Texas Tech University



President's Report

Scroll Down

Letter from the President

As I reflect on the past year and the many remarkable achievements earned by Red Raiders around the world, I am reminded of our community's diligence, flexibility, and perseverance. After an unprecedented period, all campus facilities returned to full capacity in the fall of 2021, and we once again offered the in-person experience many of us longed for throughout the pandemic.

This return is marked by a renewed dedication to our community, a deepened appreciation for our beautiful campus, and a passion for the future of Texas Tech University. We welcomed our largest and most academically accomplished incoming class in school history. We opened the doors of the Texas Tech School of Veterinary Medicine in Amarillo, the first of its kind in Texas in more than 100 years. We also celebrated the largest gift in the nearly 100-year history of our university.

Within this report, we highlight the many notable milestones that marked 2021. Our people continue to rise to the occasion through all the growth and transition, as our dedicated and high-performing faculty and staff work every day to create an environment of discovery and innovation.


Lawrence Schovanec


Over the last two years, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Texas Tech student body has dealt with challenges no prior students had ever experienced. From a complete shutdown to increased health and safety protocols in the months after campus reopened, students had to navigate myriad hurdles to have as full of a college experience as possible.

Beyond Okay: Texas Tech Launches Campus-Wide Initiative to Address Mental Health

Building on feedback from students, parents, faculty and staff, Beyond Okay was created to improve the mental well-being of our campus community members and promote the use of available resources. Beyond Okay has helped break down barriers by demystifying and reducing the stigma within the help-seeking process.

Raider Safety Created to Inform and Connect Campus Community to Available Resources

At Texas Tech, the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff is the top priority. We have many campus initiatives and resources available, so we launched Raider Safety in 2021 to make those resources more accessible and highlight the many safety-related enhancements we've made to our campus, including improved pedestrian safety.

University Benchmarks

Even in the face of a pandemic, and while other institutions reported shrinking enrollments, Texas Tech continued to grow with its 13th consecutive year of record enrollment. We recorded 40,666 students for Fall 2021, including a record first-year enrollment and a 4% increase in graduate enrollment.

Texas Tech's status as a “Tier One” Very High Research Activity university was reaffirmed in the 2021 Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, furthering our reputation as a top research university. This reaffirmation also cements Texas Tech's commitment to conducting groundbreaking research and providing an exceptional educational experience.

5% reduction in average student loan debt over the last 5 yrs

5% reduction in average student loan debt over the last 5 yrs

Enrollment Highlights


Fall 2021 student enrollment


Fall 2021 freshmen enrollment


Fall 2021 presidential merit scholarships

From Here,
It's Possible

Notable Benchmarks


FY 2020-21 Degrees Conferred

Undergraduate, Graduate, Doctoral, Law

$201 million

Total grants and scholarships awarded in 2021

Increasing merit- and need-based scholarships


FY 2020-21 Doctoral Degrees Conferred


National Merit Scholar Finalists in Fall 2021 class


Total National Merit Scholars on campus


"From Here, It's Possible" describes our student body's accomplishments and speaks to the impact of our alumni. With more than 230,000 living alumni, Texas Tech graduates can be felt and seen bearing our banners far and wide, and spreading their reach and influence wherever they go.

50 Years After Leaving, Larry Vanderwoude Graduates and Gives Back to Texas Tech

Larry Vanderwoude dropped out of Texas Tech five decades ago, when addiction got in the way of his education. But after going through recovery, he helped create a statewide program today known as the DWI Intervention Program. Along the way, Vanderwoude reconnected with Texas Tech and its Center for Collegiate Recovery Communities (CCRC), a nurturing and supportive community designed to help students succeed personally, professionally and academically while overcoming addiction. At age 68, after establishing endowments in the CCRC to help students like the younger version of himself, Vanderwoude returned to Texas Tech. He graduated in December, with his bachelor's degree in human sciences.

Mary Beth Koeth Puts Her Own Spin on Storytelling

Mary Beth Koeth developed a passion for photography while she was a student at Texas Tech. After graduating with her bachelor's degree in design communication in 2005, she transformed that passion into a profession. She began experimenting with telling people's stories through portraits, using colors and light and texture to create the right mood. Now she has worked around the world for ESPN, AdWeek Magazine, Texas Monthly, Time Magazine and Billboard Magazine, utilizing the foundations laid in West Texas.

Engineering Alumnus Adam Shebindu Developed, Produced Ventilators for Congo

When the coronavirus pandemic hit in 2020, Adam Shebindu was like many others who felt called to action. But unlike many of those around him, he had the skills to make a real impact in his community. Shebindu, who earned his master's degree from Texas Tech in mechanical engineering, saw in his own country, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the dire need for emergency ventilators as the pandemic spread. Shebindu had started a company, Bora Technology, in February 2020, hoping to provide technological independence to the Congo. So as the pandemic hit, his company developed an emergency temporary ventilator to help those most in need.

60 Minutes Correspondent Recounts Experience on 9/11 on 20th Anniversary

In his 40-year career, Scott Pelley has reported through war zones and natural disasters, risking his own life to bring his viewers the story. But nothing compared to what he faced on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, when planes crashed into the World Trade Center in the worst terrorist attack on American soil. The former Texas Tech student recounted his 9/11 experience on the 20th anniversary of the attack in a special that aired on “60 Minutes.”

Commitment to

Regardless of adversity, one thing that has never wavered is the determination of Texas Tech faculty, staff and students to pursue excellence. In 2021, that commitment was displayed in many ways.

Distinction and Achievement

Inaugural Class of Texas Tech Veterinary Students Takes First Steps Toward History

In August, the Texas Tech University School of Veterinary Medicine in Amarillo welcomed its first class. The historic occasion strengthened Texas Tech's foundation and expanded the capability of our university to serve West Texas, our state and the nation for the next 100 years and beyond.

Senate Bill 52 Allocates $80 Million Toward Capital Improvement Projects at Texas Tech University

Texas Tech University and the Texas Tech University System will benefit significantly from funding for higher education from Senate Bill 52, which was signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott in October. The university will receive $80 million to fund renovations and improvements to buildings and infrastructure – $72 million of which will go toward the main campus in Lubbock and $8 million to the Texas Tech campus in Junction.

Texas Tech Receives an Additional $50 Million in State Funding for Institutional Advancement

In our pursuit of excellence beyond R1 research status, we continue to work to elevate our stature through purposeful investments. In separate legislation, an additional $50 million in support from the State of Texas was allotted to Texas Tech to enhance academic excellence, student success and research that impacts Texas and the nation.

Texas Tech Receives $44 Million Philanthropic Gift, Largest in School History

Gordon W. Davis has had more impact on the College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources than just about anyone else. The local businessman and former faculty member and his wife, Joyce, donated $44 million to the college, the largest single gift to Texas Tech in school history. In honor of that generosity, the university renamed the college the Davis College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources.

Texas Tech Professor Appointed 25th Director of the American Academy in Rome

Aliza Wong, a professor of history and interim dean of the Honors College at Texas Tech, was appointed the 25th director of the American Academy in Rome, America's oldest overseas center for studies and research in the arts and humanities. She will be the first woman of color to lead the institution in its 128-year history. Wong will relocate to Italy and begin her three-year directorship in July.

Winning Ways

Part of that commitment is finding success in endeavors outside of the classroom, and in 2021, that's exactly what members of the Texas Tech community did.

Texas Tech Ranked at Top for Online Learning

In November 2021, Newsweek released its inaugural "America's Best Online Learning Schools 2022" list, and Texas Tech University was ranked No. 1 out of 150 higher education institutions. The ranking was based on an online survey taken by more than 9,000 individuals in the U.S. The results showed Tech Tech's commitment to offering students a high-quality online education.

Texas Tech Wins 2021 Financial Planning Challenge

For the third time in its history, and the third time in four years, a three-person team from Texas Tech University's School of Personal Financial Planning came out on top in the 2021 Financial Planning Challenge, hosted by the Financial Planning Association®, Ameriprise Financial and the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. Team members Ansleigh Brister, Valerie Carpenter and Laura Werner earned a $10,000 scholarship for the university.

Raider Red Takes the Crown for First Time in National Championship

Raider Red showed why he's one of the best and most beloved mascots in all of college athletics. In 2021, he took first place at the NCA & NDA Collegiate Cheer and Dance Championships in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Horse Judging Team Wins First National Championship in 15 Years

For the first time since 2006, Texas Tech University's Horse Judging Team captured the national championship at the Farnam American Quarter Horse Association World Horse Judging Contest in November. The team teaches students to judge the conformation and performance of horses in Western and English disciplines while building skills in public speaking, professional presentation and critical thinking.

Law School Captures 50th National Championship

Third-year School of Law students Alicia Mpande, Taylor Holley and Kayla Schaded captured the school's 50th national championship in February at the 72nd Annual National Moot Court Competition, the oldest and arguably most prestigious moot court competition in the world. Texas Tech bested the University of Chicago's Kent College of Law, and Mpande earned the tournament's Best Advocate award while Schaded won runner-up Best Advocate.

Student & Faculty Achievements

Chemical Engineering Professor Developing Indoor COVID-19 Detector

Gerardine "Gerri" Botte, a professor and Whitacre Department Chair in the Department of Chemical Engineering, received a $999,047 grant from the U.S. Department of Defense's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. Botte is studying whether the technology used to detect carbon monoxide could be applied to detect invisible, dangerous and potentially deadly pathogens like pandemic-causing COVID-19.

Law School Graduates Persevere on Bar Exam in Time of COVID-19

Despite numerous challenges presented by the pandemic, the Texas Tech School of Law saw record passing rates on the bar exam. Texas Tech ranked No. 1 in the state with a 92.31% pass rate on the October 2020 Texas Bar Exam for first-time test takers, the highest bar passage rate of any law school in Texas, and No. 2 in the state in the combined September/October administrations of the Texas Bar Exam. Additionally, all 58 May 2020 graduates who took the Universal Bar Exam in New Mexico passed. First-time test takers saw a 95.2% pass rate.

Astrophysicist Receives Share of Five-Year, $17 Million Grant

Joseph Romano, a professor in the Department of Physics & Astronomy, conducts research in gravitational-wave data analysis, specializing in searches for weak gravitational-wave signals coming from the very early universe. His work perfectly fits that of the North American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves (NANOGrav). In June, the National Science Foundation announced it had renewed its support of NANOGrav with a $17 million grant over five years to operate the NANOGrav Physics Frontiers Center, which works to address a transformational challenge in astrophysics: the detection and characterization of low-frequency gravitational waves. Romano's focus is on helping to develop the data analysis algorithms that identify the presence of gravitational waves.

It's Not Exactly a Dinosaur, but NRM Doctoral Candidate Makes Historic Discovery

On his own time, on his own dime, completely unrelated to his dissertation and many times in the dead of night, Department of Natural Resources Management doctoral candidate Garret D. Langlois trekked through the wooded area and along the waters on the southwest side of Mae Simmons Park. There, among the cattails, lay the proof: a worn swimming path near the bank, nesting areas deeper in the woods and tunnels used as hiding places. The evidence was clear. There are beavers living in Lubbock's Canyon Lakes for the first time in more than 5,000 years.

Dominick Casadonte Chosen as 2021 CUR-Goldwater Scholars Faculty Mentor Awardee

Dominick J. Casadonte Jr., the Minnie Stevens Piper Professor in Texas Tech University's Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, was selected in March 2021 to receive the 2021 Council on Undergraduate Research-Goldwater Scholars Faculty Mentor Award. The award consists of a plaque and $5,000 for the recipient's research program and/or undergraduate researchers. Casadonte was honored for his achievements in mentoring nearly 90 undergraduates and 16 high school students in summer research programs.

Faculty Members Lead NATO Workshop on Terrorist Drone Threat

In June 2021, NATO's Science for Peace and Security Programme held the first in a series of workshops about vulnerabilities in the drone age – one of the major agenda items of the 2021 NATO Summit in Brussels. One session of that workshop, led by Kerry Chávez, a doctoral candidate in Texas Tech University's Department of Political Science, and Ori Swed, director of the Peace, War & Social Conflict Laboratory in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work, explored the proliferation of malicious drone use among violent non-state actors and terrorist organizations.

Professor Named Fellow for National Academy of Inventors

In December, Samuel Prien, a professor of reproductive physiology and assisted reproduction in the Department of Animal & Food Sciences, was named to the 2021 class of Fellows for the National Academy of Inventors (NAI). Prien, who also holds a joint appointment in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology in the School of Medicine at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, was elected to the NAI's inaugural class of senior members in 2019. He currently holds five U.S. patents, 20 international patents and three copyrights.

Professor Wins USDA's National Teaching & Student Engagement Award

Erica Irlbeck, a professor of agricultural communications within the Department of Agricultural Education and Communications, was named in November one of two recipients of the National Teaching & Student Engagement Award, presented by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Excellence in College and University Teaching in Food and Agricultural Sciences national awards program. Since joining Texas Tech's faculty in 2009, Irlbeck has taught students video production in agriculture, agricultural communications campaigns and professional development. Her research interests include risk and crisis communications, agriculture in television media and agricultural communications campaigns. In 2020, she received a Chancellor's Council Distinguished Teaching Award, one of the highest faculty honors in the Texas Tech University System.

MicroLED Inventor Receives Prestigious International Award

Hongxing Jiang, a Horn Distinguished Professor, co-director of the Center for Nanophotonics and an Edward E. Whitacre Jr. Chair in the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, was honored by the International SSL (Solid-State Lighting) Alliance in December with its Global SSL Award of Outstanding Achievements for his invention of microsized light-emitting diodes, or microLED. MicroLED was first proposed and realized in 2000 by Jiang and his wife Jingyu Lin, a Horn Distinguished Professor, Linda F. Whitacre Chair in the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering and co-director of the Center for Nanophotonics.

Research Highlights

$105 million

in awards received

$59 million

in federal awards received


It was a year of change and, simultaneously, a year of great strides in Texas Tech Athletics. Two programs – football and men's basketball – welcomed new coaches while several teams experienced continued success on the field, court, pitch and track.

Texas Tech Tabs Joey McGuire to Lead Football Program

One of the most celebrated and successful high school football coaches in Texas, Joey McGuire, was named the 17th head football coach at Texas Tech. McGuire and his staff have already made an impact on the recruiting trail – the 2023 class has been ranked No. 1 in the country by some recruiting websites.

Mark Adams Named Texas Tech Head Men's Basketball Coach

In April, West Texas native and Texas Tech graduate Mark Adams was named the 18th men's basketball head coach. Under Adams, the Red Raiders went 18-0 at home for the first time in program history and, for the second time, reached the finals at the Big 12 Championship tournament. The team then advanced to the Sweet 16 for the fifth time since the expansion of the national tournament.

Usoro Completes Triple Jump Sweep, Usual Claims Bronze in Discus

Ruth Usoro became the latest in a line of Texas Tech Track and Field athletes to etch her name in school history in June when she completed a sweep of the NCAA indoor and outdoor championships in the triple jump. Also, Seasons Usual became the first female discus medalist at Texas Tech in more than a decade.

Texas Tech Routs Mississippi State in Liberty Bowl Win

Despite a midseason coaching change, the Red Raider football team persevered to qualify for a bowl, showing on a national stage what is possible at Texas Tech. Interim head coach Sonny Cumbie met Mississippi State in the Liberty Bowl in Memphis on Dec. 28 and routed the Bulldogs to the tune of 34-7, dominating from start to finish behind 252 passing yards from backup quarterback Donovan Smith.


With an increased focus on marketing to engage our audiences around the world, Texas Tech launched several new initiatives in 2021 that continue to elevate the university's message.

Texas Tech, Kansas City Chiefs Team Up for Marketing Partnership

From Texas Tech to the Kansas City Chiefs, Patrick Mahomes is one of the most recognizable figures in sports today. And in 2021, the university and the Chiefs embarked on a marketing campaign designed to increase the visibility and desirability of Texas Tech as one of the nation's top higher education institutions.

Evermore Magazine

One of Texas Tech's new endeavors in 2021 was an official university magazine. Evermore shares the stories of Texas Tech's best and brightest, from the pioneers who laid the foundation, driven by a bold vision a century ago, to those who now propel our national research institution into the future. It honors the alumni who have faithfully supported the university throughout its growth as well as the faculty and researchers conducting world-altering work and the students who will carry on the legacy.

Fearless Podcast

In 2021, the Office of Communications & Marketing launched Fearless, a podcast featuring the untold stories of the school we love so dearly. Season 1 focused on Texas Tech's comeback from COVID-19 and provided listeners with an intimate, up-close look at the decisions and challenges the global pandemic posed for faculty, staff, students and campus leaders. Season 2 debuts in August 2022.

From Here, It's Possible Campaign

Our From Here, It's Possible™️ tagline was rebranded in design and message to function as a new marketing campaign with the goal of boldly sharing aspirational stories about our alumni, students, faculty and staff.

Office of the President