Prairie View A&M University: Wikis


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Prairie View A&M University
Motto Prairie View Produces Productive People
Established 1876
Type Public, HBCU
Endowment $34 million
President Dr. George C. Wright
Faculty 422
Students 8,608
Location Prairie View, Texas,
United States
Sports baseball
cross country
track and field
Colors Purple and Gold
Nickname Panthers
Athletics NCAA Division I-AA
Affiliations Southwestern Athletic Conference - West Division

Prairie View A&M University is a historically black university located in Prairie View, Texas and is a member of the Texas A&M University System. PVAMU offers baccalaureate degrees in 50 academic majors, 37 master’s degrees and four doctoral degree programs through nine colleges and schools.



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, consistent with terms of the federal Morrill Land-Grant Colleges Act, 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).[1] Governor Richard Hubbard appointed a three-man commission, including Ashbel Smith, 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.[1] 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 to issue charters two normal schools 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.[1]

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 and facilities. 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.


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
  • College of Engineering
  • College of Juvenile Justice and Psychology
  • College of Nursing
  • Graduate School


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.[citation needed] Currently 56% of the students are female, and 44% are male.


The university sits on a 1,440-acre (5.8 km2) campus in Prairie View, Texas and is 47.4 miles (76.3 km) from the city hall of Houston, Texas.

Students may live in campus housing owned by American Campus Communities. Freshmen students on campus may reside in the University College community. Upperclassmen may live in apartment style living either in University Village Phase I, II, or III. Phase III has an academic standard (3.0 GPA). The first of these apartment buildings was built in 1995.

Student activities



Athletics logo

Prairie View A&M University offers a wide variety of varsity and intramural sports programs.

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 (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-AA in football, and Division I in all other varsity sports.

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, 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[2] and a 1920 7-6 loss to Tuskegee University.[3]

Prairie View's most recognized and celebrated coach was William "Billy" Nicks. 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. The Prairie View A & M Football team won national titles in 1953, 1954, 1958, 1963, and 1964.

The team lost 80 consecutive games in 1989-98, almost doubling Columbia University's 44 straight losses between 1983-1988.[4]

On November 10, 2007, it clinched its first winning season since 1976 with a 30-27 victory over traditional power Jackson State University under coach Henry Frazier, III.

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. 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.

Women's basketball

The women's basketball team received national attention in 2005 with the naming of Cynthia Cooper 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

Marching band

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 National Honorary Band Fraternity Inc. along with the Epsilon Psi chapter of Tau Beta Sigma National Honorary Band Sorority Inc.. Past performances include President George W. Bush’s 2001 Presidential Inaugural Parade in Washington, D.C., the 2004 Dallas Cowboys' Thanksgiving Day game, and the Honda Battle of the Bands Invitational Showcase in Atlanta, Georgia.

The marching band traveled to the 2009 Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California and performed in the opening act in front of the grandstands for the world-wide television audience.[5]

Blackk 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 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 1985.[citation needed]

Fraternities and sororities

All nine members of the National Pan-Hellenic Council are represented at PVAMU. Though not a member of the National Pan-Hellenic Council, Kappa Kappa Psi a national Honorary Band Fraternity, was the first Greek organization to have a chapter on campus.

Notable alumni

Name Class year Notability Reference
Julius Wesley Becton, Jr. 1960 Lieutenant General US Army, Federal Emergency Management Agency Director, and educator
J. Don Boney 1948 First President of the University of Houston–Downtown
Rev. Emanuel Cleaver II U.S. House of Representatives, 5th District of Missouri
Cecil Cooper 5-time MLB All-Star, 17-year career with Boston Red Sox and Milwaukee Brewers, former Houston Astros manager
Terry Ellis vocalist and member of female R&B group En Vogue
Sidney A. McPhee President of Middle Tennessee State University
Dewey Redman jazz saxophonist
Frederick D. Patterson founder of United Negro College Fund
Inez Beverly Prosser the first African-American woman to receive a doctoral degree in psychology
Mr. T actor (did not graduate)
Otis Taylor member of 1969 World Champion Kansas City Chiefs Hall of Fame
Wendel Eckford Ralph Bunche Distinguished Professor of History, Los Angeles City College, First African American to earn Ph.D. in history at the Claremont Graduate University, CA.
Craig Washington former member, U.S. House of Representatives, 1989-1994 18th District, Texas
Dorrough Rapper
DJ Premier member of Gang Starr
Ken Houston Member Pro Football Hall of Fame, 13 year career as strong safety with Houston Oilers and Washington Redskins
Charles Brown Legendary Blues Recording Artist and member of Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
Dave Webster Former American Football League All-Pro football player for the Dallas Texans/Kansas City Chiefs, Prairie View A&M University Hall of Fame inductee and one of the first blacks to play professional football in the American Football League.
Zelmo Beaty Former professional basketball player with the St. Louis and later Atlanta Hawks (1962-1969; NBA), the Utah Stars (1969-1974; ABA), and the Los Angeles Lakers (1974-1975; NBA).
Dr. Clement E. Glenn, Phd. 2010 Democratic candidate for Texas Governor


External links

Coordinates: 30°05′31″N 95°59′22″W / 30.09194°N 95.98944°W / 30.09194; -95.98944

Simple English

Prairie View A&M University is a public university in Prairie View, Texas, United States. It has about 8,000 students enrolled and it was founded in 1876. It is an historically African-American school with ties to Texas A&M University, though any person of any race may attend.


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