With an elevation of 3,256 feet from sea level, Lubbock is located in northwest Texas and considered to be at the center of the South Plains, between the Permian Basin to the south and the Texas Panhandle to the north. The County of Lubbock was founded in 1876 and named after Thomas S. Lubbock, a former Texas Ranger and the brother of Francis R. Lubbock, the governor of Texas during the Civil War. The present-day city of Lubbock was not formed until late 1890 when two settlements within the county, Old Lubbock and Monterey, were combined. The city was incorporated on March 16, 1909.
The establishment of rail service and agricultural growth led to Lubbock becoming the marketing center of the region earning the name "Hub of the Plains." Lubbock’s growth continues today as medical institutions and supporting industries employ the greatest number of workers. Education and the service sector also contribute to a large part of the area economy.
Lubbock prides itself on its high quality institutions and well-educated workforce. With three public school districts serving the citizens of Lubbock, as well as several accredited private and parochial schools, families have some good choices for their children’s education. Texas Tech University, Texas Tech Health Sciences Center, Lubbock Christian University, South Plains College, and Wayland Baptist University are local institutions of higher learning that provide a multitude of learning and research experiences. Business Colleges offer focused learning classes for those in the corporate field. Lubbock also offers specialized training facilities for displaced homemakers, the disabled, and those seeking to learn new job skills.
In many ways, the town of Lubbock was created because of the founding of Texas Tech University. Texas Tech is the largest employer, the basis for the student population of 35,000 with a goal of 40,000 students in the next few years. There is much about Texas Tech that is unique. It is the only system in the country that offers an academic institution, law school and medical school on the same campus providing the opportunity to offer programs across fields and shape academic offerings to meet the demands of individual students. As an example, students have the opportunity to earn a medical degree and a business degree. Students can pursue degrees in nursing and in law. The Texas Tech Honors College provides students the opportunity to pursue a degree in a setting comparable to any provided by Ivy League universities. Undergraduate students are provided the opportunity to engage in cutting edge research, the type of research normally reserved for graduate students.
Lubbock is the home of the Buddy Holly Center designed to motivate public interest in contemporary visual arts, the music, and the music history of Texas and West Texas. The Center presents exhibitions and programs that encourage interaction between artists and the community. In addition to the artifacts of Lubbock's most famous native son, Buddy Holly, many other performing artists and musicians of West Texas works are preserved and displayed by the Center. With a commitment to creating learning opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds through exhibition tours, outreach programs, educational initiatives, and family activities - the Buddy Holly Center is a highlight of the Lubbock community.
Lubbock has its own Civic Center. The 300,000 square foot Lubbock Memorial Civic Center stands on the site of the devastating 1970 tornado as a constant reminder of the lives lost and the ability of the people of Lubbock and West Texas to bounce back from devastation - more than $135 million in damage was quickly repaired or replaced.
Lubbock’s Ranching Heritage Center is a 14-acre site with over 30 historic ranch structures that show the evolution of ranching. Linecamp, dugout, bunkhouse, blacksmith shop, cowchip house, schoolhouse, corrals, shipping pens, windmills, chuckwagons, and a coal burning locomotive illustrate the progression of ranching from the drover, open and closed range, to modern management of the cattle business. The Center’s structures originate from famous ranches such as the Matador, 6666, XIT, and King ranches that played key roles in the development of modern day ranching.
The Lubbock Lake Landmark State Historical Park is a 336-acre park, and a must see for history and nature lovers. Three hundred acres of the park make up "The Lubbock Lake Site," a National Historic and State Archaeological Landmark having evidence of ancient peoples and extinct animals. It is the only known site in North America with deposits related to cultures known to have existed on the Southern Plains over the last 12,000 years.