North Central Texas College

Lions Field House

Lions Field House on the campus of North Central Texas College, Gainesville

Photo by Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
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North Central Texas College, originally Gainesville Junior College, opened on September 8, 1924, as part of the Gainesville public school system. The new college was the culmination of a campaign led by Gainesville school superintendent Randolph Lee Clark, with the backing of the Gainesville Kiwanis Club and the PTA. A faculty of seven who also shared duties with the high school taught the first college freshman class of thirty-eight. The college occupied part of the Newsome Dougherty High School building. It received official approval of the state superintendent of education in November 1925. Under the guidance of H. O. McCain, Gainesville superintendent and college president (1928–45), the college enrollment increased steadily to well over 100 students during the 1930s; it peaked at 190 in 1939–40. In 1934 Mary Josephine Cox, a college English teacher, bequeathed her total estate to provide financial assistance for county youths to attend the college. In 1945 oil was discovered on the property.

Cooke County voters approved a county-wide college district and a maintenance tax on May 7, 1960. On April 18, 1961, Gainesville College became Cooke County Junior College. It was accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in 1962. John Henry Parker, president from 1960 to 1971, supervised expansion of the college facilities from one building to eight buildings, including a college dormitory. The planetarium-classroom building bears his name. By 1973 the school had added associate-degree programs for registered nursing and law enforcement. A 110-acre part of the former Cox estate became the school farm, highlighted by a beef-cattle evaluation center. The Division of Continuing Education and Extension Services was established in 1973. In 1974 "Junior" was dropped from the college name. Alton Laird, president from 1974 to 1985, added to the curriculum an LVN nursing program, and the first associate-degree paramedical program in the state.

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Ronald W. Melugin | © 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

North Central Texas College is part of or belongs to the following places:

Date of Founding Notes

Classes first held in 1924 as Gainesville Jr. College; Cooke County College, 1960; present name, 1994; five campuses: Bowie, Corinth, Flower Mound, Gainesville, and Graham.


  • Chancellor, Dr. Brent Wallace 2014–Present

Currently Exists


Place type

North Central Texas College is classified as a College or University

External Websites

Fall Faculty Count, 2019 View more »


Fall Enrollment Count, 2022 View more »