The University of Texas at Tyler was created as Tyler State College by the Texas Legislature in 1971 and was renamed Texas Eastern University four years later. The University became a campus of The University of Texas System in 1979, as a result of action by the 66th Texas Legislature. Originally established as an upper-level university, UT Tyler’s mission was expanded in 1997 when the 75th Texas Legislature passed House Bill 1795 authorizing it to offer classes for freshman and sophomore students. Governor George W. Bush signed the bill into law on May 26, 1997.