The university was formally opened on September 15, 1883. In 1899, Oratory was a popular subject, as taught by Edwin DuBois Shurter. The Department of Public Speaking (now the department of Communication Studies) at UT Austin was established in 1899, and the School of Journalism began in 1914. In 1952, Journalism moved into its own building.
An early interest in broadcasting on campus resulted in the formation of the Department of Radio-Television-Film. In 1921, a radio station was established to conduct experimental work in radio communication, and by the 1930s what was probably the first television broadcast in Texas originated on this campus. The first degree program in broadcasting began in 1939.
Established in 1941 with the founding of The University of Texas at Austin Speech and Hearing Clinic and the introduction of course work leading to Texas Education Agency certification, the program of Communication Sciences and Disorders is the oldest program of its kind in the state of Texas. Originally housed in the Department of Speech Communication, a separate Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders was established in 1998.
Established in 1958, KUT-FM Radio (90.5 FM) provides informational, cultural, and educational programs to The University community as well as throughout Central and West Texas.
In 1965 the School of Journalism, the Department of Speech, and a newly formed Department of Radio-Television-Film became the three departments officially organized as the School of Communication. Construction of a three-building communication complex began in 1968, and the three Departments of Journalism, Radio-Television-Film and Speech Communication moved into new facilities in 1974. In that same year, the accredited sequence of advertising in the Department of Journalism was established as a separate Department of Advertising.
In 1979, the School of Communication became the College of Communication. At official ceremonies in April 1982, the three buildings comprising the communication complex were named the Jesse H. Jones Communication Center in honor of Mr. Jones, founder of the Houston Endowment, donor of the College's first and largest endowment.
In November 2000, the Department of Journalism was renamed the School of Journalism. "The designation of the journalism program as a 'school' puts us in a much better academic position relative to our peer programs - the very best journalism programs in the country. These are the programs with which we compete for resources from various professional associations, for strong faculty and for graduate students," said former School of Journalism Director Lorraine Branham.
In August 2012, a new building, the Belo Center for New Media, opened its doors for classes. Located at the northeast corner of Dean Keeton and Guadalupe Streets, the $54.8 million Belo Center provides interactive classrooms and meeting space for more than 4,600 students in the College and houses the adjacent KUT Public Media Studios. The 120,000-square-foot building includes lecture halls, auditoria, student offices and meeting rooms, as well as spaces for film screenings and conferences for all college departments.
On Nov. 7 2013, the College was officially named the Moody College of Communication following an historic $50 million gift from the Moody Foundation. Combined with the Moody College’s previous endowments, the Moody Foundation gift creates the largest endowment for the study of communication at any public university in the nation.