BEAUMONT, Texas — Lamar University celebrated 100 years with their Centennial Fest Sunday afternoon with cake and lots of family fun activities.
Thousands of students, faculty and families were on campus to join in the celebration.
The festivities kicked off around 4 p.m. in the heart of the university, the quad.
Lamar has been a pillar in the Southeast Texas community since it first opened in 1923 as South Park Junior College.
"The fact that this university has been around for a 100 years is amazing. Again if you look around at all the individuals celebrating we are on the right path to take this university to the next level," said President Dr. Jaime Taylor.
The Centennial can't be celebrated without recognizing it's humble beginning.
"It started off on the third floor of South Park High School with just a handful of students," Dr. Taylor said.
Now the campus has grown to accommodate over 17,000 students.
"I like the atmosphere a lot it feels like you're apart of the school and not just a number. Lamar is home to me basically," said Engineering Freshman Trey Ames.
Ames was among thousands of Southeast Texas residents on campus who enjoyed cake, family fun and a message from Texas Speaker Dade Phelan.
"You can't over state what he has done for Lamar University over the last six years. One of the reasons why we were number one in the state of Texas in our funding formula is because of the funding he gave us during the last legislative session," Dr. Taylor told 12News.
No matter if you've been a cardinal for a few months or decades, like Dr. Freddie Titus Vice President of Community Relations, being a cardinal stays with you for a lifetime.,
“It's been the greatest 40 years of my life. I was a student here. It's so inspirational," said Dr. Titus.
Lamar's engineering program is ranked number one in Texas and 3rd in the country according to Dr. Taylor.
This is one reason among many why he's so proud of everything it's students have accomplished.