Our History & Traditions

The University of Houston's proud heritage of academic excellence dates back to its founding in 1927. In 1947, the institution launched one of its many rich traditions by adopting the cougar, later named Shasta, as its official mascot.

Over the years, we grew and prospered, becoming the University of Houston in 1934. Two years later, the institution acquired land for a permanent campus, and its first building opened in 1939. The university became a state institution in 1963 and joined the newly created University of Houston System in 1977.

Today, the University of Houston is a major public research and teaching institution, serving more than 39,800 students annually with nearly 300 undergraduate and graduate programs.


University of Houston, War and Growth, 1939-1950

This truly University-produced 30 minute documentary tells the compelling story of the University and the city of Houston during World War II.