Dr Andrew Johnson is an Associate Professor of Management at Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi. He was named Associate Dean for Student Success of the College of Business in 2021. In this role, he manages Bachelor of Business Administration undergraduate program enrollment, student engagement opportunities, undergraduate advising, and serves as a member of the management team for the College. He has served as the University Chairperson for the faculty/staff annual giving program in 2021 and 2022 and on the University’s SACSCOC subcommittee for faculty qualification in 2018-2019.
Dr. Johnson earned a PhD in Business Administration with an emphasis in Organization Studies and Management (Strategic Management) from The University of Texas at San Antonio in 2015. He holds a BBA in Management, MS in Liberal Studies, and MA in Political Science from Tarleton State University. Prior to his current academic appointment, he served as Chief of Staff to a Texas State Representative. A native of north Texas, he is a former local elected official.
Dr. Johnson is an author on 30 peer reviewed journal publications and over 40 conference presentations. He routinely serves as a reviewer on academic journals and is a member of the Academy of Management and Southern Management Association. He was awarded Researcher of the Year in 2019, Faculty Service Award in 2019, and Professor of the Year in 2021, by the College of Business.
*75 th anniversary in 2022
Perhaps the most iconic symbol of the university is the Momentum sculpture
Its Five pillars represent the educational elements: Strength, Order, Movement,
Accomplishment, and Logic. They also represent the five institutions in the history
of Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi
The first of these institutions was
*ATC (Arts and Technical College) was original planned by the Baptist General
Convention of Texas to be established near Beeville, Texas at the recently
decommissioned Naval Air Station Chase Field
*Rev. Aubrey Sanders, Pastor of First Baptist Church of Beeville was a leading
proponent of bringing an upstart University to Beeville. HE recognized the value
of higher education and also knew the loss of a military installation following
World War II would hurt the local economy. Sanders would tragically pass away in
a car accident in May 1947 his return from a fundraising trip for the upstart
Following Sander’s death, tepid support from the city of Beeville and other factors
such as the large size of and maintenance costs associated with Chase Field
caused convention leaders to look at other cities to locate their upstart university.
The Corpus Christi proposal was selected.
*The University of Corpus Christi would open in
* fall 1947 at Cuddihy Field also a former Naval Air Station located in Northwest
Corpus Christi
*Reverend E S Hutchison, a former pastor of Trinity Baptist Church in Houston,
was named the first president of UCC yet only served for a short time.
*President Cavness who had a deeper background in higher education would
serve from 1948-1951
*For the spring 1948 semester, classes would begin at Ward Island in the
buildings formerly occupied by the Radar Training Station
*Ward Island would become the permanent home of what would later be called
the Island University due to its unique positioning on its own scenic Island.
However, this was not originally the case as military barracks, drab paint, and an
imposing perimeter fence were features that defined the early campus.
*The first administration building of UCC was the former Radar Station
Administration Building
*However, with a permanent site secured UCC began building a university.
*The student experience was one that included weekly chapel and religious study
as part of the curriculum.
* From the beginning, sports were offered including football as pictured with the
1948 team. However as financial pressures came and went so too did sport
*Students also participated in other extracurricular activities such as band,
student organizations
*and of course this included Greek life
*Students enjoyed the proximity to the beach that the campus offered. In this
photograph the distinctive hats worn by UCC freshmen can be seen.
*Academic programs were established including the marine biology program
founded in 1957. UCC quickly became popular for its teacher education
preparation and other career focused programs.
*Buildings were erected to replace the wooden barracks. This included the
Library, now commonly known as the “round building” and is used for student
services. This building was originally constructed through a donation by the H.E.
Butt Foundation.
*Other construction projects included the science building pictured here and
*Miller hall, a dormitory to house 100 male students. These structures remain on
campus as classroom east and classroom west respectively
*Miller hall was named for UCC President M. A. Miller who served in that position
from 1952-1965, the longest of any of the UCC presidents.
*UCC faced several issues. Enrollment was never enough to cover costs and
leaders were routinely obliged to seek donations from churches or take loans to
make it through the academic year. UCC enrollment never broke 1000 students
and the university struggled to become regionally accredited. Many in the Baptist
General Convention also became disenchanted as UCC did not produce the
number of Baptist ministers many had hoped.
*In 1970, Hurricane Celia stuck a devastating blow. Damage to the campus was
extensive and proved a “last push” for the Baptist Convention to transfer the
institution to state control.
*For the last 4 years, UCC would be led by Kenneth Maroney. He was a UCC
alumni and basketball star. He and his brother, Bob, would both serve many
decades on the faculty at the Island University.
*UCC would graduate the last 23 students in summer of 1973.
* that fall, the university would become an upper division institution in a system
with Texas A&I Kingsville and Laredo. Texas A&I University Corpus Christi would
be led by President Jernigan. The first semester saw 1600 students enroll.
*The change to a public institution brought with it a new wave of state and
community support. Among several new buildings was Corpus Christi Hall. This
building was named in recognition of the support the university has received from
its home city.
*These projects included the arts building, and the Mary and Jeff Bell Library.
*The change also marked greater service to a broader group of students. Without
a specific focus on any one religion and with more affordable tuition, the
university became more attractive to a diverse student body. The university has
since become a Hispanic and minority serving institution with a majority female
student body.
* this change also opened the door for graduate studies to begin on the island
with the College of Education being the first to award masters degrees.
Corpus Christi State University
*In 1977, a further reorganization saw the renaming of the Island University to
Corpus Christi State University with the creation of the University System of South
*The university would be lead by President Barney Alan Sugg for 13 years. Sugg
would go on to lead the University of Arkansas system and enjoy a highly
successful career.
* During these years the national oil spill institute was began on campus and this
unique educational enterprise continues to this day.
*Also through a gift, the Conrad Blutcher Institute was founded on campus. The
institute is a leader in GIS technology and research.
*With further systemization across the state, there was a push to bring the three
USST institutions into the Texas A&M University System. Texas A&M University-
Corpus Christi, was created by legislation in 1989.
*Dr. Robert Furgason would become president of the university in 1990.
Furgason, an engineer by training, would oversee 13 years of enrollment growth,
campus expansion, and community engagement.
*As part of this transformation, campus life and academic offerings would
dramatically change. Freshman would return to the Island, again shifting the
almost exclusively commuter student body to a more campus centric one.
Residence halls would be built to accommodate these students.
*Greek life would return—one of several student experiences not present on
campus since the UCC days.
*NCAA Division I sports would be brought to the Island along with the facilities to
support top performing teams.
*In 1997, the university would celebrate 50 years having realized a significant and
successful transformation to a regional comprehensive University well positioned
to serve the Coastal Bend.
*In the last years of Furgason’s Presidency, the University would build Hector P.
Garcia Plaza in honor of the civil rights leader, alternative US representative to the
United Nations, and the first Hispanic recipient of the Medal of Freedom.
* A gift from Sam and Dusty Durrill provided for the construction of the iconic
MOMENTUM sculpture at the entrance to campus.
*The university’s largest gift to date was also received during this period providing
for the establishment of a world class research center. The Harte Research
Institute for Gulf Coast Studies is named for newspaper publisher and
conservationist Ed Harte.
*The Harte endowment continues to fund six professors to study the Gulf of
Mexico from the vantage point of different disciplines. The center has been
instrumental in studying the effects of disasters such as the Deepwater Horizon
oil spill and hurricanes. Furgason would not leave TAMUCC but rather become the
first executive director of the Harte Research Institute upon his stepping down as
* the last major project completed under Furgason was the performing arts
center or PAC. This glass clad structure overlooks Corpus Christi Bay and in
addition to University performances is home to community performing groups
such as the Corpus Christi Chorale and Symphony Orchestra.
*In 2003, Flavius Killibrew was named President of TAMUCC. He would preside
over the continued expansion of programs and the campus itself.
*The ROTC was made a permanent fixture with the founding of the Islander
Battalion in 2006.
*Athletics saw a large increase in footprint with construction of Island Hall and
the Jack and Susie Dugan Wellness Center
*Just off Ward Island, the Dugan Family Soccer Complex on the newly acquired
Momentum Campus was established. This campus was possible through land
provided near the campus by the City of Corpus Christi.
*This new campus would also provide housing for almost 2,000 Islanders,
doubling available beds.
*Kelly M Miller would be named President in 2017. She would oversee a
continued expansion of the University and also confront some of its greatest
challenges. Immediately following her confirmation vote by the Texas A&M
University System Board of Regents, Miller departed the meeting to oversee
evacuation of campus for Hurricane Harvey. Three years later she would manage
the response to COVID-19.
*During her presidency, the campus has continued to grow with the addition of
Tidal Hall. This facility provides lab and classroom space primarily for the sciences.
*The first satellite campus, the RELLIS Campus in Bryan, Texas, was launched in
fall 2018 and offers undergraduate degrees in Business. This initiative has
broadened the reach of the college.
*President Miller has expanded campus outreach into downtown Corpus Christi
with the acquisition of the old JC Penney Building. The building will bring high
community impact programs closer to the heart of the city.
*Programs such as the Lone Star UAS Center of Excellence are exemplary in their
field. The center is a FAA designated test site that has also been in partnership
with NASA for research projects.
*The Island University continues to fulfill its core mission to educate learners from
the Coastal Bend and beyond.
*The university has degrees granted by the College of Nursing and Health
*The College of Liberal Arts and the School of Arts, Media, and Communication
*The largest college on campus, the College of Business
*The College of Education and Human Development
*And in Fall 2022, the College of Science and Engineering will split into the College
of Science
*And the College of Engineering to allow for a greater commitment to these
*Graduate degrees including terminal degrees in 5 colleges are granted by the
College of Graduate Studies.
*TAMUCC continues to serve a diverse student body with many graduates being
the first in their families to earn a college degree.
*The university regularly welcomes the community to events such as the annual
Islander Lights Celebration during the holidays.
*Students are active participants in the Corpus Christi Community including
through volunteer projects such as the Big Event.
*In TAMUCC programs such as the Early Childhood Development Center, Islanders
are engaged in programs that directly benefit the Coastal Bend Region.
*Though outreach centers such as the Coastal Bend Business Innovation Center
and the Antonio Garcia Arts & Education Center TAMUCC further supports the
*The University regularly sponsors events that are open to the public
*And attracts fans to numerous sporting events as teams compete in the
Southland Conference
* There are over 50,000 Islander Alumni served by staff housed at the Lee
Welcome Center on Ennis Joslin Drive
*Additionally five Islander Alumni Chapters ---In Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, San
Antonio, Austin, and Corpus Christi --- keep alumni engaged across the state.
*It has been a privilege to share a small part of the history of Texas A&M
University-Corpus Christi with you today. If you are interested in buying a copy of
the book, we have copies available for 24.99 with all proceeds supporting Islander
student pride and traditions.