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Texas A&M University-Commerce confirms ongoing discussions about possible name change

Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp speaks at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Agricultural Multipurpose Education and Training Center and the Ted and Donna Lyon Center for Gamebird Reesearch on Monday, March 18, 2023 in Commerce.
Matt Strasen
Texas AUM University-Commerce
Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp speaks at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Agricultural Multipurpose Education and Training Center and the Ted and Donna Lyon Center for Gamebird Research on March 18, 2023, in Commerce.

A&M-Commerce has been investing heavily in its Dallas campus, A&M-Commerce at Dallas. Alumni, some of whom have circulated an online petition to keep the current name, speculate that a name change would feature "Dallas."

Texas A&M University-Commerce has confirmed rumors that the university is considering a possible name change.

“We are currently engaging with key stakeholders and groups to assess the possibility of a name change for the university,” Michael Johnson, A&M-Commerce Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, said. “These groups and individuals have provided feedback, perspectives, and opinions on the pros and cons of such a change.”

The statement did not mention specifics regarding whether all or part of the name might be changed, or to what.

The institution’s current name dates to 1996, when East Texas State University became Texas A&M University-Commerce. The name change was part of the school’s transfer from the Texas State University System to the Texas A&M University System.

“Whatever happens in the future, we will remain focused on our 135-year mission to transform lives while building on our legacy, traditions, and values,” Johnson said. “We remain committed to ensuring our university is at the forefront of higher education excellence, providing quality and affordable education to urban, suburban, and rural communities across the Northeast Texas region, Texas, and beyond.”

Rumors of a name change involving “Dallas” have been circulating on social media and elsewhere locally in the past week. A petition at Change.org named “Stop the Renaming of Texas A&M University-Commerce” was posted Tuesday. The petition, which has more than 4,000 signatures as of Wednesday evening, says the university is “under threat of being renamed to Texas A&M University-Dallas at Commerce.”

A&M-Commerce has been expanding its investment in its Dallas campus, A&M-Commerce at Dallas. The university currently offers bachelor’s degrees in Agriculture, Art, Computer Science and Information Systems, Curriculum and Instruction, Health and Human Performance, Management and Economics, Psychology and Special Education, and Social Work at the campus.

A&M-Commerce at Dallas is located at 8750 Northpark Central, a mid-rise tower located near the intersection of North Central Expressway and Loop 12. The Dallas campus is featured prominently on the university website, tamuc.edu. A&M-Commerce also offers classes in Bryan, Corsicana, McKinney, and Frisco.

Based in College Station, the Texas A&M University System is one of the largest systems of higher education in the nation. It includes its flagship institution, Texas A&M University, as well as 10 other regional universities, among them A&M-Commerce, as well as eight state agencies.

Founded as East Texas Normal College in 1889, the school has changed names five times. Its current name is the only one in its history that does not include the phrase “East Texas.” Previous names include East Texas State Normal College (1917–1923), East Texas State Teachers College (1923–1957), East Texas State College (1957–1965), and East Texas State University (1965–1996). The current name, Texas A&M University-Commerce, was controversial among those who lamented the change of the name of the university known regionally as “Old E.T.”

Mark Haslett has served at KETR since 2013. Since then, the station's news operation has enjoyed an increase in listener engagement and audience metrics, as well recognition in the Texas AP Broadcasters awards.