The University of Texas at Tyler Palestine Campus
At the request of Palestine leaders, The University of Texas at Tyler extended a nursing program to Palestine in 1995. The University of Texas at Tyler Palestine Campus officially opened with 20 students enrolled in the undergraduate nursing program, which was located in borrowed space in the Trinity Valley Medical Center and Trinity Valley Community College. In the fall of 1996, the program outgrew that space and, with the financial support of the Palestine community, relocated to a former sewing factory at its present site, 1820 West Spring Street. The Palestine community funded the renovation of two classrooms and a nursing skills lab, and by 1997, the College of Business Administration and the College of Liberal Arts joined the successful nursing program.
The campus again experienced growing pains in 1999, then State Representative Todd Staples assisted by winning approval of a special line item in the state budget. The Palestine site was then purchased and the second stage of renovations began with two additional classrooms and a computer lab.
Later this same year, Dr. Lee Roy Mathis, Memorial Hospital Foundation Board Chairman, presented a check for nursing scholarships in the amount of $1.2 million dollars.
The year 2002 brought completed renovations to the Palestine Campus and a growing enrollment. With a healthy endowed scholarship fund for area students, an excellent library, health assessment lab, conference room, interactive video technology classrooms and additional office space, the Palestine Campus is an important element of The University of Texas at Tyler, a Rising Star in Higher Education.
With the generous support of the Palestine Campus Development Council and the community, the campus expanded to its current location on 43+ acres adjacent to the existing building and opened Mathis Hall in May of 2010. In 2012 a university-operated Texas public charter school called the UT Tyler Innovation Academy was added in the original location. The fall of 2014 saw the addition of the Nursing Lab Building at the new site behind Mathis Hall.