Huston–Tillotson University

Huston-Tillotson University

Huston-Tillotson University
Type Private, HBCU
Established 1875
Affiliation United Methodist Church
United Church of Christ
Endowment US$7 million
Students 1,023
Undergraduates 968
Postgraduates 55
Location Austin, Texas,
United States

30°15′53″N 97°43′21″W / 30.264794°N 97.722447°W / 30.264794; -97.722447

Huston–Tillotson University (abbreviated as HTU) is a private historically black university in Austin, Texas, United States. The school is affiliated with the United Methodist Church, the United Church of Christ, and the United Negro College Fund. Huston–Tillotson University awards four-year degrees in business, education, the humanities, natural sciences, social sciences, science and technology. The University also offers alternative teacher certification and academic programs for undergraduates interested in pursuing post-graduate degrees in Law and Medicine.


History at a glance
1875 Tillotson Collegiate and Normal Institute opens
1876 Samuel Huston College opens
1935 Tillotson is a women's college
1952 Huston-Tillotson College is established when the two colleges merge
2005 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.[2][3] 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.

Anthony and Louise Viaer Alumni Hall

The Anthony and Louise Viaer Alumni Hall (formerly known as the Old Administration Building) is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

HTU Student Body

In Fall 2015, the student body was 57% female and 43% male. 68% identified as Black, 22% identified as Hispanic, 6% identified as Non-Hispanic White, and the remaining 4% identified with other ethnicity or racial groups.[8]


Huston–Tillotson teams, nicknamed athletically as the Rams, are part of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), primarily competing in the Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC). Men's sports include baseball, basketball, soccer and track & field; while women's sports include basketball,soccer, softball, track & field and volleyball.

Notable alumni


Further reading

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