UH purchased Jeppesen Stadium from HISD, which had built the facility with WPA funds in 1942. It was later renamed Robertson Stadium in honor of Corbin Robertson, Sr., one of the major benefactors of Houston Athletics. The stadium eventually played host to Houston Cougars football, Houston Oilers football, Houston Dynamo soccer, and a 2002 scrimmage between the Houston Texans and Dallas Cowboys. The proud facility was torn down in 2012 to make way for the new Houston Football Stadium, which opened in the fall of 2014.
The annual Houston Shakespeare Festival created by the University of Houston’s School of Theater opened on August 13, 1975, at Miller Outdoor Theatre. The shows, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Taming of Shrew, were the first spoken dramatic presentations at the theater. Attendance exceeded expectations leading to the long-standing tradition that now includes multiple performances each season, entertaining thousands of Houstonians at the performances, which are always free of charge.
Competing in its first year in the Southwest Conference, Houston Football won the league championship with a 10-2 overall record and advanced to the Cotton Bowl. There, the Cougars claimed a 30-21 win over No. 4 Maryland behind the play of senior defensive tackle Wilson Whitley, who won the 1976 Lombardi Award, given to the nation’s top college lineman. Whitley was also named Southwest Conference Defensive Player of the Decade for the 1970s, despite only playing one year in the league.
The University of Houston celebrated its 50th anniversary with events throughout the year focused on four themes: resources, technologies, lifestyles, and environments. As part of the UH 50 Fund drive, the Cullen Foundation pledged $3 million to endow nine distinguished professorships contingent upon the university raising $6 million in matching funds.
The M. D. Anderson Library reached a milestone when it acquired its one-millionth volume, a priceless work by Albrecht Dürer donated by Ambassador Kenneth Franzheim, on January 28, 1977.
State law created the University of Houston System, uniting the University of Houston, the University of Houston-Clear Lake, University of Houston-Downtown, and the University of Houston-Victoria, under one state university system.