Illustration by Kelly Burroughs, The Battalion and Xavier Maldonado.
Help Students Honor Texas A&M's Pioneers
Support the Matthew Gaines-12th Legislature Commemoration Fund
Senator Matthew Gaines passionately and unflaggingly supported the forward movement that established the first public school system for all Texans. The first African-American state senator from Washington County, he was instrumental in the 12th Texas Legislature’s passage of Senate Bill 276, which created the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas under the Land-Grant College Act of 1862, also known as the Morrill Act.
In 2017, the Texas A&M University Student Government Association, Graduate & Professional Student Council, and Residential Housing Association each passed legislation in support of commemorating Gaines and the 12th Texas Legislature on the Texas A&M campus.
Join these and other Texas A&M students to increase awareness and to raise an estimated $350,000 by May 2019. These funds would allow Texas A&M students to commission, construct and maintain a statue honoring Matthew Gaines and the 12th Texas Legislature on the College Station campus.
“The legacy of Matthew Gaines is intertwined with the founding of Texas A&M University. To myself and other members of my community, this initiative to recognize him on campus is an acknowledgement of the tenacity of a man who personified the Aggie core values. It is these core values that bind us together, even in the face of a world of differences.”
Gentill Abdulla '19, Black Student Alliance Council
About Matthew Gaines
(1840 - 1900)
- Courageous advocate for public education
- Texas State Senator
- Promoted creation of The Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas through the Morril Act
- Community leader and Baptist minister
“Senator Gaines was a firm supporter of education and worked tirelessly to pass legislation that enabled Texas to take advantage of the Morrill Land-Grant Act, an act of Congress that provided grants of land to states to finance the establishment of colleges specializing in ‘agriculture and the mechanic arts’.”
Matthew Gaines Statue Commemoration Bill, Student Senate Bill 70-10
Texas A&M University | November 2, 2017
Public Art Competition Honoring Matthew Gaines
and the 12th Texas Legislature
Texas A&M University is announcing an open competition for professional artists or artist teams to commission a site specific public art installation commemorating contributions made by Matthew Gaines. The installation will reside on the Texas A&M University campus in College Station, Texas, in a high traffic area near the south side of the new Student Services Building.
You may give online with a credit card (including recurring payments) or mail a check made out to the Texas A&M Foundation. Please include “The Matthew Gaines – 12th Legislature Commemorative Fund” in the memo line.