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Huston-Tillotson College is established when the two colleges merge
Becomes Huston–Tillotson University
The history of Huston - Tillotson University lies in two schools: Tillotson College and Samuel Huston College.
Tillotson Collegiate and Normal Institute was chartered as a coeducational school in 1877 by the American Missionary Society of Congregational churches and its namesake, George Jeffrey Tillotson.1 It opened on January 17, 1881 and had 12 presidents: "William E. Brooks, first president (1881-85), was succeeded by John Hershaw (1886), Henry L. Lubbell (1886-1889), William M. Brown (1889-93), Winfield S. Goss (1894-95), Marshall R. Gaines (1896-1904), Arthur W. Partch (1905-06), Isaac M. Agard (1907-18), and Francis W. Fletcher (1919-23). J. T. Hodges, the first African American to be president (1924-29), was followed by Mary E. Branch (1930-44) and William H. Jones, who became president in 1944."1 Tillotson College was a women's college from 1926-1935.1
Samuel Huston College developed out of an 1876 Methodist Episcopal conference.23 An 1883 agreement with the Freedmen's Aid Society led to the development of the college. The college was named after Samuel Huston of Marengo, Iowa and the college opened in 1900.2
On October 24, 1952 Tillotson College and Samuel Huston College merged to form Huston-Tillotson College.4 It then became Huston–Tillotson University on February 28, 2005.5
Before the merger, future baseball legend Jackie Robinson accepted an offer from his old friend and pastor Rev. Karl Downs 6 who was president of the college, to be the athletic director at Samuel Huston College, then of the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC).7
Before joining the Kansas City Monarchs, Robinson coached the school's basketball team for the 1944–45 season. As a fledgling program, few students tried out for the basketball team, and Robinson even resorted to inserting himself into the lineup for exhibition games. Although his teams were outmatched by opponents, Robinson was respected as a disciplinarian coach, and drew the admiration of, among others, Langston University basketball player Marques Haynes, a future member of the Harlem Globetrotters.7
Huston–Tillotson University's campus is located at the site of the former Tillotson College on a land feature formerly known to local residents as Bluebonnet Hill. The
24-acre (9.7 ha) campus is located in East Austin, between 7th and 11th streets near I-35 and downtown Austin.
Most of the buildings on campus follow the same nomenclature as the name of the university, with hyphens denoting the importance of the contributions of individuals from both colleges before the merger.
Dr. Herman A. Barnett III, First African-American to be admitted to the University of Texas Medical School and first native Texan African-American to graduate from a Texas medical school and to be licensed to practice medicine in Texas.8
Robert G. Stanton, Former National Director of the U.S. Park Service during the Clinton administration 9
Dr June H. Brewer, former professor of English at Huston-Tillotson University for 35 years and former chairperson for the English Department at Hutson-Tillotson. In 1950, Dr. Brewer was among the first five African Americans admitted to the University of Texas after the landmark Sweatt v. Painter case opened the University to African American students.10
Maceo T. Bowie, First president of the Kennedy-King City College in Chicago, IL.11
Dr. Karl E. Downs - minister in the United Methodist Church, graduated from Sam Huston College (now Huston–Tillotson University),6 in 1933, was the school's former president and was the personal friend and pastor of Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson.
James A. Harris, Scientist part of a team that discovered and identified elements 104 and 105 in 1969-1970 which are now part of the periodic table of chemical elements.12