TAMUK becomes historical landmark

TAMUK becomes historical landmark

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Dr. Steven Tallant (r), President of TAMUK, and Sandra Rexroat, Kleberg County Historical Commission Treasurer, prepare to unveil the historical marker.
Dr. Steven Tallant (r), President of TAMUK, and Sandra Rexroat, Kleberg County Historical Commission Treasurer, prepare to unveil the historical marker.

Texas A&M University- Kingsville was presented with a historical marker on Oct. 17, signifying the importance of the university’s history to the state.

The unveiling took place outside College Hall and was attended by President Dr. Steven H. Tallant, several city commissioners and Kingsville Mayor Sam Fugate. Several guests, alumni, and current students were also present for the unveiling.

“TAMUK is a university that was needed to prepare teachers in South Texas and there was none down here and everyone knew the importance of getting that school. This marker gives us our history and the city that fought for it,” Tallant said in his speech.

The keynote speaker for the event was Dr. Larry Knight, a professor of history in the Department of History and Political Science.

“No one can cover 98 years of history in 10 minutes,” Knight said.

Knight spoke of the several name changes that the university has gone though and the many reasons why he believes TAMUK is special campus.

“I love teaching our students, I can teach history, I can teach reading, I can teach writing, I can’t teach nice and our students are nice,” he said.

Knight also spoke of past students and of the many organizations that the school has to offer and on his own feelings of the historical marker.

“We are a small school, we are not UT-Austin, we are not A&M, we are not Texas Tech, we are not U of H, we are not any big school in any big city, and yet we are such a small school that started in one building, and we have such a big footprint in the state, not just in South Texas,” Knight said. “Having these monuments tells us who we are and where we came from.”

Kleberg County Historical Commission Treasurer Sandra Rexroat gave a short history in the city’s fight to have the university be placed in Kingsville and the growth of the university throughout the years.

“Today the school is known for its academic programs, especially in agriculture, engineering, education, and music as well as its strong Javelina spirit,” Rexroat said.

“This university has been here since 1925 and through the years we have been a prominent player, and now it means that the state of Texas recognizes that,” Tallant said.

The event ended with Tallant and Rexroat unveiling the marker. Gifts were passed out to guests and those present were offered a tour of the university by the Blue and Gold Express.