Date of Award

Spring 5-7-2022

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts - History



First Advisor

M. Scott Sosebee, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Dana Cooper, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Paul Sandul, Ph.D.

Fourth Advisor

Dianne Dentice, PhD.


Stephen F. Austin State University was once the pride and joy of the city of Nacogdoches, Texas. When the Texas State Legislature began to look for a location for their new state normal school, the people of the East Texas town fought to have it built there and the Stephen F. Austin Teacher’s College opened its doors in September 1923 to a proud community. Through the trials and tribulations of early twentieth century events, the school managed to stay afloat and grow in numbers. Dr. Ralph W. Steen became the president of the college in 1958 and he oversaw a multitude of significant changes including the integration of the school in 1964. While this shift in the student body did strike a nerve with the surrounding community, it was not until those involved with the campus changed their political views and joined their fellow African Americans in the fight for civil rights, did the support for the university change. The actions of the faculty and students against the traditions of Nacogdoches divided the town and gown to where the relationship has never fully recovered.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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