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Home to 15,000 students, Lamar University is a member of The Texas State University System. LU offers more than 100 programs of study leading to bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. The 270-acre campus in Beaumont is about 90 miles east of Houston and about 25 miles west of Louisiana.
Lamar University was named after the second president of the Republic of Texas and the “Father of Education” in Texas. The university remains deeply committed to providing students an accessible, affordable, outstanding education. We continue to demonstrate this commitment by building strong programs and offering an expansive selection of bachelor’s and master’s degree programs online, many of which are nationally recognized.
Lamar University was founded in 1923 a few blocks from the current location as South Park Junior College and enrolled 125 students in its first fall semester. The name changed to Lamar College in 1932 in honor of Mirabeau B. Lamar. In the early 1940s, the school separated from the South Park school district, which had created the college, and moved to its current location.
The Prolific Mid-Century Years
In 1951, the school became Lamar State College of Technology, a state-supported four-year institution, and the first junior college in Texas to make such a transition. Lamar University experienced tremendous growth during the 1950s and 1960s in both the number of students and the number of buildings on campus.
Lamar University’s stature as a research institution continued to grow with the introduction in 1970 of its first doctoral program. In 1971, the name changed to Lamar University. During the 1970s, the university began operating branch campuses in Port Arthur and Orange, which later became separate institutions. During the 1980s, the university was part of the Lamar University System.
Record-Setting Enrollment, 1990s to Present
Lamar University joined the Texas State University System in 1995. Under the leadership of President Emeritus James M. Simmons, who served from 1999 to 2013, the university experienced another period of significant growth adding a host of facilities to improve campus life, attracting generous donations from alumni and friends and prestigious research grants to improve scholarship and teaching, while setting repeated enrollment records. LU is a recognized leader in online education and has been designated as a Doctoral Research University by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
The University welcomed its 15th president, Kenneth R. Evans, to the top post July 1, 2013.