Texas Tech’s centennial isn’t just about the last 100 years; it’s also about the next.
A lot can change in 100 years.
In 1923, when Lubbock was chosen as the home for Texas Technological College, the city of just over 4,000 residents extended only a few blocks west of Avenue Q. The land on which the new college was going to be built was part of the Spade Ranch, a wide-open, grassy plain for cattle ranching.
Today, Texas Tech University's student population alone is more than 40,000 – that's 10 times the entire city's population a century ago – and our wide, grassy plain has become a strikingly beautiful college campus, thanks to our distinctive Spanish Renaissance architectural style.
But as we launch our centennial celebration, “Eyes on the Horizon,” the growth of the last 100 years is only part of the story. The real focus is not only on what we have done, but also what we will do.
“In our first century, we have become a world-class, internationally recognized university,” said Texas Tech President Lawrence Schovanec. “Our second century is an opportunity for us to elevate our thinking even further; to serve all who choose to pursue a college degree at Texas Tech, no matter where they come from; and to find creative solutions to some of the world's biggest challenges. We have the capacity to do all these things, and we will.”
Part of the commemoration will focus on the legacy of giving back that dates to the college's earliest days. Texas Tech has set a goal for Red Raiders around the world to complete 1 million hours of volunteerism and service during the centennial so that, while marking our history, we will create an even greater impact. Participants can log their hours here, and in the spirit of friendly competition, winners will be recognized in four categories:
- Most hours completed by at Texas Tech student organization
- Most hours completed by a Texas Tech Alumni Association chapter
- Most hours by a graduating class
- Most hours by graduating classes per decade (1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, etc.)
A full schedule of events has been planned, including many that can count toward these service hours. Find the list here.
Also planned for the centennial is a special exhibition at the Museum of Texas Tech that shares the university's success story. It will be unveiled in December, and a mobile tour will spread the message statewide.
A new book, “100 Years, 100 Voices,” will share the stories of people who made Texas Tech their home, were changed by their time here and ultimately went on to make their own impacts on the university. Pre-orders are being taken now, and the book will be on sale later this fall. Centennial merchandise will be available to purchase here.
Texas Tech also has created a special website to keep you up-to-date on all centennial news and events. On the site are videos, free digital downloads, a gallery of historical comparison photos, historical timelines, defining moments in Texas Tech history and more.
The centennial celebration will kick off at the 64th annual Carol of Lights at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 2. The annual event, one of the university's largest and oldest traditions, is attended by thousands of students, alumni and members of the Lubbock community each year. But this year's program will be reimagined with live entertainment by Wade Bowen and The Maines Brothers Band, new staging, lighting and sound as well as a firework display to conclude the night.
The commemoration will last through Dec. 1, 2023, with events in Lubbock, across Texas and beyond. Don't miss out on this incredible celebration of Texas Tech!