Harry C. Farrell, Jr.

TEMPLE COLLEGE. Temple Junior College, now known as Temple College, was organized by the Temple Chamber of Commerce with the assistance of the University of Texas and the board of trustees of the Temple Public Schools. It opened in the fall of 1926 with an enrollment of eighty-seven. The State Department of Education and the Association of Texas Colleges recognized Temple as a first class junior college in 1927. During its early years the college stressed teacher preparation and a classical education. Established as an independent college wholly supported by tuition, Temple encountered financial problems during its first two years. After the defeat of a bond proposal to construct facilities separate from the public schools in 1928, the college would have been forced to close had it not been consolidated with the Temple Public Schools. The public schools shared their administration and faculty, and the consolidation ensured the survival of the college. The college experienced a modest increase in enrollment during the Great Depression and World War II, with an average annual enrollment of 145. In 1941 the state provided assistance for the first time. During the years of consolidation the curriculum expanded, and a summer and evening program of classes was added, but serious political problems plagued the college due to its association with the public schools. In 1955 the Temple Junior College District was established, making possible a bond election of $300,000 for the construction of a building. Members of the alumni association of the college visited every registered voter in the district, and the proposal carried by a vote of six to one. The election provided for a junior college building of 30,000 square feet, on a campus of thirty-two acres donated by the United States government. In 1957 the college moved from Temple High School to a separate campus with its own building and faculty. Racial segregation at the college ended the same year. In 1959 the college acquired its own board of regents, consisting of nine members, and severed all ties with the public schools. In 1959 the college became a member and was accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools. It had earlier joined the Southern Association of Junior Colleges, the Texas Junior College Association, and the American Association of Junior Colleges. Increased state aid and separation from the public schools prompted unprecedented growth after 1959. Enrollment increased from 488 in 1959 to 2,500 in 1984, and the curriculum was expanded in all areas. The summer and evening programs grew, and off-campus, continuing education, and out-of-district classes were established. Technical-vocational programs multiplied after 1973, growing to twenty-one programs by 1984. The curriculum changed from a transfer program to one which made the institution into a comprehensive community college. Twelve buildings were built or remodeled by 1984, and the campus grew to 103 acres. In 1984 the college had a faculty of 102. Temple Junior College had 115 faculty and 2,390 students for the 1992–93 regular term, plus 1,667 for the 1992 summer session. Temple College athletics include men's and women's basketball, baseball, volleyball, tennis, and golf. Students may also pursue extra-curricular activities in speech, drama, music, and various clubs and special-interest groups. The Hubert M. Dawson Library holds 55,000 volumes and 400 periodicals. From 1926 through 1993 eight men served as president. They were Maj. Joseph S. Cook, L. C. Procter, Joe R. Humphrey, George H. Gentry, S. P. Cowan, Newman Smith, Hubert M. Dawson, and Marvin Felder. Marc A. Nigliazzo was president in 2001. In that year, total enrollment at the main campus in Temple and the college's centers in Taylor and Cameron was 3,405 and the faculty numbered eighty-two. The college also operated the Uptown Center in Temple, which housed the Business Growing Center, the Business and Community Education Division, and the computer-aided design department.

Harry C. Farrell, Jr., Temple Junior College: Its Founding, Growth, and Development, 1926–1964 (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Northern Colorado, 1964). Lowell Clark Wilson, A History of the Temple Junior College (M.A. thesis, University of Texas, 1953).

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


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

Handbook of Texas Online, Harry C. Farrell, Jr., "TEMPLE COLLEGE," accessed April 24, 2019, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/kct05.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

Get this week's most popular Handbook of Texas articles delivered straight to your inbox