The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 91, July 1987 - April, 1988 Page: 392
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
Pp. x+444. Foreword, preface, acknowledgments, photographs,
afterword, notes, index. $34.95.)
With the waning of the twentieth century, many colleges and univer-
sities whose inceptions date back to the decades immediately following
the American Civil War are celebrating their centennials and produc-
ing their histories. Saint Edward's University in Austin is one such in-
stitution. That school observed its one hundredth anniversary in 1986,
and one of its longtime faculty members, historian William Dunn,
C.S.C., has written its story.
Brother Dunn makes use of a wide range of sources, including ample
archival documentation. While the scope of his study is broad, his work
has a central focus throughout that lends to his account a sense of
unity: a steady concentration on two aspects of the university's histori-
cal evolution that Dunn seems to believe were of the greatest impor-
tance. In that context, the author emphasizes that Saint Edward's was
founded as a Roman Catholic academic complex for Texas within the
tradition of the religious Congregation of the Holy Cross. In fact, Fa-
ther Edward Sorin, C.S.C., who established the University of Notre
Dame in 1842, originally conceived of Saint Edward's as a potential
"Notre Dame of the South" when he, as superior general of the con-
gregation, laid that college's foundation. As with many Roman Catholic
universities, the role of the religious on campus changed with the pas-
sage of time; but Dunn's later chapters clearly reflect that there remains
in recent years a continued and ever-present significant impact of the
Holy Cross fathers and brothers. Receiving equal coverage is Dunn's
second area of considerable attention: the constitution and character of
Saint Edward's students and alumni.
Dunn's twenty-eight chapters present a balanced treatment of the
physical growth of the university's plant and campus; the metamor-
phosis of the curriculum and faculty; student life, including extracur-
ricular affairs; and the emerging posture of the institution in the nearby
Austin area as well as in the broader region of Texas and the American
Southwest. Exhibiting his skill as a historian, Brother Dunn sets his nar-
ration within the parameters of the major historical movements of each
period-though often with brevity. Thus, Saint Edward's history sur-
faces as an integral part of an epoch in the annals of Texas that wit-
nessed, among other developments, nativism, American imperialism,
World Wars I and II, the Great Depression, and so forth. Dunn has
crafted a detailed and thorough record of one of Texas's most historical
centers of higher learning. His is a book that will prove valuable to stu-
dents of Texas history as well as those more precisely interested in the
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 91, July 1987 - April, 1988, periodical, 1987/1988; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101211/m1/448/: accessed June 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.