Texas A&M University (Texas A&M, A&M, or TAMU) is a public land-grant research university in College Station, Texas. It was founded in 1876 and became the flagship institution of the Texas A&M University System in 1948. As of Fall 2021, Texas A&M's student body is the largest in the United States. Texas A&M is the only university in Texas to hold simultaneous designations as a land, sea, and space grant institution. In 2001, Texas A&M was inducted as a member of the Association of American Universities. The school's students, alumni and sports teams are known as Aggies. The Texas A&M Aggies athletes compete in eighteen varsity sports as a member of the Southeastern Conference.
The first public institution of higher education in Texas, the school opened for classes on October 4, 1876, as the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas (A.M.C.) under the provisions of the 1862 Morrill Land-Grant Act. It is classified by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education among "R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity" as of 2021. Over the following decades, the school increased in size and scope, expanding to its largest enrollment during WWII before its first significant stagnation in enrollment post-war. Enrollment expanded again in the 1960s under the leadership of President James Earl Rudder. During his tenure, the school desegregated, became coeducational, and dropped the requirement for participation in the Corps of Cadets. To reflect the institution's expanded roles and academic offerings, the Texas Legislature renamed the school to Texas A&M University in 1963. The letters "A&M", originally A.M.C. and short for "Agricultural and Mechanical College", are retained as a tribute to the university's former designation.