THIS IS TEXAS TECH History & Traditions

Mission Statement

As a public research university, Texas Tech advances knowledge through innovative and creative teaching, research, and scholarship. The university is dedicated to student success by preparing learners to be ethical leaders for a diverse and globally competitive workforce. The university is committed to enhancing the cultural and economic development of the state, nation, and world.


Texas Tech University is in the midst of the most exciting time in the school’s history. As the university embarks on becoming the state’s next national research university, the opportunities for students could not be greater.

Administration Building

Established in 1923, Texas Tech University sits on a 1,840-acre campus that features expansive lawns, impressive landscaping and Spanish Renaissance–style architecture. Texas Tech has the distinction of being the largest comprehensive higher education institution in the western two-thirds of the state and serves a region larger than 46 of the nation’s 50 states.

A major research university with the feel of a smaller liberal arts institution, Texas Tech’s enrollment of more than 36,000 allows students to have one-on-one interactions with top faculty in a safe, traditional campus atmosphere.


The university offers more than 150 bachelor’s degrees, 100 master’s degrees and 50 doctoral degree choices. Plus, as part of the Texas Tech University System, Texas Tech shares the same campus with its sister university the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. The close proximity makes Texas Tech the only institution in the state with undergraduate and graduate schools, a law school and medical school all in close proximity to each other, which facilitates the transition to professional studies.

A strong art and music program is balanced with growing research in a number of sustainable energy areas. New areas of research in solar and nuclear energies as well as smart grids and storage are supported by major endowed chairs for which national searches are currently underway. Texas Tech researchers are also known for their work in creative and technical writing, food safety, environmental toxicology and wind science.

English and Philosophy

Texas Tech is proud to boast of one of the finest and most diverse faculties in the nation. Our faculty members excel in teaching, research and service as demonstrated by the award winning chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious honor society. From prestigious nationally competitive scholarship, such as the William J. Fulbright, Gates-Cambridge, and Barry M. Goldwater, to national championships in animal science, debate and law, Texas Tech students are known nationwide for their successes.


Community engagement plays an important role at Texas Tech. In 2006, the university was one of the first 62 institutions and the first in Texas to earn the Carnegie Foundation’s classification for Community Engagement. In subsequent years the university was named to the Corporation for National and Community Service President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.

The university has welcomed more Red Raiders to campus in each of its past several falls and enrollment is on the rise. The school on course to reach its institutional goal of 40,000 by 2020.

Will Rogers on Soapsuds


CHANCELLOR Tedd mitchell

Mitchell, who arrived in Lubbock in 2010 as president of Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC), will serve a dual role as chancellor of the system while remaining president of TTUHSC.

“To become the chancellor of a university system of this caliber is the honor of a lifetime,” said Mitchell. “The Texas Tech University System is a special place with significant responsibility and opportunity, and I am grateful for the support of the Board of Regents, my fellow presidents and our entire Red Raider and Ram families. Serving as the chancellor, while also continuing as TTUHSC president, provides a critical link in remaining directly connected to our faculty and students. My dedication to both roles will be unwavering, and I look forward to a strong and successful future for our four universities.”

The Board of Regents named Mitchell the sole finalist for the position of chancellor on Oct. 4 during his tenure as interim chancellor, which began Sept. 1.

“Throughout the past few months, Dr. Mitchell has been invaluable in maintaining the momentum of the Texas Tech University System during a time of transition,” said Chairman of the Board of Regents Tim Lancaster. “He is a proven leader who acts thoughtfully and with integrity. Tedd’s love of our universities and belief in our mission is evident. The Board of Regents looks forward to working with him in this new capacity and are confident we will continue to achieve great things under his leadership.”

Mitchell will serve as the chancellor and chief executive officer for the TTU System, which includes four universities: Texas Tech University, TTUHSC, Angelo State University and Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso. The TTU System was established in 1996 and currently operates on 17 campuses statewide and internationally.

Mitchell became president of TTUHSC on May 17, 2010 and is the university’s longest-tenured president. During this time, TTUHSC has grown to graduate more health care professionals than any other health-related institution in the state. Under his leadership, TTUHSC has experienced the largest facility expansion since its inception and successfully established the system’s fourth university, TTUHSC El Paso.

During his tenure as president, Mitchell and the TTUHSC leadership team have raised more than $186.7 million in philanthropic activity with public support.

Prior to coming to TTUHSC, Mitchell served as president and CEO of the Cooper Clinic in Dallas, an internationally-recognized center of excellence in preventive and sports medicine.

Mitchell is an Ashbel Smith Distinguished Alumnus of the University of Texas Medical Branch, where he received his Doctor of Medicine degree in 1987. After graduation he pursued training in Internal Medicine. In 2012, Mitchell was honored as a distinguished alumnus of the Department of Internal Medicine. He is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians and the American College of Sports Medicine. From 1988 to 1996, he served as a captain in the U.S. Army Reserves (Medical Corps).

Mitchell is married to Dr. Janet Tornelli-Mitchell. They met while in medical school and practiced together for nearly two decades. The Mitchells have three children, Katherine, an assistant district attorney in Dallas, Charlie, a petroleum engineer in Dallas and a Texas Tech University alumnus, and Chris, a Texas Tech University alumnus, living in Philadelphia pursuing a master’s degree at Villanova University.



Dr. Lawrence Schovanec is the 17th president of Texas Tech University. Prior to his appointment he served as the university provost since December 2013 and was interim president from July 2012 through March 2013. He also served as the dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, and chair of the Department of Mathematics & Statistics.

Dr. Schovanec earned his doctorate in mathematics from Indiana University, his master's degree from Texas A&M University and a Bachelor of Science degree from Phillips University. Other than two appointments as a visiting professor at Texas A&M and a research fellow at the U.S. Air Force Astronautics Laboratory, Schovanec has spent his entire career at Texas Tech University. He has published primarily in the areas of biomechanical and physiological control systems and solid mechanics. He has spoken extensively at international conferences and other professional venues. As an administrator he has been a strong advocate for educational and outreach activities in areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). In support of his research and STEM activities he has received more than $3.2 million in external funding, primarily from the National Science Foundation.

Dr. Schovanec has received the President's Excellence in Teaching Award and is a member of the Texas Tech Teaching Academy. In 2011, he was a recipient of the Texas Tech University Inclusive Excellence Award given by the Division of Institutional Diversity, Equity, and Community Engagement.



mission statement: To Educate, serve, and grow fearless champions

Kirby Hocutt has guided the Texas Tech athletics department to unprecedented success since being named the 13th Director of Athletics in school history on March 2, 2011.

Hocutt, who also serves as the College Football Playoff Selection Committee Chairman, led Texas Tech to one of its most successful campaigns over the course of the 2015-16 academic year where Texas Tech claimed three Big 12 championships (women’s soccer, men’s tennis, baseball) and had 14 of its 17 intercollegiate teams advance to the NCAA postseason.

In fact, Texas Tech was the only Big 12 program during the 2015-16 year to qualify for a bowl game and have its men’s basketball and baseball teams both advance to the NCAA Tournament. The Red Raider baseball program capped the successful year by winning the Big 12 regular-season title and advancing to the College World Series for the second time in the past three seasons.

Hocutt arrived at Texas Tech following three years at the University of Miami (Fla.) where he was named Athletics Director on Feb. 8, 2008. He previously earned his first opportunity as an NCAA Division I athletics director at Ohio University in 2005 at just the age of 33.

A Sherman, Texas native, Hocutt also served stints in the athletics departments at Kansas State (1996-97) and the University of Oklahoma (1998-2005). Prior to his stint at Oklahoma, Hocutt served as the coordinator of licensing at the National Collegiate Athletic Association. He began his sports administration career as the assistant director of marketing and promotions at his alma mater, Kansas State University.

A former football student-athlete at Kansas State, Hocutt was a four-year letterman at linebacker while leading the Big 8 Conference in tackles as a junior in 1993. Hocutt, who was elected captain his senior year, was named to the All-Big 8 Conference team following his junior season. The Sporting News selected him in 1993 as one of the nation's top-20 “most underrated” players.

Hocutt earned his bachelor's degree from Kansas State in 1995 and his masters of education degree from the University of Oklahoma in 2001. He and his wife, Diane, have two sons – Drew Phillips (14) and Brooks Ryan (12).



The “Spirit of Raiderland“ comes in many forms. The 400 member award winning Goin Band From Raiderland, the Tech Cheerleaders, the Tech Pom Squad, the Saddle Tramps, the High Riders, Raider Red and of course the Masked Rider. All of these groups help make the Texas Tech athletic experience a thrilling one. The true “Spirit of Raiderland“ comes only from the hearts of Red Raider fans who bleed Red and Black.

Tradition abounds at Texas Tech and the Spirit of Raiderland is best exhibited during football season. Whether it is through singing FIGHT RAIDERS FIGHT or the Matador Song with your Guns Up or wrapping Will Rogers the night before the game,


Fight, Matadors, for Tech!

Songs of love we’ll sing to thee,

Bear our banners far and wide.

Ever to be our pride,

Fearless champions ever be.

Stand on heights of victory.

Strive for honor evermore.

Long live the Matadors!

Music by Harry Lemaire, words by R.C. Marshall


Fight, Raiders, Fight! Fight, Raiders, Fight!

Fight for the school we love so dearly.

You’ll hit ‘em high, you’ll hit ‘em low.

You’ll push the ball across the goal,

Tech, Fight! Fight!

We’ll praise your name, boost you to fame.

Fight for the Scarlet and Black.

You will hit em, you will wreck ‘em.

Hit ‘em! Wreck ‘em, Texas Tech!

And the Victory Bells will ring out!

Written by Carroll McMat


fearless champion

The Masked Rider is the oldest and most popular tradition of Texas Tech University that still exists today. Originally the Masked Rider began as a dare in 1936 and was called the ghost rider, because no one knew the identity of the rider. These ghost riders circled the field at home football games and then disappeared.

The Masked Rider did not become the official mascot until 1954, when Joe Kirk Fulton led the football team out onto the field at the Gator Bowl. Fulton, wearing jeans, red shirt, black cape and who was mounted on a black horse, awed the crowd as the team made one of the most sensational entrances ever.

Joe Kirk Fulton

Today the Masked Rider, with his or her guns up, leads the football team out onto the field for all of the home games. The Masked Rider is one of the most visible figures at Tech and was recently named by the Associated Press as the ninth-best mascot in college football.

masked rider photos

raider red

Raider Red

Prior to the 1971 season, the Southwest Conference passed a rule that prevented members of the conference from taking live animals to non-home games unless the host team had no objections. So Jim Gaspard, a member of Saddle Tramps, created Raider Red from a drawing by the late Lubbock cartoonist Dirk West as an alternative to the Masked Rider when the horse couldn’t travel with the football team. Raider Red’s student persona is kept a secret from the Tech community. Red is a public relations mascot who shakes hands with the crowds at athletic events and poses for pictures. Raider Red fires his two 12-gauge shotguns using powder-filled shells after every Tech touchdown and field goal.

Born of paper and ink, and originally constructed from papier-mache and chicken wire, Raider Red is one of the most beloved traditions of Texas Tech, with a more than 40-year history.

2012 capital one mascot of the year

This mascot of humble beginnings went on to win the title of 2012 Capital One National Mascot of the Year, after thousands of fans voted online for the mustached character. | Story

raider red photos

get your guns up

sun's up, guns up

The hand sign of the Red Raiders can be traced back to L. Glenn Dippel, a 1961 alumnus of Texas Tech, and his wife, Roxie. The sign is made by extending the index finger outward while extending the thumb upward and tucking in the middle, little and fourth fingers to form a gun. The idea is that the Red Raiders will shoot down their opponents. The Guns Up sign is the widely recognized greeting of one Red Raider to another. It is also the sign of victory displayed by the crowd at every athletic event.

texas tech traditions

traditions from a to z

Today Texas Tech tradition and legends surrounds the statue. According to one legend, the plan to face Will Rogers so that he could be riding off into the sunset did not work out as it would cause Soapsuds’ rear to be facing downtown. To solve this problem, the horse and Will was turned 23 degrees to the east so the horse’s posterior was facing in the direction of Texas A&M, one of the school’s rivals.

Before every home football game the Saddle Tramps wrap Old Will with red crepe paper. Will Rogers and Soapsuds have also been wrapped up in black crepe paper to mourn national tragedies.


Modeled after La Universidad de Alcala de Hernales in Spain, the Administration Building was one of the original campus buildings. The most recognized building on campus, it has three floors and a basement, twin bell towers, salle port, double wings and a courtyard. Among the offices in the “Ad Building” are the Chancellor’s Office, President’s Office and Board of Regents Office in the east wing and the College of Education in the west wing.


When Texas Tech first started, most of the funds went towards the buildings, but the campus was lacking its landscape. Then, in 1937, president Knapp decided to dedicate one day every spring to beautify the campus.On the first day of this now annual tradition, 20,000 trees were planted.

This Tech tradition still goes on today as student and teachers plant trees and beautify the campus each Arbor Day.


While also arguably owning the most nicknames - “Stinnett Stingray,” the “Golden Palomino” and “Donny Wonderful” - All-American Donny Anderson also held many of Texas Tech’s football records when his legendary career ended with the 1965 season. He finished fourth in the 1965 Heisman Trophy race. Anderson later played nine seasons in the NFL, including on both of Green Bay’s Super Bowl champion teams in 1967 and 1968. He scored a touchdown in the ‘68 Super Bowl against Oakland.


The football field carpet, installed in 2006, is the sixth different surface covering the Jones AT&T Stadium floor since Tech switched to turf in 1970. The current surface is known as Fieldturf. The old astroturf was removed and sold to the public.


Saddle Tramps carry Bangin Bertha, a bell on a trailer, to all home football games and homecoming events. Bertha was designed in 1959 by Saddle Tramp Joe Winegar, and was donated by the Santa Fe Railroad. Bangin’ Bertha is considered a spirit-raiser and a big tradition at Texas Tech.


On St. Patrick’s Day in 1939 Texas Tech University unveiled that they had discovered a piece of the Blarney Stone. According to the legend the stone was discovered by a group of petroleum engineers while they were on a field trip. After doing tests it was discovered that the stone was a piece of the original Blarney Stone.

The stone now lies on a stand in front of the old Electrical Engineering Building. It is said that seniors that kiss the Blarney Stone upon graduation will receive the gift of eloquent speech.


To celebrate the holiday season Texas Tech holds an annual event called the Carol of Lights. The event starts off with the Texas Tech University Combined Choirs performing selections of classic holiday songs at the Science Quadrangle. This tradition started in 1959 when Harold Hinn came up with the idea and provided the funds to cover the science quadrangle and the administration building with lights. Unfortunately students were away on Christmas break and did not see the display. The next year the Residence Hall Association created the Christmas Sing, which is now known as the Carol of Lights. Today, the Carol of Lights is one of Texas Tech’s favorite traditions.


Texas Tech’s third football coach, Pete Cawthon had quite a friend in his corner. Notre Dame’s legendary Knute Rockne was among those who recommended Cawthon for the job as Texas Tech’s head football coach. Cawthon’s squads posted a 76-32-6 record in his 11 years as head coach. Cawthon left Texas Tech in 1940 and later coached professionally in Brooklyn and Detroit. He died on Dec. 31, 1962, and is the subject of a book called “Tender Tyrant,” written by Etta Lynch in 1976 and published by Staked Plains Press, Inc.


The “father of the national letter of intent,” Dr. J. William Davis was chairman of Texas Tech’s Athletic Council. He devised the form that insured coaches could not pirate another school’s recruits. The measure was adopted in 1964 by the College Commissioners Association. Under the “Davis Plan,” as a news service dubbed the program, major conferences agreed to honor each others’ letters of intent; that is, agreements by high school athletes to accept an athletic scholarship from a particular school. A national letter of intent, embracing all NCAA members, failed to pass at the 1962 NCAA convention, when smaller colleges opposed the plan. Davis served as Southwest Conference president, NCAA vice-president and was a member of the NCAA Infractions Committee.


An image study in 1989 brought out loud and clear that to Texas Techsans the Double T represents tradition, pride and school identity. Historical evidence suggests that Tech’s first football coaches, E.Y. Freeland and Grady Higginbotham, are the originators of this campus trademark, first using it on letter sweaters. No campus symbol is so readily identified with Texas Tech as the Double T.


Located in the courtyard behind the Administration Building, this special bench was given by the seniors of the class of 1931. It was an announced tradition that no freshmen were allowed to sit on it.


Before the football team goes out onto the field they touch the sculpture of a saddle. The saddle was dedicated by the Saddle Tramps to Double T, one of the many Masked Rider Horses that served proudly over the years.


Better known as “Spike,” Texas Tech’s 12th head football coach, Dykes posted a record of 82-67-1 in his 13 years of leading the Red Raiders and is the school’s all-time winningest coach. He got his nickname from a Dick Tracy character from the World War II era. He was named the Southwest Conference’s coach of the year three times and was the first coach to receive the honor from the Big 12 Conference. He took over the Tech football program in 1986 in December before the Red Raiders battled Mississippi in the Independence Bowl. He is Tech’s all-time winningest coach in Southwest Conference games and led the Red Raiders to a school-record four-consecutive bowls entering 1997. He was born in Lubbock, went to high school in Ballinger and graduated from Stephen F. Austin in 1959. Dykes came to Tech as defensive coordinator in 1984.


Texas Tech’s first football coach, E.Y. Freeland was hired in June 1925. He compiled a 21-10-6 record for four seasons from 1925-28.


Tech claimed a 35-13 win over Auburn in the ‘54 Gator Bowl, which marked the first televised game ever for the school. The contest also gave birth to another long-standing Texas Tech tradition. Riding a horse named Blackie, Tech student Joe Kirk Fulton, wearing Levi’s, red shirt, red and black cape and a black cowboy hat, led the team onto the field. Thus the “Masked Rider” was born. Most recently, the Red Raiders staged a thrilling, fourth quarter came-from-behind win over the No. 20 Virginia Cavaliers in the 2008 Konica Minolta Gator Bowl.


Five Red Raiders have finished among the top vote getters in the race for college football’s most prestigious trophy. Texas Tech’s Byron Hanspard garnered 251 points in 1996 to finish sixth overall in the voting. Donny Anderson posted Tech’s all-time highest finish in the Heisman voting when the running back received 408 points to finish fourth in 1965. E.J. Holub finished 10th in the 1960 Heisman ballot with 117 points. Quarterbacks Kliff Kingsbury and B.J. Symons finished ninth and tenth, respectively, in the voting in 2002 and 2003.


Texas Tech’s first consensus Division I All-America at center and linebacker, Lubbock native E.J. Holub was named to the Southwest Conference’s Hall of Honor in 1994. Holub went on to a 10-year career in the NFL, playing for the Dallas Texans of the AFL and the Kansas City Chiefs of the NFL. He achieved an NFL first as the only player to start on both offense and defense in two separate Super Bowls. He was also inducted into the Texas Tech Athletic Hall of Honor in 1977 and is a member of the Texas Sports Hall of Fame and the College Football Hall of Fame.


Held each fall Homecoming brings back Tech-exes and fans to join with students for a bonfire and pep rally, parade, open houses, awards programs, and float competitions. Homecoming dates back to 1930 when Texas Tech lost 20-6 to Hardin-Simmons. A highlight of Homecoming is election of a queen, the first being Suzanne Matteson in 1954.


The Sept. 18, 1965, Texas Tech game against Kansas—a 26-7 Tech win—was the first intercollegiate football contest to use instant video replay (Ampex). Robert “Daddy Warbucks” Walker, a Texas Tech grad, pioneered the equipment used by coach JT King to review plays immediately. However, the new twist was eliminated by the NCAA in 1967 because the technology was too costly for some schools.


Completed in 1947 and named for former Texas Tech president Clifford B. Jones and his wife Audrey, Jones AT&T Stadium originally seated 18,000. The first game was played on November 29, 1947, with a 14-6 Texas Tech victory over Hardin-Simmons. Following the last game of the 1959 season, the stadium was widened to the east for additional seating and the playing field lowered to a depth of 28 feet. Successive additions in 1969 and 1972 took the stadium to its current seating capacity of 50,050. In 1979, the Lettermen’s Lounge was completed on the north end of the stadium. A large Double T scoreboard was added on the south end, and athletic department offices were renovated and expanded in 1990.

Texas Tech celebrated the 50th anniversary of the stadium in 1997. West side renovations were recently completed and include the addition of a new press box, club seats and luxury suites and increased capacity.


The founder of the Saddle Tramps in 1936, Arch Lamb was head cheerleader when he formed the all-male booster organization. The group was founded based on three principles - spirit, service and leadership. The Texas Tech legend passed away in March 2004.


Texas Tech has had several, including the current Masked Rider. The first, a black calf, was donated to the team after Tech’s first victory, a 30-0 decision in the third game of 1925. The calf was branded with the winning score and later slaughtered and barbecued for the team with the idea that the hide would be tanned and placed in the trophy room. However, the hide did not retain its hair and thus was lost. One accomplishment the calf made during its one-year reign was that no opposing fan and was ever able to ride it without being thrown. This became a regular performance during halftime at Tech’s first games.


Texas Tech played its first football game on Oct. 3, 1925, against McMurry. The game ended in a controversial 0-0 tie. The referee ruled that time had expired before Texas Tech’s Elson Archibald made his apparent game-winning 20-yard field goal. The decision came much to the dismay of the players and fans who were in the midst of a wild celebration. Reports after the game explained that the referee was getting revenge on Texas Tech because he was not named the school’s football coach.

The Dallas-based department store drew the wrath of Texas Tech fans after the school’s attempt to join the Southwest Conference was denied in 1952. Red Raider fans were so angry that many cut up their Neiman-Marcus charge cards and mailed them to the store. Legend has it that Stanley Marcus got involved and helped sway SMU’s vote toward Tech’s favor.


Interestingly, Texas Tech was almost nicknamed the Dogies, as suggested by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. But the first athletic teams became known as the Matadors, instead, thanks to the head coach’s wife. Mrs. Ewing Young Freeland preferred Matadors because of the Spanish architectural influence on campus. The college colors of scarlet and black and team name of Matadors were adopted by students on March 15, 1926, during a convocation. The teams remained as Matadors until 1936 when Red Raiders was adopted. The name-change from Matadors to Red Raiders came from Lubbock Avalanche-Journal sports writer Collier Parris, reflecting on their red uniforms and a strong season. Covering a football game in 1932, he wrote: “The Red Raiders from Texas Tech, terror of the Southwest this year, swooped in the New Mexico University camp today.” The name caught on and by 1936, the Matadors had faded into history, replaced by the Red Raiders.


One of the most popular events associated with Texas Tech football is Raider Alley. Raider Alley is Texas Tech’s answer to tailgating. Food, beverages, games, live entertainment and merchandise are available in a festive pregame atmosphere. Raider Alley is shoulder-to-shoulder football fans gearing-up for the upcoming game. It usually begins three hours prior to kickoff.


To accommodate the $2 million stadium expansion after the 1959 season, each of the seven sections—estimated at 10 million pounds—were moved back more than 200 feet on railroad tracks with long steel rollers. The move was considered an engineering marvel for the times.


The 1965 Texas Tech matchup with Kansas was the only game involving a Southwest Conference team called early because of bad weather. The game was called 56 seconds into the final period after heavy rains, strong winds and a tornado alert threatened the 35,300 fans in attendance.


Three Red Raider football players have had their jersey numbers retired. E.J. Holub’s No. 55 was retired on Dec. 19, 1960, and Donny Anderson’s No. 44 was retired Nov. 11, 1995. Dave Parks’ No. 81 jersey was retired Nov. 17, 2001. Both Holub and Anderson are members of the College Football Hall of Fame.


Formed by Tech student Arch Lamb in 1936, this all-male booster organization supports men’s athletics at Texas Tech. The name Saddle Tramp came from the stories of traveling men who would come to a farm for a brief time, fix up some things and move on. Lamb said he decided that he could fix up some things himself before moving on, and the Saddle Tramps were born. Since that time the Saddle Tramps believe if something was for the betterment of Texas Tech then they would work at it.

These Midnight Raiders “paint the campus red” with crepe paper before big home games, form the legendary “Bell Circle” moments before kickoff, ring Bangin’ Bertha, participate in parades and other campus events (including the Carol of Lights), and ring the Victory Bells after Red Raider victories.


Designed by the campus’ master planner, William Ward Watkin, in 1924, the Tech Seal’s symbols are the lamp, which represents “school,” the key for “home,” the book for “church,” and the star for “state.” Cotton bolls represent the area’s strong cotton industry and the eagle is suggestive of our country. The seal first appeared on Tech diplomas in 1948, but it wasn’t officially approved as “The” Seal of Texas Tech University until 1953. On April 27, 1972, the seal was placed at the Broadway and University entrance to the campus in what became known as the Amon G. Carter Plaza. It is made of red granite and stands 12 feet high. It has been referred to by students through the years as “the Oreo.”


A familiar name in the annals of Texas football. The elder Field Scovell was considered “Mr. Cotton Bowl.” In fact, his name is on the winner’s trophy after serving as the bowl’s chairman of team selection for nearly four decades. He has sent several family members to Texas Tech that have made a substantial impact on Red Raider football. Scovell’s son, John, played quarterback and threw for 175 yards in the 1967 win over Texas, the Red Raiders’ first victory over their bitter rivals in 12 years. His grandson, Field, was a four-year member of the Texas Tech football team (1993-96). One of the nation’s top scholar-athletes, he led the ‘95 Texas Tech squad in catches and yards and played in three-consecutive bowl games. Grandsons, King and Dupree, graduated in 2002 and 2004, respectively.


Now unused, the Southwest Conference Circle contains the teams which comprised the SWC. The landmark was constructed when Texas Tech was admitted into the conference in 1956. It was the site of pep rallies and spirit-raising events for many years.


The 1938 appearance to the Sun Bowl marked Texas Tech’s first-ever bowl trip. Texas Tech went to the Sun Bowl three times in their first four bowl appearances. The Red Raiders also made an appearance in the John Hancock Bowl in El Paso in 1993 three years after the bowl changed names.


The 35-13 win over Auburn in the 1954 Gator Bowl was Texas Tech’s first televised game. Bowl MVP Bobby Cavazos had 141 yards on 13 carries and scored three touchdowns in the triumph over Auburn and quarterback Vince Dooley.


Former women’s basketball head coach Marsha Sharp and former Lady Raider and Olympic star Sheryl Swoopes were inducted into the Hall in 2000. Legendary football coach Pete Cawthon and All-Americans Donny Anderson and E.J. Holub are members of the Texas Sports Hall of Fame. Field Scovell, inducted in 1986, sent son, John, to Texas Tech. Longtime Baylor head coach Grant Teaff served one year as an assistant football coach at Tech.


Known as The Ex-Students Association until recently when its name changed to the Texas Tech Alumni Association, the organization began in 1927 with the first graduating class and its senior president Edmund W. “Ned” Camp. The organization began as Tech’s Alumni Association. Then in April 1935, its name was changed to the Alumni and Ex-Students Association. Since September 1949, it was the Ex-Students Association until the recent change. The organization represents all who have attended Tech, not just its graduates. The Texas Tech Alumni Association provides numerous academic scholarships, support for the University and student groups, and it sponsors various campus-wide Homecoming events, awards programs and chapter activities.


From 1959-69, debates were held and feuds erupted over what name should replace Texas Technological College. It was agreed that the word “university” was necessary to reflect the growth in size and prestige of the “college.” Strongest support was for retaining the Double T, despite what name was selected for the university. By 1963, the board of directors officially approved “Texas Tech University,” preserving aspects of the original name and retaining the trademark Double T. The State Legislature, on Sept. 1, 1969, formally approved the board’s suggestion.


State Representative R.A. Baldwin, instrumental in the creation of Texas Tech and it being located in Lubbock, was in favor of naming Texas Tech’s athletic teams the “Texas Tom Cats.” As the story goes, after the vote was taken in the House of Representatives on passage of the bill to create the institution, Rep. George Purl turned to Rep. Baldwin and remarked: “We’ll call the Tech football team the ‘Texas Tom Cats’ - TTC for Texas Technological College and also for Texas Tom Cats.”


Texas Tech was involved in one of the strangest games in college football history. A 0-0 tie with Centenary in 1939 was played in a driving rainstorm and featured an NCAA-record 77 punts (67 on first down!). Interestingly, Field Scovell (featured earlier under Scovell) was a game official in the game, which was played in Shreveport, La. Charlie Calhoun still owns the NCAA record for number of punts in a single game. He punted 36 times for 1,318 yards in the game.


The 1938 squad remains as the only Texas Tech football team to go through the entire regular season unbeaten. Under coach Pete Cawthon, the 10-0 squad lost to St. Mary’s (Calif.), 20-13, in the Cotton Bowl.


In 1936 victory bells were given to Texas Tech as a class gift. The bells rang for the first time at the 1936 class’s graduation. It is said that after the win over TCU, the following year, the bells rang through out the night. The bells kept Lubbock residents up all night. Thereafter, the bell ringing was limited to 30 minutes. Saddle Tramps ring the bells after Texas Tech victories and during special occasions.

The Victory Bells - one large and one small, which combine to weigh 1,200 pounds - hang in the east tower of the Administration Building.


The late Lubbock cartoonist designed Raider Red, an additional mascot that could travel with Texas Tech’s athletic teams. West became familiar to thousands of Red Raider fans by poking fun at Tech’s SWC rivals in his weekly newspaper sketches and on the cover of Tech’s football programs.


One of the most well known landmarks on campus is the statue of Will Rogers and his horse Soapsuds. This memorial was dedicated on February 16, 1950 by longtime friend of Rogers, Amon G. Carter. Carter believed Texas Tech was the perfect setting for the statue and that it would fit into the traditions and scenery of West Texas.

The statue stands at 9’11” tall and weighs 3,200 pounds; its estimated cost was $25,000. On the base of the statue, the inscription reads “Lovable Old Will Rogers on his favorite horse, ‘Soapsuds,’ riding into the Western sunset.”


Memorial Circle & Administration Building

campus art collection