 Invitational Showcase in Atlanta, Georgia and during the 2011 Super Bowl XLV halftime show with The Black eyed Pea's.

The marching band traveled to the 2009 Tournament of Roses Parade
Tournament of Roses Parade
The Tournament of Roses Parade, better known as the Rose Parade, is "America's New Year Celebration", a festival of flower-covered floats, marching bands, equestrians and a college football game on New Year's Day , produced by the non-profit Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association.The annual...

 in Pasadena, California and performed in the opening act in front of the grandstands for the world-wide television audience. In Summer 2009, the Marching Storm mourned the death of their leader, Professor George Edwards. Students affectionately referred to him as "Prof" and will forever be remembered in their hearts.

Black Foxxes
The Marching Storm is joined by the Black Foxxes, the university majorette line.

The McFunk B.O.X.
The McFunk B.O.X. is the nickname for the drumline. "The B.O.X.", as they are affectionately called, was the first black collegiate showstyle drumline to debut a feature in the middle of a halftime show, beginning in the fall season of 1989.

Brawl with Southern University
Prairie View A&M's marching band was more infamously involved in a brawl with the Southern University
Southern University
Southern University and A&M College is a historically black college located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The Baton Rouge campus is located on Scott’s Bluff overlooking the Mississippi River in the northern section...

 marching band during halftime of the 1998 Southern vs. Prairie View A&M football game
1998 Southern vs. Prairie View A&M football game
The 1998 Southern vs. Priarie View A&M game is a college football game that took place between the Southern Jaguars and the Prairie View A&M Panthers on September 9, 1998...

. The bands for both schools were suspended for two games after the incident. Southern's program honored the suspension, where Prairie View did not.

Fraternities and sororities

All nine members of the National Pan-Hellenic Council
National Pan-Hellenic Council
The National Pan-Hellenic Council is a collaborative organization of nine historically African American, international Greek lettered fraternities and sororities. The nine NPHC organizations are sometimes collectively referred to as the "Divine Nine"...

 are represented at PVAMU. Though not a member of the National Pan-Hellenic Council, Kappa Kappa Psi
Kappa Kappa Psi
Kappa Kappa Psi is a fraternity for college and university band members. It was founded on November 27, 1919 at Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical College in Stillwater, Oklahoma. William Scroggs, now regarded as the "Founder," together with "Mr. Kappa Kappa Psi" A...

 a national Honorary Band Fraternity, was the first Greek organization to have a chapter on campus.

Notable alumni

External links

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