Howard College

Photo of Howard College sign

Howard College sign, Big Spring, TX

Photo by Billy Hathorn, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
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Map of Howard County

Howard College, in Big Spring, was established in 1945 as Howard County Junior College. E. C. Dodd was chosen the first president, to begin office in the spring of 1946. Negotiation with the federal government resulted in temporary quarters for the coeducational junior college in the hospital area of the former Big Spring Army Air Force Bombardier School, two miles west of town. The first session began in September 1946 with an enrollment of 148. In September 1951 the college moved to new quarters on a 100-acre site in southeast Big Spring. William A. Hunt served as president from 1952 to 1972. Enrollment increased from 337 to 879 between 1951 and 1964. The physical plant consisted of an administration-classroom-library building, a practical-arts building, a greenhouse, a music building, and dormitories, in addition to athletic facilities including a 10,000-seat stadium.

The library had 20,000 books in 1969 and added 800 to 1,000 titles annually. It provided service primarily for students and faculty and secondarily for citizens of the community. The college promoted lecture series, musical and stage productions, athletic events, and other activities. Full accreditation was granted by the Southern Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools and by the Association of Texas Colleges and Universities. Courses of study designed for academic, preprofessional, and terminal technical or vocational fields were offered for regular, evening, and summer session students. By the 1974–75 regular term the enrollment had increased to 1,373, and the faculty numbered more than fifty. Charles D. Hays was president. By 1974 the school's name had been changed to Howard College at Big Spring. In November 1979 the board of trustees approved a new program, Southwest Collegiate Institute for the Deaf, which began instruction in August 1980. It is located on a fifty-seven-acre campus in Big Spring, the former site of Webb Air Force Base.

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Nancy Young | © TSHA

Handbook of Texas Logo

Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.

Belongs to

Howard College is part of or belongs to the following places:

Date of Founding Notes

Classes first held in 1945; also has campuses in Lamesa and San Angelo.


  • President, Dr. Cheryl T. Sparks 1992–Present

Currently Exists


Place type

Howard College is classified as a College or University

External Websites

Fall Faculty Count, 2019 View more »


Fall Enrollment Count, 2022 View more »