For almost 100 years, the Dairy Barn on the campus of Texas Tech University has stood as a symbol to the early days of the university and the persevering spirit embodied in all Red Raiders.

Built in 1926, just three years after the university was established, the Dairy Barn allowed for the payment of tuition through milk sales from cattle that were either brought by students or donated to the college. Students were encouraged to bring up to three cows of their own to campus and house them in the barn. Even though that method of tuition payment was discontinued in 1935, the Dairy Barn continued to serve the educational needs of students interested in agriculture until it was abandoned in 1966, sitting vacant for more than a half century.

Until today, that is. Thanks to a $3.5 million restoration project announced in 2017, the historic Dairy Barn, part of the College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources, once again becomes a vital and functioning academic facility, complete with office and meeting spaces that will make it a key collaborative and conference space for students, faculty, staff and alumni.

In 1992, a student fundraising effort resulted in the Dairy Barn and its remaining silo being recognized on the National Register of Historic Places, the U.S. government’s official list of districts, sites, buildings, structures and objects deemed worthy of preservation for their historical significance. In 2016, the Lubbock County Historical Commission and the Texas Tech Student Government Association unveiled a new Texas State Historical Marker.

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