Texas Bapist University by
Archie P. McDonald
I was about fourteen years of age, I accompanied cousins Warren and Earl Carlton
Russell to Marshall, Texas, to fetch
home their sister, Eleanor Lois, from East Texas Baptist College for the summer.
Each time I walked up her women's dormitory hall, Eleanor proceeded me bellowing,
"Man on the floor, man on the floor" to alert sister dorm residents of whatever
danger I represent.|
Eleanor's bellowing flattered as much as it embarrassed,
and represented my introduction to what we now call "faith-based" education.
courtesy rootsweb.com/%7Etxpstcrd/ |
Texas Baptist College, now University, began and remains in Marshall, Texas. W.T.
Tardy started the school as the College of Marshall in 1912, and the following
year Thurman C. Gardner became the first president of the institution. The college,
which offered a two-year program, was more of a "junior college" or prep college
until 1944, when a four-year curriculum began. By 1950, about the time Eleanor
Lois traveled north from Burkeville, in Newton County, to register for classes,
she joined about 650 other young scholars who were interested in training in a
Christian atmosphere for a teaching career.|
By then, East Texas Baptist
College operated in seven buildings situated on a 100-acre campus located just
north of the downtown business area of Marshall.
ETBC expanded its offerings to the liberal arts, won accreditation from the Southern
Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools, and in 1984 the Texas Baptist General
Convention renamed the institution a university.
the years the East Texas Historical Association has enjoyed the support and fellowship
of many ETBU administrators and teachers, including Charter Member and now Past
President Seth Walton, former ETBU President Jerry Dawson, and former ETBU Vice
President and ETHA Past President Gwen Morris. Dr. Linda Hudson—once my graduate
assistant—taught at ETBU until her retirement, and scholar/teachers Jerry Hopkins
and Jerry Summers do so yet As East Texas Baptist University approaches its centennial
within a lustrum—view the movie "ROOSTER COGBURN" or look the word up in the dictionary—officials
and graduates can be proud of their long and competent service. And that once
a "man on the floor" wondered what all the fuss was about.||
|© Archie P. McDonald
June 18, 2007 column
A syndicated column in over 70 East Texas newspapers
This column is provided as a public service by the East Texas Historical
Association. Archie P. McDonald is director of the Association and author of more
than 20 books on Texas.
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