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The University of Houston–Clear Lake (UHCL) is a public university in Pasadena and Houston, Texas, with branch campuses in Pearland and Texas Medical Center. It is part of the University of Houston System. Founded in 1971, UHCL had an enrollment of more than 9,000 students for fall 2019. The university serves students in four academic colleges. UHCL offers 97 degree programs: 46 bachelors, 48 masters, and three doctoral. Awarding more than 2,100 degrees annually, the university's alumni base exceeds 73,000. The main campus is located on a 524-acre (2.12 km2) nature habitat adjacent to the Houston community of Clear Lake. The majority of the campus lies within the corporate limits of Pasadena, while only the part of campus south of Horsepen Bayou lies within the city of Houston. The campus sits in a bottomland hardwood forest adjacent to the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center and the Armand Bayou Nature Center and is home to a wide range of wildlife including alligators, wild turkeys, bobcats, and whitetail deer. In 1961 NASA announced that the Manned Spacecraft Center would be located in Houston just off the shores of Clear Lake. Early in the development of the Manned Spacecraft Center, a demand for graduate studies grew within NASA and the nearby space-related industries. In 1964 the University of Houston (UH) began offering courses in physics, math, and various engineering programs to NASA employees at the Manned Spacecraft Center (MSC). On Sept. 10, 1965, MSC Director Robert R. Gilruth formally requested that the University of Houston give immediate consideration to the establishment of a permanent graduate and undergraduate educational facility in the Clear Lake area. UH President Philip G. Hoffman replied that "… it would be difficult for us to be unresponsive to vital needs of the MSC and its staff," but indicated that "the acquisition of appropriate land in the Clear Lake City area would be of crucial importance to this project.

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