Texas Tech University, although established in 1923, is rooted in the middle ages and the Renaissance. This is true of the abstract ideals of the university and of its arts curricula. It is also true of the campus architecture, a Spanish Renaissance theme based ultimately upon the Administration Building’s recapitulation of the plateresque style of the Universidad de Alcalá de Henares, built in 1553. It is literally true of the earliest European presence here on the High Plains, where the expedition of Francisco Vázquez de Coronado left behind chain mail, crossbow bolts, and vellones minted during the reign of Enrique IV of Castille (1454-75), perhaps the oldest circulating coins ever discovered in U.S. territory.
The Medieval and Renaissance Studies Center (MRSC) is dedicated to the advancement of Medieval and Renaissance studies at Texas Tech, in the State of Texas, and in the lands beyond. It currently supervises a graduate certificate program in medieval and Renaissance studies, provides some conference participation support for students working in these areas, and sponsors guest lectures and other activities related to medieval and Renaissance studies. Whereas traditional academic programs are organized to support their own specific perspectives and programs, the Center seeks to unite faculty and students interested in medieval and Renaissance area studies that transcend disciplinary boundaries. It seeks is to enhance campus, state, and national knowledge about Texas Tech programs already in place. The Center, approved in 2011, is located administratively within the College of Arts and Sciences but is also funded in part by the College of Visual and Performing Arts.