Brief History of TWU

An act of the 27th Legislature in 1901 founded the Girls Industrial College as a public institution that would become Texas Woman's University in 1957. The school had then and has now a dual mission: to provide a liberal education and to prepare young women "for the practical industries of the age" with a specialized education.

Men have been admitted to TWU since 1972.

TWU continues today as a public university that offers a comprehensive catalog of academic studies, including baccalaureate, master's and doctoral degrees. Now in its tenth decade, the University has grown from a small college to a major university. TWU is the largest university primarily for women in the United States, with the main campus in Denton and health science centers in Dallas and Houston.

More about TWU History

Highlights by date

1901 — The Girls Industrial College was founded by an act of the 27th Texas Legislature.

1903 — The first building, now known as Old Main, was constructed on campus.

1904 — First graduating class with one graduate, Beulah Kincaid.

1905 — The college’s name is changed to the College of Industrial Arts (CIA).

1910 — CIA becomes the first institution of higher learning to establish and maintain a department of music.

1915 — The first bachelor’s degrees are awarded at CIA.

1917 — The first kindergarten at a public institution is established at CIA.

1923 — CIA becomes an accredited member of the Southern Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools.

1930 — Graduate studies are established at the college.

1934 — The college’s name changes to Texas State College for Women.

1953 — The first doctoral degrees are awarded at TSCW.

1954 — The college’s nursing program begins in Dallas at Parkland Hospital.

1957 — The college’s name changes to Texas Woman’s University.

1960 — The TWU Institute of Health Sciences-Houston Center opens in the Texas Medical Center.

1966 — The TWU Institute of Health Sciences-Dallas Center opens near Parkland Hospital.

1972 — Men are admitted into TWU’s graduate programs and undergraduate and graduate health sciences professions programs in Denton, Dallas and Houston.

1976 — Mary Evelyn Blagg Huey becomes the first woman president of TWU.

1977 — TWU opens the Presbyterian campus, the university’s second clinical center in Dallas.

1986 — The Mary Evelyn Blagg Huey Library opens on the Denton campus.

1992 — The TWU Stroke Center-Dallas is established to provide treatment and training in neurological rehabilitation specifically for stroke patients.

1994 — Men are admitted to all undergraduate degree programs at TWU.

2002 — The TWU soccer team begins its inaugural season in the fall, joining basketball, gymnastics, softball and volleyball.

2004 — TWU launches G-Force, a program aimed at increasing higher education enrollment for first-generation students. The first Go-Center — a physical space in a high school that offers admission and financial aid application assistance and other information — opened in spring 2005.

2006 — The new, state-of-the-art TWU Houston Center opens at the southern gateway to the Texas Medical Center.

2007 — The new Redbud Theater Complex opens on the northwest side of Hubbard Hall.

2008 — The TWU gymnastics team wins its ninth USA Gymnastics Collegiate National Championship.

2009-10 — TWU celebrates a Decade of Achievement, marking 10 years of student, faculty and staff accomplishments; academic innovations; enrollment growth; technological advances; and transformed facilities.

2010-11 — The TWU basketball team captures the university’s first-ever Lone Star Conference Championship and advances to the NCAA Tournament.

2011 — The TWU T. Boone Pickens Institute of Health Sciences-Dallas Center opens, combining the university’s Parkland and Presbyterian centers at the Parkland site. The Denton campus sees the opening of two new buildings: the Ann Stuart Science Complex, named for TWU Chancellor Ann Stuart, and the Fitness and Recreation Center.

2012 — The university launches its mobile website, TWU Mobile, in January.

2013 — Terry Foundation Scholarships become available for TWU students.

2014 — Carine M. Feyten, Ph.D. becomes the second chancellor and the 11th president of TWU. Landon Dickerson is the first male student to be elected TWU student body president. TWU implements the state’s first TeachLivE™ lab, a computer-simulated classroom.

2018 — The Institute for Women's Leadership is established to serve the State of Texas as a resource for scholarship and research and to prepare more women to take on successful roles in business and public service. The TWU gymnastics team wins its 11th USA Gymnastics Collegiate National Title, a back-to-back win for the Pioneers, who also hold the 2017 title.

2019 — TWU celebrates the 80th anniversary of the Little Chapel-in-the-Woods. "Mack Minded: Humanly Possible," the story of TWU's former research director Pauline Beery Mack, places third in NASA's CineSpace film competition. TWU is named National Outdoor Champion in the Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education Campus Challenge. A new Dining Hall and Parliament Village, including Mary's Hall, open on the Denton campus, and the softball field is renamed in honor of alumna and former coach Dianne Baker.

Page last updated 3:39 PM, June 10, 2022