Date of Award
Master of Arts - History
M. Scott Sosebee, Ph.D.
Dana Cooper, Ph.D.
Paul Sandul, Ph.D.
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.
Hornback, Caitlin, "A Cleave within the Piney Woods: Nacogdoches, Stephen F. Austin State University and How Racial Integration Divided the Town and Gown" (2022). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 441.
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