Nestled in the pines of East Texas, and situated near the state line of Texas and Arkansas, you will find a new era evolving in higher education at Texas A&M University-Texarkana. A&M-Texarkana has been in existence for 40 years serving the needs of the Ark-La-Tex region by providing a high quality education for many citizens who call this region home. The university’s humble start began with professors working from the trunks of their personal vehicles, because office space was practically non-existent inside a small rented office building where classes first began. The university started out as an upper division institution in 1971, serving juniors, seniors and graduate students.
An upward enrollment trend created a need for more space and the university became Texarkana College’s new neighbor, relocating to the community college campus next door in the mid-1970′s. Fast forward to 2003. The Texas Legislature passed a bill granting authorization for the university to downwardly expand and begin serving freshman and sophomore students. In order to take on the increased enrollment, the university would have to move once again, but where? The local community rallied and university received a gift of 375 acres of land from the City of Texarkana, Texas, and the Anita and Truman Arnold Foundation. Lt. Governor David Dewhurst toured the new campus site prior to construction beginning and remarked that it was the best piece of property that had ever seen to build a new college campus. The campus borders a large lake known as Bringle Lake.
Construction at the new campus began in 2006 with the construction of the Science & Technology Building. It opened in 2008. A short time later, construction of the University Center was underway with a completion date of summer 2010. After completion of the building, a major portion of the university’s operations relocated to the new campus. Another hurdle to overcome was housing. The university had never housed students on campus. If housing could be offered to students, then the university would have an opportunity to expand recruitment efforts into new areas and continue to add more students. The decision was made to construct a state-of-the-art residence hall named Bringle Lake Village. This beautiful facility opened in August and offers many amenities including a swimming pool, sand volleyball court, fully furnished units, flat screen televisions, microwaves and refrigerators. Plans for a second residence hall are underway with completion done in time for the fall 2013 semester.
In fall 2010, the university opened its doors to welcome its first freshman and sophomore students. In addition, the university’s first doctoral program began at the same time, marking a historic event indeed. Student growth in the 18-22 age category has increased 383% over the past two years. Freshman enrollment increased 183% when comparing fall 2011 to fall 2010. A&M-Texarkana is poised to meet the higher education needs of not only residents in the region, but an expanding student population far beyond the Texas/Arkansas state line, both now and into the future.