The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 54, July 1950 - April, 1951

William Carq Crae ald tlhe
Uliersity of reas
GEORGE WOLFSKILL
ALTHOUGH opposed to the final plan which established the
University of Texas, William Carey Crane, Baylor Uni-
versity's vigorous post-bellum president, figured promi-
nently in the various movements leading ultimately to its found-
ing. For more than a decade, punctuated by betrayal by fellow
educators, rebuke from his denomination, and unjust ridicule
by anonymous enemies, he continued to sponsor a university
plan which, he believed, offered the most to the state of Texas
in the field of higher education.
Crane's long and colorful career as an educator, theologian,
and classical scholar advanced him to the impending struggle
over the proposed state university convinced that it should in
no way compete with existing Texas schools, either financially
or academically. This view eventually found practical expression
in a modification of the so-called New York Plan; and in the
ensuing conflict, Crane found himself in a singularly influential,
yet unpopular position because of his advocacy of the plan. Cer-
tain educators, believing that the plan would produce discord
and ultimately ruin the Texas school system, attacked it as edu-
cationally unsound. From the pages of the Baptist Herald, the
voice of the denomination was heard condemning the plan as
a betrayal of that priceless heritage of church and state separa-
tion. In the lay press, petty and deceitful enemies, secure behind
their masks of anonymity, lashed out against the plan as the
machinations of mediocre men to satisfy their own overweening
personal ambitions and to perpetuate demoralized third-rate de-
nominational schools.
What was the nature of this plan that made it and its patron
the butt of such criticism? A proposal which aroused such in-
tense feelings that normally honorable men would resort to
personal vilification and parliamentary chicanery to defeat it

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 27, 2015.