Below is a historical timeline concerning a brief history of minorities at Texas Tech University. The timeline is not comprehensive but does cover many of the important events and minorities that shaped the university's history.

A separate timeline for women at Texas Tech can be found here.

 



Thanks to the persistence of Lucille Sugar Graves the race barrier was finally broken in 1961 when she became the first African-American to attend Texas Tech.

Ophelia Powell-Malone was the first African-American to graduate with a bachelor's degree from Texas Tech. She received her BA from Home Economics and went on to become a teacher and dietitian.

Laura Song at the entrance to the Home Management House.

1933

Laura Song, a native from Korea, was the first Asian student to graduate from Texas Tech on June 5, 1933. She received a Bachelor's of Science degree in Home Economics. (June 15, 1933 issue of the Toreador)

1935

Maria Alejandrina Hevia was an international student from Brazil who attended Texas Tech in 1935. She may be the earliest cited female Hispanic student to attend the university. She only attended one year and did not graduate from Texas Tech. (June 15, 1933 and January 22, 1938 issues of the Toreador)

1951

Maria Cpl. Thomas I Bowser and Pfc. Joseph A. Finlayson, 18-year old airmen stationed at Reese Air Force Base, sought to attend night classes at Texas Tech but were rebuffed on the grounds that the college was only open to white students. (The Toreador, August 17, 1951)

Sophomore Bobby Cavazos was a stand out football player. In 1951 he played on the Sun Bowl team which marked Texas Tech's fist bowl game victory. For the next three seasons he was a star rusher for the team.

1958

Thomas James (T.J.) Patterson moved to Lubbock to work at the Mary and Mac School, which was founded by his aunt, Lucille Sugar Graves.

1961

Mrs. Lucille S. Graves, the founder of the first black private school in Lubbock, was the first African-American to gain entrance into Texas Tech in the summer of 1961. Her persistent attempts to gain entrance into the college opened the door for other minorities to attend. She also established the Mary and Mac School, which was the first black private school in Lubbock. The Lubbock County Historical Commission placed a historical marker on the school's structure on July 11, 2014. (Link to the AJ's article about the site dedication)

Be Shiao, from Taiwan, was awarded a scholarship funded jointly by Phi Upsilon Omicron and the American Economics Association that would allow her to obtain her master's degree in home economics.

The July 21st issue of the Toreador announced that African-Americans had enrolled at Texas Tech for the first time, though the names of the students and their number were not revealed.

1964

Ophelia Powell-Malone was the first African American to receive a B.A. degree from Texas Tech in 1964.

1965

In May of 1965, Stella Ruth Courtney Crockett became the first African American to receive a B.A. degree from Texas Tech who had attended all of K-12 in Lubbock and attend all undergraduate years (non-transfer) at Texas Tech. Stella Crockett Courtney oral history interview (2010)

1967

Anita Carmona Harrison was the first native Latina Lubbockite to graduate from Texas Tech in 1967. She was also the first Mexican to go through the entire Lubbock School system and graduate from Texas Tech. (El Editor, February 15-22, 1979)

In February of 1967, Danny Hardaway became the first African American athlete at Texas Tech to receive an athletic scholarship and he was a charter member of the university's first black student organization.

1968

Bobby Cavazos was elected to the Texas Tech Hall of Honor for his athletic contributions. After graduation he had returned to work at the King Ranch and also became an author. (Lubbock Avalanche-Journal November 19, 2013).

1969

George Scott, previously a science teacher and football coach at Dunbar High School, came to Texas Tech in 1969 as Assistant Dean of Students and part-time instructor in educational psychology. In a University Daily article dated September 11, 1984, Scott stated he was "the first black person to have a job in a professional capacity at Tech."

Alfredo Guzman, of Mexico City, was awarded a $500 scholarship from the Department of Geosciences. Guzman's father, Edwardo J. Guzman was internationally recognized in the field of geology. [TTU press release 2-10-27-69]

Peruvian playwright Alonso Alergria, a visiting professor of Spanish, directed students in a three-act Mexican comedy, "Rosalba y los Llaveros." [TTU press release 17-9-18-69]



In 1967, Danny Hardaway became the first African-American athlete at Texas Tech to receive a scholarship.

Homecoming Queen Sharon Moultrie participating in the November 7, 1981 homecoming parade.

Lauro F. Cavazos was not only the first Hispanic president of Texas Tech but also the first Hispanic appointed as Secretary of Education.

1970

Dr. Hortense W. Dixon, who majored in Higher Education and minored in Home Economics, was the first African-American to graduate with a doctorate from Texas Tech University. She graduated in August, 1970, and then went on to become an associate professor of Home Economics at Texas Southern University. (TTU Press Release 5-9-15-70 and photo)

Hui-Ying Tseng was the first woman to receive a master's degree in agronomy from Texas Tech in 1970. (Photo)

On September 1st, Thomas James (T.J.) Patterson began his new job as assistant to the Dean of the College of Business Administration. In that role he served in the capacity of a teacher, freshman advisor, and student recruiter.

1971

Mrs. Hazel S. Taylor received the first Ford Foundation Advanced Study Fellowship for Black Americans at Texas Tech in July of 1971. (photo)

1972

Ecomet Burley was one of the first Red Raider freshman to letter in football in the modern era and was named the Most Valuable Lineman in the 1972 Sun Bowl game.

1974

Robert Montemayor served as editor of the campus newspaper, The University Daily (now known as the Daily Toreador), during the 1974-1975 school year.

1975

According to stories published in 1975 in the University Daily newspaper, Johnny Collins was asked by two other candidates to withdraw his name as a candidate for External Vice-President and run instead for Residence Halls Administration President. Collins, who was also president of the Saddle Tramps, did not withdraw his name and finished in second place when the election was held. In the March 10th issue Collins expressed his regret that the story had been published because "I think the story offended some people because they felt I was responsible. Those people probably voted against me. Then, on the other hand, I think the story also helped get me some support. So I guess you could say things probably evened out." (UD 3-10-1975) The newspaper's publishing of its endorsement of Collins' opponent the day of the elections was felt by Collins to be "inconsiderate" because it allowed him, as well as the other candidates running for election, any opportunity for rebuttal. (UD 3-14-75)

Later, Collins thanked his supporters in an editorial letter and stated that "The Black Cloud" would not stop growth. (UD 3-19-75) The saga continued the following week with an editorial by a UD reporter who explained that the newspaper unfairly and openly backed Collin's opponent because it felt that Cowart was the best candidate. (UD 3-21-1975) In October the incident was brought up again when SA President Bob Duncan withdrew support for the SA Attorney General candidate Mike Smiddy in part over Smiddy's disagreement that the withdrawal incident with Collins was wrong. (UD 10-21-1975)

1976

Native Lubbockite Diane Parson, a track runner from Estacado High School, was the first African American woman in Tech history to receive an athletic scholarship when she signed her athletic letter of intent in July of 1976. (Toreador p. 1 and 5, July 16, 1976)

Rick Bullock was named the Most Valuable Player in the inaugural Southwest Conference Post-Season Tournament.

Thomas James (T.J.) Patterson was named Man of the Year in the 1976 La Ventana in honor of his contributions to the university and Lubbock and African-American community. In addition to being a freshman advisor for the College of Business Administration Patterson was also serving as co-sponsor of the Saddle Tramps organization.

1977

Along with Eddie Richardson, Thomas James (T.J.) Patterson helped co-found the West Texas Times, a local African-American newspaper. [The earlier African-American newspaper was called The Manhattan Heights and began production in 1963 (?). On August 12, 1965 the paper was renamed The Manhattan Heights and West Texas Times, and the January 1, 1966 issue is simply titled The West Texas Times. By 1977 the titles Lubbock Digest and Southwest Digest appear on the front page of the newspapers. Link to the digitized issues of these newspapers

1980

As write-in candidate winning the position of second runner-up John Collins won the opportunity to compete in the runoff elections for March 26th. (UD 3-14-1980)  elected to be the first African-American student body president as a write-in candidate. The election was postponed after a University Daily article on the 25th was accused of prejudicing Collin's chances of winning the election. (UD 3-27-1980) Another article accused Collins of being fired by Kent Hance's office for misuse of a phone card (UD 3-31-1980). On April 2nd, Collins was declared the winner and became the first African-American student body president. (UD 4-3-1980) On August 27th,he resigned from the position due to health issues. (Lubbock Digest 9-4-80)

As the tenth president of Texas Tech, Lauro F. Cavazos was notable for being not only the first (and so far only) Hispanic president but also the first Texas Tech graduate to become president of the university. From Texas Tech he received both his B.A. and M.A. degrees in zoology.

1981

Sharon Moultrie was a track athlete at Texas Tech from 1979-1982. Besides being the first female Tech athlete to earn All-American honors, in 1981 she became the first African American, as well as first athlete, to be elected Homecoming Queen.

In June, Thomas James (T.J.) Patterson leaves Texas Tech to become full-time co-publisher of The Southwest Digest newspaper. (The paper is also at times labeled as The Lubbock Digest in its earlier years).

1982

Richard E. Cavazos played football at Texas Tech from 1949-1950 and was inducted into the Texas Tech Hall of Honor in 1982. That same year he became the first Hispanic four-star general in the US Army.

1984

On April 7, 1984, Thomas James (T.J.) Patterson became the first African-American elected to serve on the Lubbock City Council. He would hold that District 2 position for 20 years before being defeated in a run off election by Floyd Price.

1985

Rick Bullock was elected to the Texas Tech Hall of Honor for his athletic contributions.

1988

On August 9, 1988, President Reagan nominated Lauro F. Cavazos for the position of Secretary of Education. On September 20, 1988, Cavazos was unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate. He continued in the role under President George Bush until his resignation in December of 1990.

Tech athlete Amanda Banks was named Southwest Conference outdoor champion in 1998 and 1989.

1989

Members of the Black Student Association sent a letter dated March 2nd to Judith Henry, Dean of Students, expressing their concern over the number of racial incidents that had taken place on the Tech campus and campuses nationwide. (Reference File: Texas Tech-Minorities)

Richard E. Cavazos was appointed to the Texas Tech Board of Regents and served from 1989 to 1995.

1995

As Payload Commander on Space Shuttle Discovery STS-63 in 1995, Dr. Bernard A. Harris Jr., a graduate of Texas Tech's School of Medicine, served on the first flight of the joint Russian-American Space Program, becoming the “First African American to walk in Space." (Link to Harris' bio)

Michi Atkins, a member of the women's basketball team from 1993-1996, was named Southwest Conference Woman Athlete of the Year in 1995 and 1996.

The new east Lubbock library branch is named after T.J. Patterson and his wife, Bobbie Gean Patterson. Both are Texas Tech graduates.

1996

Michi Atkins was named to the All-Time Lady Raider SWC Team in 1996 and hold the distinction of being all-time leading scorer in SWC women's basketball history.

1998

Sharon Moultrie-Bruner was inducted into the Texas Tech Hall of Honor in 1998 for her athletic achievements.

2006

A scholarship honoring George Scott, Jr., the first Black administrator at Texas Tech, is established by Kent Hance. (TTU press release April 22, 2006)

2004

Ecomet Burley was inducted into the Texas Tech Hall of Honor for his athletic achievements.

2008

As part of the Lubbock Centennial Celebration Marcus Coleman was named to the All-Time Texas Tech football team. He was a former NFL player with the Jets, the Texans and the Cowboys.

2010

Marcus Coleman was inducted into the Texas Tech Hall of Honor for his athletic achievements.

2013

Gabe Rivera was inducted into the Texas Tech Football Ring of Honor, which was begun in 2012 to honor an "elite group of players and coaches that made outstanding contributions to Red Raider Football." (Link to Rivera's Wikipedia page)

2016

In March of 2016, Arcilia C. Acosta was appointed to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board by Governor Abbott. Acosta graduated with a B.A. in political science in 1989 from Texas Tech and serves as the current President and CEO of CARON Industries. In May of 2015 she delivered a fabulous commencement speech at Texas Tech emphasizing the importance of investing in people rather than material gain.

Former Lady Raider Sheryl Swoopes was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on September 9, 2016.

Ginger Kerrick, representing the area of STEM, was selected by the Texas Governor’s Commission for Women to be inducted into the Texas Women's Hall of Fame for 2016. The induction ceremony will be held at Texas Woman’s University in Denton on October 21st, 2016.

 

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