Texas A&M University is one of only 17 institutions in the nation to hold the triple designation as a land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant university.
In July 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed into legislation the Land Grant College Act—more formally known as the Morrill Act—bringing thousands of Americans access to knowledge and education. The act provided donations of public land to the states for the purpose of funding higher education. The nation’s 74 land-grant universities boast some of the top research programs in the world, with Texas A&M as a leading member.
In 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the National Sea Grant College Act, which created a network of universities focused on the use and conservation of aquatic resources. Already managing the Texas Maritime Academy in Galveston (later to become Texas A&M’s branch campus), Texas A&M was named one of the nation’s first four Sea-Grant colleges in 1971.
Texas A&M became a Space-Grant University in 1989, when the National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA) initiated the National Space Grant and Fellowship Program, a national network of colleges and universities dedicated to expanding opportunities for Americans to participate in NASA projects.