LUBBOCK, Texas — Texas Tech University announced a philanthropic contribution from the Huckabee family for the College of Architecture. The amount was not disclosed.

The college will be named in honor of Tommie J. Huckabee.

“Our vision is not about our family. It’s about you,” said Chris Huckabee, who is the son of Tommie.

Tommie made it through one year of college at Texas Tech but simply ran out of money. He started as an apprentice with a company in Lubbock and in 1967 cofounded Riherd & Huckabee in Andrews and Lubbock.

Chris said his family has goals of helping more first-generation students complete their education and they want it to be the number 1 architecture school in the nation for first generation students.

“I do not feel like this building is worthy of a world class college.”

“This gift will be the vehicle to renovate and expand the footprint of this vision for the college of architecture,” Chris said.

“The Huckabee family gift (amount not disclosed) is the largest ever made to the college,” Texas Tech said.

The following is a statement from Texas Tech:

Chris and Robin Huckabee, alumni and long-time supporters of Texas Tech University, have made a generous donation to the College of Architecture. The gift was made on behalf of the Huckabee family in honor of their father, Tommie J. Huckabee, and his contributions to the architectural industry and education.

Tommie was the first of three generations in his family to attend Texas Tech. Now, through his family’s gift, the College of Architecture will be renamed the Huckabee College of Architecture.

The gift will provide access to resources that elevate the educational experience for students and faculty while also supporting first-generation students, student scholarship, faculty enhancement and areas of greatest need. A key focus of the donation is the revitalization of the infrastructure in and around Huckabee College through renovations that touch classrooms, technology, landscaping and more.

“We are excited to see how this gift helps transform the college and Texas Tech University,” Chris Huckabee said, “but most importantly, how it can impact students who might not otherwise have that opportunity.”

This sentiment is shared by Texas Tech President Lawrence Schovanec.

“The College of Architecture is renowned for producing technically-trained, high-performing architects, and this historic gift from the Huckabee family will enhance the already exceptional student educational experience,” Schovanec said. “The Huckabee family’s commitment will have an immediate impact on our students, faculty, and staff, and generations of graduates will benefit from the legacy of this gift.”

Huckabee College is home to 861 students and 46 faculty members. It offers three bachelor’s degree programs and three master’s degree programs, including dual degrees with the Edward E. Whitacre Jr. College of Engineering and the Jerry S. Rawls College of Business. In 2019, Design Intelligence ranked the college 10th in the nation among architecture schools for the number of graduates most hired by firms.

In July 2022, Huckabee College named a new dean, Urs Peter “Upe” Flueckiger, who has been at Texas Tech for nearly 25 years. He is looking forward to working with the Huckabee family to build a vibrant educational environment where students can think critically and creatively.

“This very generous donation from the Huckabee family marks an important milestone for our college and Texas Tech University,” Flueckiger said. “The first architecture class at Texas Tech was taught in 1927 through the College of Engineering, and by 1986, Architecture was a standalone college. Now in 2022, we are newly named the Huckabee College of Architecture. This gift from the Huckabee family is transformational and will enable students, faculty, staff and friends of the college to reach new heights.”

The Huckabee family gift (amount not disclosed) is the largest ever made to the college. With the naming of Huckabee College, the family joins some of Texas Tech’s most generous donors in naming a college and making an investment that will allow the college to advance the quality of its programs; enhance the level of talent recruited for students, faculty and staff; and multiply the impact graduates make in their field.