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The first meeting of the A&M Board of Directors convened on June 1, 1875, with Texas Governor Richard Coke presiding, a year and four months prior to the opening of the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas (now Texas A&M University) on October 4, 1876. 

In 1881, legislation was approved that the composition of the Board of Directors, instead of comprising the governor, lieutenant governor, speaker of the House of Representatives, and six directors elected by joint ballot of the Texas Legislature would henceforth consist of five members appointed by the governor to serve for six-year staggered terms.  Beginning in 1898, the board expanded to seven members and in the early 1900s, varied from seven to nine members. In 1975, the Board of Directors was renamed the Board of Regents.

Today, the Board of Regents consists of nine regular voting members and one student non-voting member who are appointed by the Governor. The nine voting members are confirmed by the Senate and their terms are scheduled for six years and staggered so three members’ terms usually expire on February 1 of odd-numbered years. At that time, regents scheduled to go off the Board serve until the Governor selects their replacements.  
 
The student member is chosen through an application process and is appointed June 1 of each year and serves a one-year term. Student members must be enrolled as an undergraduate or graduate student in either a general academic teaching institution or a medical or dental unit in the university system at the time of appointment and throughout his or her term. The Texas Legislature passed the bill establishing student regents for all public university systems in 2005, and the first student regents were appointed by the Governor in February 2006.