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SOUTH PLAINS COLLEGE

Jeanne F. Lively

SOUTH PLAINS COLLEGE. South Plains College, a junior college in Levelland, was authorized by a vote of Hockley County citizens in April 1957. Three months later $900,000 was approved for purchase of land and equipment and for construction of buildings. When the college opened in 1958, five facilities were completed-the administration building, the library-fine arts buildings, the agriculture-shop building, the gymnasium-student center, and the auditorium. The Whiteface School District joined the college district in 1958. Enrollment during the first year of operation was 574 students; the original faculty had seventeen instructors. Three dormitories were ready for occupancy by 1960, followed by another dormitory and a cafeteria in 1961. A 1963 bond election approved construction of an agriculture building and a science building, as well as enlargement of existing facilities. A fifth dormitory was completed in 1965, bringing the value of land and buildings to over $3,500,000. A 1965 bond issue of $1,765,000 was passed for further expansion of the college. By 1967 enrollment numbered 1,392 and faculty sixty-eight. The college received accreditation in 1963 by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and is accredited by the Texas Association of Colleges and Universities. It is approved by the Texas Education Agency and the Coordinating Board of the Texas College and University System. By the late 1980s the physical plant had grown to twenty-seven buildings including the Texan Dome, the college's basketball facility, which seats 3,200 fans. It also provides for a full range of physical activities, including a junior Olympic-size indoor swimming pool. The library contained 32,000 volumes in 1969, in addition to newspapers and magazines, and by 1989 had 100,000 books, periodicals, documents, and materials. The Sam Blair Collection of unique research materials in Southwestern history and a portion of the Marjorie M. Post Art Collection is housed in the library. In 2001 South Plains College had its main campus in Levelland and three branch campuses in Lubbock. It offered extension courses in Plainview. Students attending the college can earn an associate degree, college credits to transfer to a university, or certificates of proficiency. The Lubbock campus offers course work in allied health and general studies, while the Byron Martin Advanced Technology Center offers course work in business administration and industrial technology. The Reese Center Campus, on the site of a former Lubbock air base, offers arts and science transfer courses and selected technical courses. A unique country and bluegrass course of study is becoming well-known nationally. South Plains College had 332 faculty members and 7,481 students in the fall of 2000. Gary D. McDaniel was president of the college in 2001.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Lillian Brasher, Hockley County (2 vols., Canyon, Texas: Staked Plains, 1976).

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

Handbook of Texas Online, Jeanne F. Lively, "SOUTH PLAINS COLLEGE," accessed April 02, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/kcs09.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Modified on March 29, 2019. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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