In 1889, Professor William Mayo founded a private college in Northeast Texas to serve local youth in their pursuit of higher education. Years later, in March of 1917, Mayo died moments before the arrival of a telegram from the Texas legislature informing him that his college would become a state institution. He was buried on his campus, the only college founder in Texas with such a distinction.
This past weekend, as a part of Homecoming activities for Texas A&M University-Commerce, Mayo’s newly-refurbished grave site was the site of a memorial gathering and ribbon-cutting. A&M-Commerce President Emeritus Dr. Keith McFarland hosted speakers including Marilyn Jones of the A&M-Commerce foundation and former ETSU president Dr. Charles Austin.
Interim university president Dr. Ray Keck closed the ceremony in which attendees were invited to lay bright yellow carnations on the gravestone.
The grave site is located at Lee Street and Mayo Street in Commerce.