10-4-1876. The first public institution of higher education in Texas, Texas A&M opened on October 4, 1876, as the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas. The letters “A&M”, short for “Agricultural and Mechanical”, are retained as a link to the university’s past. The school’s students, alumni, and sports teams are known as “Aggies”.
The main campus is one of the largest in America, spanning 5,200 acres and includes the George Bush Presidential Library. Approximately one-fifth of the student body lives on campus. Students are encouraged to participate in extracurricular activities and can choose from among 800 officially recognized student organizations. Aggie sports teams compete in the Big 12 Conference. The university offers degrees in over 150 courses of study through ten colleges and houses 18 research institutes. Texas A&M has awarded over 320,000 degrees, including 70,000 graduate and professional degrees.