The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 103, July 1999 - April, 2000 Page: 534
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
and the professions, including a president of the United States. The author,
Prof. Ronald D. Brown of the university's history faculty, provides (with the edi-
torial assistance of Prof. David C. Nelson of the communication arts depart-
ment) a lively account of the first one hundred years at Southwest Texas.
Indeed, Brown and Nelson have crafted an engaging "coffee table" volume that
has a very readable narrative augmented by dozens of photographs.
As the primary author, Brown bases his book on both documentary research
and on numerous oral history interviews conducted over recent decades. This
handsome volume also rests on an earlier history of Southwest Texas that he
wrote to celebrate the seventy-fifth anniversary of the school, Ronald C. Brown,
Beacon on the Hill (Dallas: Taylor Publishing Co., 1979). Brown uses the opening
chapters of this centennial volume to trace the growth of Southwest Texas from
the early 1900oos to the mid-196os as it became home to one of the state's pre-
eminent Schools of Education while it also offered regionally prominent pro-
grams in history, geography, and theater. The book becomes most compelling,
however, when it deals with the last thirty-five years, the period when Southwest
Texas State experienced its most remarkable era of expansion. These latter years
witnessed a good deal of commotion in terms of checkered presidential leader-
ship at the university. One president during this era departed after he had his
Ph.D. revoked for alleged plagiarism, another manifested a strained relationship
with the faculty, a third resigned amid controversy on campus and thereafter
became publisher of a travel magazine, and a fourth found himself summarily
dismissed by the Board of Regents in a blaze of statewide publicity. Brown treats
these institutional vicissitudes with objectivity while admitting that the years
between 1964 and 1988 constituted a quarter-century of turmoil for the univer-
sity. Institutional vigor and academic excellence during these years sometimes
rested directly on a dedicated and exceptional faculty that brought distinction
and increasing prominence to the university. Brown puts their respective stories
as scholar-teachers center stage and for good reason. Many of them made endur-
ing contributions to the life and vitality of the university. Finally, starting in the
199os, stable and progressive presidential leadership permitted a reinvigorated
Southwest Texas State University to realize the potential long envisioned by its
professorate. This book provides eloquent testimony to their faculty efforts, and
to those of Professor Brown in creating a record of their achievements. This vol-
ume will be welcomed by the reading public to the existing literature on the
educational history of Texas and especially so by the university's alumni, a group
that includes this reviewer.
LIGHT TOWNSEND CUMMINS
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 103, July 1999 - April, 2000, periodical, 2000; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101220/m1/590/: accessed July 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.