Texas A&M-San Antonio was created to address an educational need in South San Antonio, an area that has been historically underserved in terms of higher education. It is the first university in the A&M system to be established in a major urban center, making San Antonio the only city in the state with campuses of both the Texas A&M System and the University of Texas System. In 2000 the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board approved the Texas A&M System plan to create a system center on the Palo Alto Community College Campus. Classes began that fall with 126 students in seven academic programs. In 2003, Senate Bill 800 authored by State Senator Frank Madla, created Texas A&M University-Kingsville System Center-San Antonio.
In 2006, House Bill 153 provided authorization for a $40 million Tuition Revenue Bond for Phase I construction. From 2008 to 2009 student enrollment increased by 62% requiring the acquisition of additional facilities to manage this phenomenal growth. On May 23, 2009 Senate Bill 629 which designated Texas A&M-San Antonio as a stand alone university was signed by the Governor.
In February 12, 2010, The Texas A&M System Board of Regents named Dr. Maria Hernandez Ferrier the inaugural
president of Texas A7M University-San Antonio. Her history with the university began in April 2008 with her appointment as executive director when the institution was operating as a system center. The next year she was named interim president, and has been the force behind the university’s recent growth and development. Dr. Ferrier continues to provide dynamic and energetic executive leadership; on-site coordination of academic, administrative, and student services; vision and guidance in strategic planning; and collaboration with external stake holders from the local communities and businesses as well as local, state, and national leaders. Prior to her career with Texas A&M-San Antonio, Dr. Ferrier held a number of national education appointments under Presidents George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. Dr. Ferrier earned a Bachelor of Arts in Speech and a Master of Education in Guidance and Counseling from Our Lady of the Lake University, and a Doctorate of Educational Administration from Texas A&M University.