Austin College is a private liberal arts college affiliated by
covenant relationship with the
Presbyterian Church (USA)
Presbyterian Church (USA) and located
in Sherman, Texas.
About 1,300 students are enrolled at the college. Students are
required to live on campus for the first three years of their
education in order to foster a close-knit and community oriented
Austin College actively promotes study abroad
programs; 70% of graduates have at least one international study
experience during college, and about 82% of students are involved in
research. The college cultivates close interaction between students
and professors via a 12:1 student to faculty ratio and an average
class size of fewer than 25 students. The college has no teaching
assistants, so regular faculty teach all levels of coursework.
Chartered in November 1849,
Austin College remains the oldest
institution of higher education in
Texas to be operating under its
original charter and name as recognized by the State Historical Survey
Committee. The college was profiled in all three editions of
Colleges That Change Lives.
5.1 Majors and Minors
5.3 January Term
5.4 Study abroad
5.5 Jordan Family Language House
5.6 Model United Nations
5.7 Graduate Outcomes
7 Notable alumni
8 Notable faculty
10 External links
The college was founded on October 13, 1849, in Huntsville, Texas, by
the Hampden–Sydney and Princeton-educated missionary Dr. Daniel
Baker. Signed by
Texas Governor George Wood, the charter of Austin
College was modeled after those of Harvard, Yale, and Princeton.
Baker named the school for the
Texas historical figure Stephen F.
Austin after the original land on which it was built was donated by
the Austin family. Two other important figures in
Texas history, Sam
Houston and Anson Jones, served on the original board of trustees
for the college, and the former site in Huntsville later became
Sam Houston State University.
Austin College's founding president was Irish-born Presbyterian
minister Samuel McKinney, who served as the school's president a
second time from 1862 to 1871. Under the tenure of the fourth
president of Austin College, Reverend Samuel Magoffin Luckett,
Austin College suffered several yellow fever epidemics and
complications related to the Civil War.
Texas Synod of the
Presbyterian Church decided the college would be relocated to Sherman
in 1876. Construction of the new campus in north
Texas came in the
form of "Old Main," a two-story, red brick structure, which occurred
between 1876 and 1878. Struggling with the Long Depression. Austin
College saw little improvement to its building or grounds during the
late 1870s; as such, Samuel Luckett resigned his position as
president. From 1878 to 1885, the college continued to struggle from
the aftershocks of economic depression; with an increasing debt and
shrinking student body, the college turned to its 7th president,
Reverend Donald MacGregor. A shrewd and well connected businessman,
President MacGregor relieved a great deal of the college's debt and
returned operations to normalcy. After MacGregor's death in 1887, the
college welcomed President Luckett back to the campus. Throughout his
second term as president, Samuel Luckett adopted a military program,
grew the student body, introduced a YMCA chapter, established
intercollegiate athletics and Greek fraternities, and added two wings
to Old Main.
One of the school's most iconic presidents came in the form of
Reverend Thomas Stone Clyce, who served as the Austin College
president from 1900 to 1931; Reverend Clyce's presidency would become,
and remains, the longest tenure in
Austin College history.
On January 21 of 1913, Old Main was set ablaze and burnt to the ground
in a matter of hours. A professor of Austin College, Davis Foute
Eagleton described the incident:
Austin College on fire and every particle of wood reduced to
ashes--and walls rendered totally unfit for use. Oh, dies irae, dies
irae! - The dear old building in which I have laboured for twenty-four
years, gone! What traditions, memories, griefs, joys, were associated
with it! The carpenters were approaching the completion of their work.
The new English room was completed, the library room was soon to be
ready. The literary societies lost everything. I lost all books, or,
[those] in my class room. The laboratories were almost a total loss.
Fortunately, the library, records, and office furniture were all in
the new Y.M.C.A. building. Before the fire had begun to die out, the
Senior class called the student body together and they pledged
themselves by classes in writing to stand by the Faculty and the
College, and that no one would leave. The Faculty also met shortly
after and unanimously decided to continue college work the next day as
usual, meeting their classes in places designated. Probably not
another institution in the State could have done this. But the old
College building is gone forever!!!"
Following the fire, the citizens of Sherman raised $50,000 to help the
college rebuild. Now one of the oldest buildings on the Austin College
campus, Sherman Hall housed administrative offices, an
auditorium-chapel, and a library. Now the home of the humanities
division, Sherman Hall boasted such guests as Harry Houdini, Harry
Blackstone Sr., Madame Schumann-Heink, William Howard Taft, and George
To this day, the
Austin College administration rarely cancels classes
for weather or minor incidents in honor of the great commitment
students and faculty made to continue on with regular coursework
following the fire.
Austin College became co-educational in 1918, merging in 1930 with the
Texas Presbyterian College.
The Great Depression severely limited campus growth and educational
expansion, however the college quickly regained momentum in the
mid-1930s with the introduction of many courses, ground breaking on
new facilities, and growth of previously established programs.
Austin College trained some 300 men and women in
engineering, science and management courses as part of the United
States Office of Education's war efforts. The following year, Austin
College undertook a Cadet nurses training program and hosted Naval
Texas Home Guard, Army-air trainees and Air Corps Cadets.
On September 20, 1973, the musician
Jim Croce died in a plane crash in
Natchitoches, Louisiana, on his way to perform the next night at
Austin College. Six people died in the crash.
In 1994, Dr. Oscar Page joined the community as its 14th president.
Under his tenure, 1994-2009, Dr. Page increased the school's endowment
by nearly 80%, due in large part to his dedicated fundraising efforts
as evidenced by the success of the "Campaign for the New Era;" a total
of $120 million were raised and the campaign was heralded as the
largest fundraiser in Austin College's history. Dr. Page orchestrated
the construction of Jordan Family Language House, Jerry E. Apple
Stadium, the Robert J. and Mary Wright Campus Center, the Robert M.
and Joyce A. Johnson ’Roo Suites, and the Betsy Dennis Forster Art
Studio Complex; as well as the renovation of the David E. and Cassie
L. Temple Center for Teaching and Learning at Thompson House and of
Wortham Center, and creation of the John A. and Katherine G. Jackson
Technology Center, the Margaret Binkley Collins and William W.
Collins, Jr., Alumni Center, and the College Green in Honor of John D.
and Sara Bernice Moseley and Distinguished Faculty.
In the latter part of Austin College's history, the school would see
de-segregation, welcome its first full-time black faculty member,
first female head of a department, and, employ its first female
Dr. Marjorie Hass joined the campus in 2009 as both its first female
Jewish faith president. Since the start of her leadership, the
college has seen the construction of the IDEA Center and two new
housing complexes, the Flats at Brockett Court and the Village on
Grand. Home to 103,000 square feet of multi-disciplinary and
multi-purpose classrooms, laboratories, lecture halls and the largest
telescope in the region found in Adams Observatory, the IDEA Center is
a LEED Gold certified facility.
Austin College welcomed its first female president, 15th in
the history of the College, Dr. Marjorie Hass. She was previously
provost of Muhlenberg College. Hass succeeded Dr. Oscar Page. Hass
left the college in July 2017 to assume the presidency of Rhodes
On August 17, 2017
Austin College announced its 16th President, Steven
O'Day, former Vice President of Strategic Initiatives at Lebanon
Valley College. O'Day took office on October 30, 2017.
Liberal arts colleges
U.S. News & World Report
Listed in the U.S. News & World Report "Guide to the 331 Most
Austin College is also ninth on the U.S. News
2006 list of "most students studying abroad" and #82 on the 2013 list
of National Liberal Arts Colleges. The school is named a Best
Western College by
The Princeton Review
The Princeton Review and is also included in The
Princeton Review's Best 377 Colleges.
Austin College has been ranked
as one of the top ten colleges in
Texas by USA Today, College Factual,
and Best Colleges.
Austin College is a member of the International 50, a group of the top
colleges in the USA for international focus, the non-profit
Colleges That Change Lives and is one of the original 40
colleges profiled in the book Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools
That Will Change the Way You Feel About Colleges by Loren Pope.
Every student has a faculty mentor for their four years at Austin
Student to faculty ratio is 12:1.
98 percent of faculty members hold a Ph.D. or equivalent terminal
Austin College graduates experience an 80 percent acceptance rate into
medical schools and other health science programs (two-year average).
70 percent of graduates have at least one international study
experience during college.
80 percent of students complete an internship during their college
Intercollegiate athletics programs involve 20 percent of the student
Each year, students contribute more than 16,000 community service
hours locally and internationally.
More than 80 percent of students live on campus.
Austin College community has approximately 42 percent of students
who represent ethnic and racial minorities.
63 percent of graduates enter graduate or professional school
immediately or within five years of graduation.
94 percent of faculty members recently have published or presented
There are four residence halls on the
Austin College campus. Baker
Hall houses only males, Caruth Hall houses only females, and Dean and
Clyce Hall are co-ed. Freshmen are required to live in one of the
residence halls if living on campus for their first year. All dorms
have community bathrooms, laundry facilities, a computer lab, and
community kitchen. The dorms also offer a limited number of single
rooms. A meal plan is required for students living in the residence
Unless special accommodations are made, students are required to live
on campus for three full years or six semesters.
Bryan Apartments are College-owned apartments on campus. The 16
two-bedroom apartments are occupied by 2 people each. All apartments
are furnished with two movable beds, dressers, desks and chairs per
bedroom, movable sofa and a chair in the living room, and a movable
dining room table with four chairs. All apartments contain a kitchen
equipped with a full size refrigerator, garbage disposal, microwave,
and electric oven and stove. There is also a common room, shared with
the Johnson 'Roo Suites, which includes a full kitchen, computer lab,
study areas, and a living room area.
Johnson ‘Roo Suites are College-owned apartments, completed in the
fall of 2003. Adjacent to Bryan Apartments, the suites house 152
students in four separate structures. Two of the buildings are three
stories while the other two are only two stories. The residence is
available to sophomores, juniors, and seniors, with priority given to
sophomores and juniors. Four students, each with a separate bedroom,
live in a 1,200-square-foot suite that includes two bathrooms, a
common living area, and a kitchenette. The kitchenette includes a full
size refrigerator, microwave, and a sink, but no stove or oven. Each
resident receives a key to the main door and one for their individual
bedroom. Laundry rooms are located in an outside room on each floor of
each building. There is also a common room, shared with the Bryan
Apartments, which includes a full kitchen, computer lab, study areas,
and a living room area.
The Jordan Family Language House takes language learning to a whole
new level for 48 men and women students of German, Spanish, French,
and Japanese. Divided into four pods, one for each language, the House
is staffed by four native speaking language residents. The Japanese
pod is also shared with students in the Chinese program. Each pod
features bedrooms, a kitchen, and a common living area. Residents are
automatically enrolled in a quarter-credit language course each
semester and must meet the requirements of the course to receive
The Flats at Brockett Court provide 26 suite-style residences for
juniors, extending living options beyond the traditional residence
halls. Each includes four bedrooms with full sized beds, two
bathrooms, full kitchen, washer and dryer, and a living area. Five of
the units are two bedroom, one bath. All are fully furnished. A
community room offers a social space for residents.
The Village on Grand provides neighborhood-style housing on Grand
Avenue for seniors and some juniors. The Village includes 24
cottages—some single, some duplex, and three triplex
“mansions,”—each housing four individuals. Each fully furnished
cottage has a full-size kitchen, washer and dryer, four bedrooms with
full-size beds, four bathrooms, and a living area. Each unit has front
and rear covered porches. Reserved parking is available for each
resident. Residents also pay their own electricity and water bills for
a more independent lifestyle.
Austin College offers about 35 majors and pre-professional programs
for study, and students can also create a specialized major to match
their academic interests. The college is known for its nationally
recognized five-year Master of Arts in Teaching program, its
pre-medical, international studies, and pre-law programs, which draw
many students to the campus. The college has a music program, and
Austin College A Cappella Choir and the Sherman Symphony
Orchestra made up of students and local musicians, and assorted
smaller musical ensembles. It sponsors the Posey Center of Excellence
in Leadership, the Center for Environmental Studies, and the Center
for Southwestern and Mexican Studies, three specialized programs that
give students numerous research and internship opportunities. The
school also has active programs in over 40 academic disciplines. The
school's student newspaper, the
Austin College Observer, is a
Majors and Minors
There are over 50 subject areas made available to students at Austin
College when deciding on a major and minor. Students are permitted to
create a specialized major to match their academic interests. Austin
College also offers pre-professional programs for law, medicine,
dentistry, allied health, ministry, and engineering, in addition to
offering a four and a half year Masters of Arts in Teaching
Communication/Inquiry (C/I) is a seminar course taken by freshmen
during the fall of their entry year. The professor becomes a mentor
for the students in the class over the next four years. C/I serves as
the initial course in the undergraduate core curriculum, meant to
emphasize the enhancement of core academic skills. Course topics are
generally aligned with specialty of the instructors. C/I professors
and topics rotate every year.
January Term is a three-week course taught every January. Students are
required to take three Jan-terms during their time at Austin, and many
use the semester to either take a class in an area different to their
regular studies, intensify their study in their designated field, or
travel abroad on one of the many travel Jan-terms. Off-campus
Jan-terms are an opportunity for those who cannot study abroad during
the normal school year to do so. International destinations rotate
from year to year. There are also a number of domestic travel
locations, such as
Ghost Ranch in New Mexico, Washington D.C., Las
Vegas and New York City. Classes taught on campus during January Term
mirror the philosophy of intensive, experiential learning; such
courses may be taught by traditional full-time faculty or visiting
guests. One might even find yoga, bridge, comic book illustrating,
molecular gastronomy, wine tasting or myth busters courses taught
during this time.
Austin College has a strong emphasis on international learning
opportunity. Every year, students have the opportunity to travel
abroad through several different avenues including semesters spent
abroad, January Terms, May Terms, or Global Outreach Fellowships.
A 2009 report by Open Doors Online showed that
Austin College sent
more than 80% of its students abroad at some point during their
Jordan Family Language House
Completed in 1998, the Jordan Family Language House is both a
residential immersion facility for students pursuing German, Spanish,
French, Mandarin and Japanese language and culture. The hall is
divided into four sections, one for each language with Japanese and
Mandarin sharing a single wing. While each house functions
independently some common areas are shared among the group and potluck
meals are frequently enjoyed by all the houses in the common kitchen.
Students are required to speak in their language of study when in the
A native speaker, always coming from abroad, resides in each house to
assist students in their study of the language. The native speaker
also teaches intermediate and advanced conversation classes for the
students, both those living in the house and not. The Jordan House
contains a multimedia language laboratory, a kitchen for all
residents, large interior courtyard and four common rooms decorated
with cultural touches of the primary language.
Students who live in the house are enrolled in a half-credit course,
in addition to another course in the language or literature. Course
requirements include meeting several times a week for language table,
weekly house meetings with skits, games, and other presentations in
the target language, and a variety of other culturally appropriate
Model United Nations
Austin College has participated in
Model United Nations
Model United Nations around the
world since 1983. Model UN conferences simulate the workings of the
United Nations, with delegates assuming the current positions of the
countries they represent.
The purpose of the program is to gain skills in leadership, verbal and
written communication, teamwork, decision-making and research. At the
National Model U.N. Conference in New York City, the Austin College
program has earned more than 20 top rankings for Outstanding
Austin College has also attended conferences in Chicago,
Czech Republic, Washington, DC, Hawaii,
Russia and China.
Out of the
Austin College first-year graduates, 44% have full-time
employment, 36% attend graduate or professional schools, 11% are
participating in post-graduate experiences such as internships or
part-time employment, 5% are involved in prestigious fellowships or
service, and 4% are seeking full-time employment.
Austin College participates in
NCAA Division III
NCAA Division III athletics.
Austin College competed in NAIA Division II athletics.
Austin College athletes do not receive athletic scholarships. The
football team became known as the "Kangaroos" sometime during the 1914
to 1915 seasons. According to campus legend, the mascot name was
derived from a kangaroo court of organized students that would paddle
violators of college rules. Currently students refer to their sports
teams as the 'fighting roos.'
Kangaroo varsity teams include American football, men and women's
soccer, men's and women's cross country, volleyball, men and women's
basketball, swimming and diving, tennis, baseball and softball, which
was added for the 2006-2007 season. More than 225 student athletics
participate in varsity intercollegiate athletics each year. In
2004-2005, 28 students were recognized with all-conference athletic
honors and 61 students received all-conference academic honors.
Austin College joined the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference
(SCAC) on July 1, 2006, replacing Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.
Austin College was previously a member of the American Southwest
Texas Intercollegiate Athletic Association, and
Texas Conference. Beginning in 2017, the
Austin College football team
will join the
Southern Athletic Association
Southern Athletic Association in football, while
remaining a member of the SCAC across all other sports.
In 2007, the first year of participating in the SCAC, the Austin
College baseball team won the conference tournament, beating Millsaps
College 9-7 in the finals.The Roos finished the season with a win-loss
record of 22-25. The tournament win was the first ever conference
championship for the Roos and the first time the program had ever been
in the Regional tournament.
Carl Iwasaki was the head coach for
the Roos from 2005 until 2010. He won two coach of the year awards,
the first in 2006 while the Roos were still in the ASC and the second,
coming in 2007 after the Roos had joined the SCAC. Coach Iwasaki was
replaced by James Rise for the 2011 season who coached for four
seasons. Under Rise, the Roos went 11-24 in 2011, 8-29 in 2012, 12-29
in 2013, and 6-33 in 2014. In the fall of 2014, the Roos hired
Mike Ramsey, a former TCU baseball player, who in his first year went
Austin College began its first football season in 1896, making Austin
College one of the first teams in the south.
Austin College has had
119 straight seasons with a football team. Since its beginning Austin
college has won eight conference championships, and one national
championship. It has also hosted over 130 all Americans. Currently the
football team is coached by Loren Dawson and is currently a member of
NCAA Division III
NCAA Division III
Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference
Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC). As
noted above, the football team will move to the Southern Athletic
Association (SAA) in 2017.
Tom Thompson, NCAA Football Record Holder
Ryan Allen, opera singer
Marshall Applewhite, leader of the Heaven's Gate religious cult.
Gene Babb, President, National Football Scouting Inc.; former player
for the Dallas Cowboys,
Houston Oilers and San Francisco 49ers
Thomas Henry Ball,
Texas politician and member of the United States
House of Representatives
Smith Ballew, actor and singer
Billy Bookout, American football player
Hannibal Boone, 16th Attorney General of Texas
Byron Boston, a football official in the National Football League
George C. Butte, American jurist and
Joe Coomer, American football player
Deborah Crombie, New York Times bestselling author.
Philip Diehl, Director of the United States Mint.
Nancy Duff, Stephen Colwell Associate Professor of Christian Ethics at
Princeton Theological Seminary
Scott Eder, sports executive, marathoner and triathlete
Larry Fedora, head football coach at University of North Carolina at
Maurice Harper, American football player
David Lee "Tex" Hill, World War II triple ace, member of the Flying
Tigers. John Wayne based his character on Hill in the movie Flying
John Hitt, president of the University of Central Florida
Ron Kirk, former Mayor of Dallas and former United States Trade
Candace Kita, actress
Haskell Monroe, notable educator and university administrator
Ray Morehart, baseball player,
Chicago White Sox, New York Yankees,
Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig
John Moseley, educator and college president
Texas state court judge since 1981, based in San
Carroll Pickett, Presbyterian minister, author and advocate for
abolishing the death penalty
Homer Rainey, college president and professor
Charlie Robertson, American
Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball pitcher
Walter Rogers, United States Representative
Dan Stoenescu, Romanian diplomat and former Minister for Romanians
Vern Sutton, operatic tenor
Larry Tidwell, head women's basketball coach at NCAA Division I
Lamar University and University of Texas–Pan American.
Linus Wright, former Superintendent of Dallas School District and
former United States Undersecretary of Education
Leanna Dittrich, International Brazilian jiu-jitsu Federation
Blackbelt Women's Master 2 World Champion IBJJF
Light Townsend Cummins, (State Historian of Texas,
George Diggs, (biologist,
Joseph Havel, (Artist, Current Director, Glassell School of Art)
Jerry B. Lincecum, (English,
Texas folklore author)
Shelton Williams, (political science/international studies, government
^ As of November, 2014. "Austin College: Adding Value to a Changing
World Strategic Plan 2015-2020" (PDF). Austin College. Retrieved
November 20, 2014.
^ a b
Kangaroo Mascot". Austin College.
^ a b c Austin College,
Austin College History.
Austin College Archived June 11, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.,
Austin College Life.
^ a b
^ Austin College,
Austin College Faculty.
^ "An Army of Good Men". The Record. Hampden–Sydney College.
^ "History". www.austincollege.edu. Retrieved 2015-09-03.
^ Williams, Amelia W. (June 15, 2010). "MCKINNEY, SAMUEL". Handbook of
Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved September
^ a b c "Past Presidents". www.austincollege.edu. Retrieved
^ "Lost Buildings of
Austin College 1". abell.austincollege.edu.
^ "IDEA Center". www.austincollege.edu. Retrieved 2015-11-12.
^ "America's Top Colleges". Forbes. July 5, 2016.
^ "Best Colleges 2017: National Liberal Arts Colleges Rankings". U.S.
News & World Report. September 12, 2016.
^ "2016 Rankings - National Universities - Liberal Arts". Washington
Monthly. Retrieved September 6, 2016.
^ "Austin College". U.S. News.
^ "Residence Life". austincollege.edu.
^ "music program". austincollegemusic.com.
^ "www.shermansymphony.com". shermansymphony.com.
^ "Pre-Professional Programs". austincollege.edu.
^ Fitzgerald, Wade (2010-01-15). "Library Exhibit Traces 20 Years of
"Telling Our Stories" Austin College". Austincollege.edu. Archived
from the original on 2009-06-18. Retrieved 2013-07-10.
^ "Study Abroad". austincollege.edu. Archived from the original on 28
September 2015. Retrieved 27 September 2015.
^ "Iienetwork.Org". Opendoors.iienetwork.org. Retrieved
Missing or empty title= (help)
Austin College Magazine" (PDF). June 2007.
^ "SCAC". scacsports.com. Retrieved 2016-01-22.
^ Steinberg, Jacques (1997-03-29). "From Religious Childhood To Reins
of a U.F.O. Cult". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-05-08.
^ Stowers, Carlton, and Carroll Pickett, Within These Walls: Memoirs
of a Death House Chaplain, ISBN 978-0-312-28717-7, St. Martin's
Press, 2002, Google Books
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Austin College.
Austin College Athletics website
Private colleges and universities in Texas
Abilene Christian University
Arlington Baptist College
Concordia University Texas
Dallas Baptist University
Dallas Christian College
Texas Baptist University
Fisher More College
Graduate Institute of Applied Linguistics
Houston Baptist University
Howard Payne University
Jarvis Christian College
Lubbock Christian University
North American University
Our Lady of the Lake University
Paul Quinn College
St. Edward's University
St. Mary's University
Southern Methodist University
Southwestern Adventist University
Southwestern Assemblies of God University
Southwestern Christian College
Texas Christian University
Texas Lutheran University
Texas Wesleyan University
University of Dallas
University of Mary Hardin–Baylor
University of St. Thomas
University of the Incarnate Word
Wayland Baptist University
Private Junior Colleges: Bay Ridge Christian College
Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference
Centenary (LA) Gentlemen and Ladies
Colorado College Tigers
Texas Lutheran Bulldogs
Trinity (TX) Tigers
UC Santa Cruz (men's and women's swimming & diving)
Johnson and Wales University – Denver (2018–19)
Rose–Hulman Institute of Technology
Sewanee: The University of the South
Association of Presbyterian Colleges and Universities
College of Idaho
College of the Ozarks
College of Wooster
Cook School for Christian Leadership
Davis and Elkins
Johnson C. Smith
William Peace University
Queens University of Charlotte
St. Andrews Presbyterian
University of the Ozarks
Wilson College (Pennsylvania)
Stephen D. Schutt
Franklin & Marshall
Hobart & William Smith
Lewis & Clark
St. Benedict and St. John's
Washington & Jefferson
Washington & Lee
Franklin & Marshall
College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University
Washington and Lee
Coordinates: 33°38′49.22″N 96°35′50.16″W /
33.6470056°N 96.5972667°W / 33.64