Activities of Texas Tech University in the central Texas region known as the Hill Country can trace its roots to the establishment of the Texas A&M University Adjunct in Junction, Texas, in the late 1940's. In the mid-1940's, a group of Kimble County landowners and leading citizens arranged for 411 acres of prime real estate along the South Llano River to be donated to the state with the proviso that it be used to establish a higher education facility to serve the region. In 1946 Texas A&M University agreed to develop the campus and establish an education program at the site. During 1948-1950 the initial structures were built, and those structures remain in use today.
Texas A&M began using the property in June 1951 with the opening of the Texas A&M Junction Adjunct. The initial enrollment was 140 students, with geology, surveying, physical education, English and mathematics being taught. At the height of the A&M involvement, over 250 students were enrolled, and in the summer of 1954 Junction became famous briefly when Aggie football coach Paul "Bear" Bryant brought his football team to the campus for two weeks of pre-season training. These players, who became know as "the Junction Boys", went on to win the Southwest Conference Championship in 1956.
In 1970-71, Texas A&M transferred ownership of the campus to Texas Tech University, and since that time, Texas Tech has used the facility as a location for intensive spring and summer courses during the May through August timeframe. Traditionally, field science and art courses have dominated, but an extensive offering of undergraduate and graduate courses have been taught. In the rest of the year, the campus has been used primarily for meetings and conferences, as well as a popular training location for local, state and federal governmental groups, non-profit organizations and business and trade associations. In the summer of 2001, Texas Tech began the freshman spirit and orientation program known as Red Raider Camp at Junction.
In 2000, the President of Texas Tech directed that a year-round academic program for the Hill Country be developed, using the Junction Campus as a base of operations. University and community college partners were sought, and local academic centers were established in donated or leased space in the Hill Country communities of Fredericksburg and Marble Falls. Together with the Junction Campus, these centers form a distributed network of classrooms, connected by interactive video technology to each other and the main Texas Tech campus in Lubbock.
Today, Texas Tech offers undergraduate and graduate programs at Texas Tech University Center at Junction and at TTU at Fredericksburg and TTU at Highland Lakes, both Recognized Higher Education Teaching Sites, building upon lower-division core courses offered by its community college partners: Austin Community College, Central Texas College and Howard College. These courses and degrees are taught by Texas Tech University faculty who travel to the sites and use interactive video conferencing.