Members Only Area
Bookmark and Share
sidebar menu icon


LAMAR STATE COLLEGE–PORT ARTHUR. Lamar State College–Port Arthur is a two-year, lower division institution located on twenty-two acres of land. The school was founded in 1909 as Port Arthur College by John Warne Gates. Port Arthur College was a city-owned, nonprofit, vocational school specializing in business and electronics education, offering training in stenography, secretarial work, bookkeeping, accounting, and radio. by 1925 the college owned a fifteen-acre campus; in 1933 radio station KPAC was established. In 1947 the school had twenty-five faculty members and an average annual enrollment of 800. A new $800,000 classroom-administration building was occupied in November 1967, and two new buildings were erected to house vocational programs in 1973 and 1974. The 1974–75 regular term enrollment was 409 students. Port Arthur College joined Lamar University in 1975 and was designated as a component of the Lamar University System in 1983. It received degree-granting status from the Texas legislature in 1991. The school now provides courses leading to an associate of arts or science degree as well as academic courses preparatory to pursuit of a baccalaureate degree. Vocational and technical courses are offered in a variety of fields. The branch campus comprises fifteen buildings, including the A. J. M. Vuylsteke home, the former residence of the Consul of the Netherlands now used as a campus meeting site, and Gates Memorial Library, which houses over 29,000 volumes. In 1991, with 102 full and part-time faculty and an enrollment of 2,039, the university was accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. In 1995 the school became part of the Texas State University System, and in 1999 its name was changed from Lamar University–Port Arthur to Lamar State College–Port Arthur. Enrollment in the spring of 2001 was 3,086 with a faculty of 144. W. Sam Monroe was president.


Ray Asbury, The South Park Story, 1891–1971, and the Founding of Lamar University, 1923–1941 (Beaumont: South Park Historical Committee, 1972).

Diana J. Kleiner


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Diana J. Kleiner, "LAMAR STATE COLLEGE-PORT ARTHUR," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed November 27, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.