THE SOUTHWESTERN HISTORICAL QUARTERLY
VOL. LIV JULY, 1950 No. 1
rhe cie C. arker Zexas
TODAY a precedent is being set. A functional part of the
campus is being given the name of a living member of
The University of Texas. Never in the sixty-seven years
of its history has such a thing been done, or even seriously
proposed. The action itself is unique, and the reasons behind
it without parallel.
In the 188o's, when this institution started out to comply with
the constitutional mandate to be a "university of the first class,"
the chairman of its regents was Ashbel Smith, a New Englander,
a Yale man, but a cosmopolite and a naturalized Texian since
1837. Dr. Smith was determined that the new university should
not-to use a phrase Stark Young later applied to cultural striv-
ings in the late Republic of Texas-"reek of the soil." To that
end, Jefferson's University of Virginia was to be its model and
care was taken to select an academic faculty composed exclusively
of men previously unidentified with Texas. That first faculty
was a company of savants who would have been as much if not
more at home in Edinburgh, Harvard, or G6ttingen as on the
banks of the Colorado. And the university they put into oper-
ation in upstairs rooms of the temporary capitol was Texan-
in its mailing address. To them "a university of the first class"
meant one that made no concession to such incidentals as locale
*The following was the principal address presented at the ceremonies in con-
nection with the opening of the Eugene C. Barker Texas History Center on April
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 54, July 1950 - April, 1951. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101133/. Accessed May 31, 2016.