The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 92, July 1988 - April, 1989

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

have answered this question by comparing at least some of the ques-
tionnaires' socioeconomic responses with the census of 186o.
In sum, Class and Tennessee's Confederate Generation is enjoyable read-
ing. It contains enlightening and entertaining quotations that will inter-
est scholars of the Civil War and the antebellum South.
University of Texas at Austin ALLAN R. PURCELL
Commitment to Excellence: One Hundred Years of Engineering Education
at the University of Texas at Austin. By Richard B. McCaslin and
Earnest F. Gloyna. (Austin: Engineering Foundation of the College
of Engineering, University of Texas at Austin, 1986. Pp. xiv+318.
Preface, acknowledgments, introduction, photographs, tables,
notes, appendices, index. $35-)
Historians of living social institutions must decide who they are writ-
ing for, and that decision determines what kind of book they will write.
Will their work be addressed to the members and friends of the institu-
tion, in which case the book may concentrate on its internal workings;
or will it be addressed to a broader audience, in which case it will con-
centrate on the historical trends of which their institution provides a
case study. Judging by the results, the authors of this book have chosen
the first option. They have produced a detailed internal history of the
College of Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin that will
stand as an exhaustive record of that institution's first century.
The University of Texas has offered training in civil engineering from
the time of its opening in 1883. Resources during the first years were
limited, however, and instruction was offered by a single professor from
another discipline (chemistry, then mathematics). A new era began in
1888 with the appointment of Texas-born and Virginia-trained Thomas
U. Taylor as the University's first professor of engineering. As professor,
and then as dean of engineering from 19o6 to 1936, Taylor presided
over the expansion of academic programs to include degrees in civil,
electrical, mechanical, chemical, aeronautical, and petroleum engineer-
ing. Taylor was a colorful figure from the "boots and britches" era
of engineering practice. He developed the courses of instruction and
linked university-based engineering to the economic development of
the state, primarily through road and water projects and the petroleum
industry.
Taylor's successors, Willis R. Woolrich (1936-1958) and William W.
Hagerty (1958-1963), strove to professionalize engineering education
by encouraging professional registration among the faculty, winning
accreditation for the curricula, and institutionalizing extramural re-

210

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 92, July 1988 - April, 1989. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101212/. Accessed July 23, 2014.