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The University of Houston and Fort Bend County: Thirty Years of Support for Higher Education

The University of Houston at Sugar Land is celebrating 30-years of UH in Fort Bend County.

Street signage that says, 'CentraPlex. 550 Julie Rivers Drive. UH System at Fort Bend'

The System Center signage while at the CentraPlex off Julie Rivers Drive.

“Our history of growth is rooted in community and support for higher education,” said Jay Neal, associate vice president, academic affairs and chief operating officer for UH at Sugar Land. “What began as a collaboration for a few students in a small business center has grown into a formidable higher education offering, contributing to the success of the region.”

The Sugar Land instructional site is celebrating with a time capsule, a new website and a book chronicling the history of UH in Fort Bend County (out at the end of the year).

Dates of note:

  • 1994: The higher education effort in Fort Bend County began in a business center off Julie Rivers Drive when Wharton County Junior College invited UH Victoria to share the space
  • 1995: All UH System (UHS) institutions began offering classes in that space
  • 1998: TXDOT transferred 200+ acres to UHS and City of Sugar Land at Highway 59/University
  • 2002: Albert & Mamie George Building opened
  • 2008: Richard “Dick” Phillips appointed Associate Vice Chancellor of UH System at Sugar Land
  • 2009: Brazos Hall opened
  • 2018: Dr. Jay Neal appointed Associate Vice President, Academic Affairs, COO
  • 2019: Technology Building opened
  • 2025: New Academic Building to open its doors
Signage for construction of Brazos Hall

Construction signage for Brazos Hall.

Signage for construction of Albert and Mamie George Foundation

Construction signage for the Albert & Mamie George Building.

“I applaud the community for their passion, support and eagerness to embrace UH for all this time,” said Renu Khator, UHS Chancellor and UH President. Khator oversaw the transition from a UH System campus in Fort Bend County to one where only UH programs were offered. “I have always seen great potential for UH in Fort Bend County. There will always be a great future there.”

Community support has been a common thread that’s guided the growth of UH in Fort Bend County. Residents and business leaders came together for a Community Campaign to raise additional funds for construction of the Albert & Mamie George Building, which opened in 2002 at Highway 59 and University Blvd. In 2011, thanks to an innovative three-way partnership between UH, Fort Bend County and Wharton County Junior College, the community celebrated the opening of the Fort Bend County University Branch Library, used by students, faculty, staff and residents in the community.

“Much has changed in the last 30 years, but our charge to bring higher education to this region, to be part of all that makes it successful, has not,” Neal said. “We move forward into the next 30 years with the intent of creating thoughtful, skilled leaders and professionals for our region and world.”

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