UT Tyler Timeline

Timeline of The University of Texas at Tyler

Office of the President

More Than 4 Decades of Growth and Excellence


  • Julie V. Philley, MD, takes office as sixth president of UT Tyler and first woman to lead the university.
    Dr. Julie V. Philley


  • UT Tyler breaks ground on $308 million Medical Education Building, which will house the School of Medicine when complete.
  • UT Tyler named one of the fastest-growing public doctoral universities in the country by The Chronicle of Higher Education.


  • Robert M. Rogers Foundation donates transformational $10 million gift to UT Tyler to support mental and behavioral health education.
  • UT Tyler unveils new institutional and athletics logos reflecting merged university.
  • $5 million gift from Ednamae Walsh to School of Medicine supports student scholarships and pathway programs.


  • Kirk A. Calhoun, MD, FACP, takes office as the fifth president of UT Tyler.Dr. Kirk A. Calhoun
  • ‘Monumental’ gift from the R.W. Fair Foundation covers full-tuition scholarships for the first School of Medicine class, which enrolled in fall 2023.


  • UT System Board of Regents announce plans to establish the East Texas School of Medicine.
  • UT System Board of Regents announce the consolidation of UT Tyler and The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler into one institution operating as UT Tyler.
  • UT System Board of Regents name Kirk A. Calhoun, MD, FACP, president of the new unified UT Tyler.


  • UT Tyler recognized by Carnegie with new Doctoral Research Classification.
  • 100 Communities engagement initiative announced.
  • Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board recognizes UT Tyler for student success efforts.
  • Fisch College of Pharmacy granted highest level of accreditation in minimum time afforded.
  • Pre-Med and Pre-Law Academies announced.
  • Jasper Department of Chemical Engineering announced.
  • UT Tyler Press publishes first book.
  • Regents allocate $35 million for new nursing facility.


  • UT Tyler unveils new design for student commencement cap and gown.
  • John Soules Food and the Soules family make largest single private contribution in university history.
  • College of Business and Technology renamed Soules College of Business.
  • University introduces new five-year strategic plan focusing on student success and regional impact.
  • Flag T, the new unified academic and athletic branding, and new tagline “Your Success. Our Passion.” launches.
  • University submits application to move to NCAA Division II.
  • Baseball teams wins NCAA Division III World Series.Dr. Michael Tidwell


  • Official inauguration of Dr. Michael Tidwell on Sept.8.
  • Dr. Michael V. Tidwell takes office as the fourth president of UT Tyler on Jan. 1.


  • Dr. Mabry reveals plans for UT Tyler’s next decade during Strategic Planning rollout.
  • New nursing doctoral program - Doctorate in Nursing Practice - approved.
  • Grand Opening for UT Tyler Center for the Musical Arts facility, a new wing of the Cowan Center building.
  • Groundbreaking for four-story 140,000-square-foot building to house the Soules College of Business.
  • Land purchased for UT Tyler East Campus.
  • Dr. Rodney H. Mabry retires as UT Tyler president on Dec. 31.


  • 15,000-square-foot wing is being added to the Cowan Center to house UT Tyler musical arts studies.

Alumni House

  • Alumni House groundbreaking.
  • 9% enrollment increase during fall 2015, 8,862 students (largest fall semester enrollment increase in UT Tyler’s history).
  • Grand Opening – Ben and Maytee Fisch College of Pharmacy.


  • Music program receives full accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Music, the accrediting agency for music and music-related disciplines among collegiate and post-secondary schools.
  • Plans for The University of Texas at Tyler Alumni House underway.



  • 83rd Legislature passes Bill 566 to authorize the creation the College of Pharmacy. A joint proposal from UT Tyler and UT Health Science Center at Tyler (UT Northeast), the pharmacy college requires no state funds to operate but relies on philanthropic gifts and student tuition.
  • Gov. Rick Perry signs bill authorizing pharmacy program.
  • Fisch Foundation establishes the Ben and Maytee Fisch College of Pharmacy, which is the university’s first named college.UT Tyler Pharmacy
  • Board of Regents approves pharmacy program, naming of College of Pharmacy, hiring new pharmacy dean and new building for pharmacy program.
  • Dr. Lane Brunner named first dean of the College of Pharmacy.
  • Additions to Biology, Education and Psychology and Braithwaite buildings open.
  • Patriots Applying Technology for Success and Savings (PATSS) program launches.
  • UT Tyler is awarded $11 million grant – the largest in university history.
  • UT Tyler enrollment exceeds 7,000.


  • The U.S. News & World Report ranks UT Tyler online master's and doctoral nursing programs No. 3 in the nation for teaching practices and student engagement.
  • Air quality, energy efficiency to be tested in TXAIRE Homes: the UT Tyler Texas Allergy, Indoor Environment and Energy Institute held a ribbon cutting at the completion of research/demonstration homes construction.
  • UT Tyler starts inaugural class in Global Awareness Through Education (GATE) program. The cohort prepares for summer 2013 trip to Japan.


  • UT Tyler observes 40th anniversary with yearlong celebration that begins June 10, 2011.
  • First doctoral students graduate.


  • University Center Renovated University Center opens.
  • Dr. Lee Roy and Lucy Mathis Hall opens on the Palestine Campus.
  • UT Tyler’s second president, Dr. George F. Hamm, dies on Oct. 10 in Tyler. He was 79.


  • University Center addition opens.
  • UT Tyler reaches another record fall enrollment with 6,234 headcount.
  • Robert R. Muntz Library garden opens.


  • First Ph.D. students enroll in fall semester.


  • Construction management and nurse practitioner degree programs begin.
  • University becomes full member of NCAA.
  • Higher Education Coordinating Board approves UT Tyler’s first Ph.D. program (nursing). 

2006UT Tyler Greek Life

  • First sororities (Delta Gamma, Gamma Phi Beta, Alpha Chi Omega) and fraternities (Pi Kappa Phi, Sigma Alpha Epsilon and Kappa Sigma) implemented.
  • UT Tyler Ballpark and Irwin Baseball Field opens.
  • Largest commencement to date (607 candidates).
  • University of Texas Health Clinic opens in temporary facility.
  • Texas Legislature authorizes Tuition Revenue Bond funds to complete South Building of Bill Ratliff Engineering and Sciences Complex and construct a new Palestine Campus facility.
  • Citizens 1st Bank/Perkins Soccer Complex opens.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Z. Ornelas Residence Hall opens.
  • Bill Ratliff Engineering and Sciences Complex South Building opens.
  • Construction begins on $11 million University Center addition.
  • Civil and environmental engineering degree programs begin.


  • Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board approves planning of university’s first two Ph.D. programs (nursing and human resource development).
  • Construction begins on new facility for UT Health Clinic.
  • Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board authorizes the planning of first two Ph.D. programs (nursing and human resource development).
  • Civil engineering program begins.


  • Braithwaite Endowed Faculty Chair established.
  • Washington Advisory Group encourages addition of Ph.D. programs and expanded research.
  • Patriot Village student apartments open.
  • Construction begins on engineering, sciences and technology building and student residence hall.
  • University of Texas Health Clinic opens.


  • The Louise Herrington Patriot Center, UT Tyler's health and kinesiology physical education complex, opens.
  • David G. and Jacqueline M. Braithwaite Building opens.
  • Athletic program begins NCAA provisional membership
  • College of Engineering is accredited by ABET.


  • Groundbreaking ceremony for health and kinesiology physical education complex, an 86,000 square-foot facility to house classrooms and faculty offices, indoor jogging/walking track, racquetball courts, fitness equipment and free-weight area, outdoor swimming pool and gymnasium/convocation area with volleyball and basketball courts.
  • Groundbreaking ceremony for David G. and Jacqueline M. Braithwaite Building. The over 30,000-square-foot facility will house classrooms and faculty offices, student lounge area, conference room, study labs, computer labs and nursing skills labs. The high-tech classrooms are equipped for interactive television (ITV) broadcasting to and from other sites.
  • University recognized in Associated Press news report as providing its students with the best opportunity to study with full-time professors - rather than graduate assistants or adjuncts - compared to all other public universities in the state.
  • Largest fall (4,235) and spring (3,807) enrollments to date.


  • UT Tyler announces academic reorganization. UT Tyler Bell Tower
  • UT Tyler announces plans to implement intercollegiate athletics program. Appoints athletic directors and begins competing in NCAA Division III with men’s and women’s tennis program.
  • UT Tyler Riter Millennium Carillon Tower and Plaza completed. With 57 bells, it is the largest carillon in Texas and one of the 20 largest in the nation.
  • UT Tyler R. Don Cowan Fine and Performing Arts Center celebrates fifth anniversary season.


  • UT Tyler students approve recreational facility fee for proposed health and kinesiology physical education complex.
  • UT Tyler begins participation in online master of business administration degree program. The program is offered through The University of Texas TeleCampus.
  • UT Tyler Longview University Center opens.
  • Ralph and Mary John Spence Fountain dedicated.
  • UT Tyler Celia and Sam Roosth Endowed Chair of Education established.


  • New Millennium Vision announces UT Tyler’s 10-year strategic plan for growth.
  • UT Tyler presidential and alumni scholarship program, for community and junior college transfer students, initiated – designed to increase not only the affordability of four-year college degree but also the low number of college graduates in the East Texas region.
  • UT Tyler announces multimillion dollar building campaign to prepare for expected growth in student enrollment.


  • Rodney H. Mabry becomes the university’s third president. Dr. Rodney Mabry
  • UT Tyler admits its first freshman class.
  • UT Tyler School of Business Administration approved for accreditation by the AACSB-The International Association for Management Education.
  • Eighty-four permanent university endowments reach a market value of more than $33 million.


  • UT Tyler four-year status approved by Texas Legislature.
  • Development of UT Tyler Longview University Center approved by Texas Legislature.            
  •  UT Tyler R. Don Cowan Fine and Performing Arts Center opens. This landmark edifice features 2,000 seat Vaughn Auditorium, Braithwaite Recital Hall and Meadows Arts Gallery.
  • Coordinating Board authorizes master of arts in teaching and master of engineering degrees. 


  • UT Tyler George F. Hamm Endowed Chair in Arts and Humanities established by university supporters.
  • UT Tyler Bart Brooks Endowed Professorship of Ethics and Leadership established.
  • Coordinating Board authorizes master’s in political science degree.
  • R. Don Cowan Fine and Performing Arts Center opens.


  • Groundbreaking ceremony for $22 million UT Tyler R. Don Cowan Fine and Performing Arts Center.
  • UT Tyler engineering program approved by Texas Legislature.


  • Coordinating Board authorizes master of science degree in biology.
  • UT Tyler men’s tennis team wins second national title.


  • University Pines apartments, student on-campus housing, opens.


  • Coordinating Board authorizes master of science in mathematics.


  • UT Tyler’s first Interactive Video instruction implemented. Interactive Video


  • UT Tyler’s 10,000th academic degree awarded.
  • UT Tyler initiates plans for Joint Baccalaureate Studies program with area community colleges.


  • Coordinating Board authorizes master of science in nursing degree.
  • UT Tyler men’s tennis team wins national championship.


  • Texas voters add UT Tyler as beneficiary of Texas’ Permanent University Fund (PUF) – provides proceeds from endowed state fund for building construction, thus saving state and local tax monies.
  • UT Tyler Endowed Professorship Program initiated; professorships established by Mary John and Ralph Spence and George W. and Robert S. Pirtle.


  • UT Tyler enrollment surpasses 2,000.
  • $10 million from Lindsey-Merrick Estate bequeathed to UT Tyler.
  • UT Tyler Distinguished Lecture Series introduced. 


  • UT Tyler enrollment surpasses 3,000.George Bush with


  • UT Tyler’s 2,000th academic degree awarded.


  • Dr. George F. Hamm named university’s second president.
  • Robert R. Muntz Library opens, $4.5 million facility largest library collection in 14-county East Texas Planning Region.


  • Work begins on dam between upper and lower levels of Mike Harvey Lake.


  • University becomes component of UT System by action of 66th Texas Legislature. Bill sponsored by State Sen. Peyton McKnight and State Rep. Bill Clark; signed by Gov. William P. Clements Jr.


  • First classes held on new $42 million, nationally-recognized campus.
  • Construction begins on health and physical education facility.


  • Tyler State College becomes Texas Eastern University by action of 64th Texas Legislature. Bill sponsored by State Sen. First UT Tyler Graduating ClassPeyton McKnight and State Rep. Bill Clark; signed by Gov. Dolph Briscoe.
  • First master’s degrees awarded.


  • Small Business Institute created.


  • First class of 176 students enrolls.
  • First commencement ceremony held
  • Tyler philanthropists James S. Hudnall, George W. Pirtle and Isadore Roosth donate land for 204-acre campus.

1972UT Tyler Sign Change

  • Dr. James H. Stewart, Jr., named first president of Tyler State College.


  • Texas Legislature approves bill authored by Billy Williamson and others to create Tyler State College, first state university in 14-county East Texas Planning Region.
  • First Board of Regents for Tyler State College appointed; Harold J. McKenzie, chairman of the board.