Located in Huntsville, Texas, Sam Houston State University (SHSU) is a public, coeducational university that is stands as the third oldest higher education institute in the state of Texas.
Founded in 1879 as a teacher’s college, the institution was named after US politician and solider Sam Houston, who also shares his name with Texas’ most populous city.
The college gradually began to expand and after the First World War the first bachelor’s degrees were offered, and in 1967 the college was granted university status and adopted its current name.
Today it is home to seven individual academic colleges that are situated on the 316-acre campus in central Hunstville, which also has an 18-hole golf course, an observatory and a planetarium.
Around half of SHSU’s annual enrollments each year are first-generation students, and many graduates go on to work in positions in the Texas workforce. In 2010 the university established a success-orientated program, known as the Elite program, which is aimed at supporting first-time minority male freshmen. The university has a strong history of high graduation rates for African American males too.
The university sports teams are known as the Bearkats and play in the NCAA Division I in the Southland Conference. There is a fierce rivalry between SHSU and Stephen F. Austin State University and tensions often run high during the annual football game between the two universities, known as the Battle of the Piney Woods, which dates back to 1923.