Created by legislation signed by Governor Oran M. Roberts on April 21, 1879, Sam Houston Normal Institute's dedicated goal was
to train teachers for the public schools of Texas--the first of its kind west of the Mississippi River. On October 10 of the same year, the first class of 110 students and four faculty
commenced instruction on the site of what had once been the campus of Austin College.When the university first opened, students received a certification to teach in the state's elementary and secondary schools,
but after 1919, the university began to award bachelor's degrees. In 1923, the school was renamed the Sam Houston State Teachers
College. In 1936, the school awarded its first post-baccalaureate degree. In 1965, the school was renamed, again, to Sam Houston
State College, and, finally, to Sam Houston State University in 1969.