Texas Over Time: Baylor University’s Old Main and Burleson Hall

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By Geoff Hunt, Audio and Visual Curator

Texas has changed quite a bit over the years, as is readily seen in our vast photograph and postcard collections. To help bring some of those changes to life, we’ve created a “Texas over Time” series of Meta Slider’s that will illustrate the construction and renovations of buildings, street scenes, and more. Our collections are especially strong on Waco and Baylor images, but look for some views beyond the Heart of Texas, too.

Baylor University’s Main building (1887) and Burleson Hall (1888) were the first two structures built when the institution moved from Independence, TX. Along with Carroll Library (home of The Texas Collection) and Carroll Science Building, both completed in the early 1900’s, these four structures form the Rufus Burleson Quadrangle. This was what comprised the university at one time. Then the institution grew across Fifth Street and behind these structures and well beyond including across the Brazos River. The photographs shown here show some of the changes over time that these buildings have withstood. Although modified and updated, they still stand proudly to this day and are the centerpieces of Baylor University.Continue Reading

Sharing Student Scholarship: Finances at Baylor University, 1890-1910

Our Sharing Student Scholarship blog posts showcase original scholarship written by Baylor students who conducted research using primary source materials in The Texas Collection. This post is the the third of five in a series of blog posts written by graduate and PhD students from the Fall 2018 Foundations & History of Higher Education Leadership course. 

by Scott Alexander, Andrew Eastwood, Preston Templeman, and Mariah Duncan

Throughout the history of higher education, finances and funding have been necessary to animate and realize the mission of an institution. Finances can make or break an institution; therefore, strong leadership has always been important in making sure that the funds of an institution are being used to support both present function and foundation for the future. Funding comes from both internal and external sources to build endowments, provide student scholarships, pay institutional debts, make capital improvements, and supply for curricular and co-curricular resources. As industrialists built personal wealth during the 1890s and 1900s, the prevailing concept of the “Protestant work ethic” encouraged philanthropic stewardship of that wealth[1]. Higher education institutions capitalized on this ethic through targeted fundraising efforts[2].Continue Reading

Texas Collection Teaching Fellows

The Teaching Fellows Program is offered each year to full-time Baylor faculty members and graduate teaching assistants through the Baylor University Libraries. This program supports research in one of Baylor’s six special libraries/collections, including The Texas Collection! Fellows spend time in these special libraries/collections over the summer with the expectation of implementing special collections in their courses that academic year. If you missed the Academy for Teaching and Learning (ATL) session, “Teaching with Special Collections,” here is a brief overview of The Texas Collection’s Summer 2018 Teaching Fellows.

Dr. T. Laine Scales

Dr. Scales is a Professor of Higher Education as well as Social Work and serves the Baylor Graduate School as Associate Dean of Graduate Studies and Professional Development. In 2016, she was named as a Baylor University Master Teacher. Dr. Scales spent time this past summer looking through several early collections in the University Archives to be implemented in her Foundations & History of Higher Education Administration graduate level course in the School of Education. Students in this class were assigned to one of five themes: Access, Curriculum, Finance, Students, and Religion. Through these themes, they researched Baylor’s history from 1890-1910 and a particular topic that fit with their assigned theme. Students were able to connect what they were learning in class about the history of higher education on a national level with history on a local level while gaining valuable research skills within the archives. Students were required to complete individual papers using materials from the archives as well as group blog posts, which The Texas Collection has been posting throughout this semester (see our “Sharing Student Scholarship” series).Continue Reading

Sharing Student Scholarship: Access at Baylor University, 1900-1910

Our Sharing Student Scholarship blog posts showcase original scholarship written by Baylor students who conducted research using primary source materials in The Texas Collection. This post is the second of five in a series of blog posts written by graduate and PhD students from the Fall 2018 Foundations & History of Higher Education Leadership course. 

by Rachel Jones, Rachel Ticknor, Rachel Henson, Jillian Haag, and Lela Lam

Following its merger with Waco University in 1886, Baylor University set forth a series of initiatives that were progressive in terms of extending college access to various student groups-specifically to women and transfer students. These initiatives included Baylor’s promotion of coeducation and the university’s establishment of formal articulation agreements with Texas high schools and other Baptist colleges. Because of these efforts, a Baylor education had become more accessible to a wider network of students. However, despite these progressive strides, some students (mainly female students) still faced inequality and a lack of access to certain resources/activities once they actually matriculated on campus.

With the establishment of the Baptist General Convention of Texas (BGCT)’s Education Commission in 1897, Baylor focused on leveraging the Commission’s existing partnerships in order to create formal articulation agreements with the other correlated Baptist colleges. Under these agreements, students that completed a standardized two-year curriculum and graduated from the affiliated colleges could transfer to Baylor, without an entrance examination, in order to complete their four-year degree. Baylor utilized a similar model in order to establish formal articulation agreements with a variety of high schools. These two initiatives collectively increased access for, and enrollment of, students who graduated from the affiliated high schools and colleges.

Despite their successes, it is possible that some of Baylor’s most groundbreaking initiatives were inherently exclusionary towards students who did not belong to/identify with the parameters that had been established (e.g. students who did not attend the affiliated high schools or colleges). Moreover, Baylor did not ensure that all students would receive equal levels of access to campus resources and programs once they actually enrolled at Baylor, which resulted in a sense of tension among the university community.

Group photo of The R.C.B. Literary Society, 1908. Found in the 1908 edition of The Baylor Round-Up. Courtesy of The Texas Collection, Baylor University.

This tension is perhaps most evident in the experiences documented by Baylor’s female students and faculty members between 1900 and 1910. Although Baylor had taken a rather progressive stance on coeducation and allowed men and women to meet in the classroom and in the chapel together, women still faced unfair treatment in terms of housing policies and educational, financial, and extracurricular opportunities. Two examples of this treatment are evident when one takes a closer look at the student literary societies and faculty job opportunities.

Photo of Dr. Lula Pace, 1908. Lula Pace was the first female professor at Baylor to hold a doctoral degree, and served as the chair of the Department of Botany and Geology. Found in the 1908 edition of The Baylor Round-Up. Courtesy of The Texas Collection, Baylor University.

As with most topics regarding student access during this time, the issue of women’s participation in literary societies was complex. There was collaboration and partnership between the male and female societies, but this did not always result in equality for their respective members. Though there were a number of benefits that came from women’s membership in literary societies, it is evident that when compared to their male counterparts, female students who chose to participate in such societies faced marginalization. This marginalization is especially evident when one considers the limited opportunity for scholarships.

In a similar vein, female faculty members at Baylor also experienced inequality. Although Baylor had taken a progressive stance on hiring more female faculty members, women comprised less than half of the faculty, were paid less than their male counterparts, and were generally considered lower-level “instructors” rather than full professors. In addition, Baylor rarely hired married female faculty members, notwithstanding that the majority of male faculty were married. All of these examples confirm that Baylor female faculty members faced inequality that was similar to what Baylor female students faced.

As progressive as Baylor was in 1900 to 1910, it was still a far cry from the experience that Baylor women have today. Finally, as Baylor continues to extend access to a variety of students, the university should build intentional partnerships whilst remaining mindful of any possibilities of exclusion.

Sharing Student Scholarship: Curricular Change and Reform at Baylor University, 1890-1910

Our Sharing Student Scholarship blog posts showcase original scholarship written by Baylor students who conducted research using primary source materials in The Texas Collection. This post is the first of five in a series of blog posts written by graduate and PhD students from the Fall 2018 Foundations & History of Higher Education Leadership course. 

by Beth Benschoter, Delacy Carpenter, Liya Scott, and Zach Mills

The transition from the 19th Century and into the 20th Century was a time in American higher education of innovation and reform. Although within a matter of decades a uniquely American identity of higher education would emerge, at the turn of the century institutions were still experimenting, specifically with curriculum (Thelin, 2011). This was certainly true of Baylor University and from ~1890-1910, Baylor was exploring many curricular innovations, some lasting and others not. Four specific curricular changes that emerged during this time were: the construction of a new science building; a military science department; a growing religious curriculum; and a school of oratory.Continue Reading

StuFu for You: Baylor’s Student Foundation Serves Students

by Joe Griffith, Graduate Assistant

Student Foundation members are perhaps best known around campus for their green- and white-striped rugby shirts. BU395 – Box #41, Folder #21, circa 2004-2005.

Baylor University’s Student Foundation was born in a turbulent time.

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, relations between college students and administrators deteriorated. On March 4th, 1970, as thousands of college students at Kent State University protested American involvement in the Vietnam War, members of the Ohio National Guard opened fire, killing four students and wounding nine others. When over 400 million student went on strike in the coming weeks, over 450 universities, colleges, and high schools shut down.

“We were dealing with a very unique situation at that time,” recalled Bill Harlan, one of the founders of Student Foundation.

Modeled after the 600-member Indiana University Foundation, Baylor University’s Student Foundation (aka “StuFu”) was founded in 1969 as a way to make Baylor University a better place. Its motto is straightforward and simple: “Students Serving Students.”Continue Reading

Research Ready: September 2018

Each month, we post an update to notify our readers about the latest archival collections to be processed and some highlights of our print material acquisitions. These resources are primed for research and are just a sampling of the many resources to be found at The Texas Collection!Continue Reading

Research Ready: August 2018

Each month, we post an update to notify our readers about the latest archival collections to be processed and some highlights of our print material acquisitions. These resources are primed for research and are just a sampling of the many resources to be found at The Texas Collection!Continue Reading

Five Things You Probably Don’t Know About The Texas Collection (Unless You Just Spent Ten Weeks Here)

by Emily Starr, Summer Intern

  1. Bring a sweater. The collections here are kept at 65°, which means it’s chilly. Even on the hottest 110° days, you’ll probably need an extra layer, but it’s for the good of the collections, so it’s worth it. There are really old books, maps, and other valuable pieces of history on paper, so it’s important to do our best to preserve them.
  2. Texas has really weird towns. The Texas Collection has a vast map collection, housing about 14,000 maps of mostly Texas, and I worked with over 2,500 of them. Scranton, Movie Mountain, and Blanket were some of my favorites. You can take a tour of Europe if you’re interested, including towns like London, Paris, Oxford, Dublin, Edinburg, Florence, and Athens. If you don’t believe me, just head to the map room in The Texas Collection. The collection houses a very extensive array of maps, and another thing you might not know is how beautiful they are! From really old historical maps of the U.S. and Texas to maps of Waco, many research needs can be met in the map room.
  3. We are a photogenic school. If you need any historical pictures of Baylor or Waco, The Texas Collection can help you out. Maybe you work for The Lariat, maybe you need vintage fashion inspiration, or maybe you’re just upping your Instagram game – regardless the reason, the archives are your gold mine! If you are like me, and you aren’t the first in your family to come to Baylor, it’s especially fun to see photos of Baylor and Waco when our parents and grandparents were here.
  4. You should start your research paper here. Not only are the resources available valuable for your research, but the reading room is a quiet space for any studying needs. There is always someone at the desk to help you, and it’s a nice change of pace from the other libraries that can be crowded at different points throughout the semester.
  5. If you leave when it’s closing time, you get to hear the bells. Although Carroll Library closes at 5:00pm, one of the best parts of my days this summer has been on the walk back to my car. I try to leave right on time just to to hear the bells because it’s a fun reminder of how the history housed in The Texas Collection is still reflected throughout Baylor today.

Looking Back at Baylor: The “Philos” and the “Sophies”

This piece by former Texas Collection director Kent Keeth originally was published in The Baylor Line in April 1976, then was reprinted in Looking Back at Baylor (1985), a collection of Keeth and Harry Marsh’s historical columns for the Line. Blogging about Texas periodically features selections from Looking Back at Baylor, with hopes of sharing Keeth’s work with a new audience.

With the start of the fall semester kicking off this week, we welcome a new class of students who will begin to make new friends and join new organizations as Baylor becomes their home. There was a time when Baylor did not have national fraternal organizations for students to join and in the early years many students belonged to literary societies. Read on to learn about their competitiveness and “rush season”, as told by a 1909 Baylor graduate.
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