Hubbard, Louis Herman (1882–1973)

By: David Minor

Type: Biography

Published: 1976

Updated: May 6, 2011

Louis Herman Hubbard, teacher and college president, the son of Gorham Eustis and Louise (Mansanto) Hubbard, was born in Mayag├╝ez, Puerto Rico, on February 10, 1882. His father, who was United States consul to Puerto Rico, left government service in 1884 and moved in 1887 to El Paso, Texas, where he owned a wholesale fruit and grocery business. After completing high school in El Paso, Hubbard began his undergraduate work at the University of Texas in 1899. In 1902 he took a semester off to become principal of a small elementary school in Sulphur Springs. He returned to Austin the next year and earned a teaching certificate, received a B.S. degree, and was a member of the All-Southwestern football team. From 1903 to 1908 he taught English at Belton High School. For a year he was principal of San Angelo High School. In 1909 he returned to Belton to assume the principal's position there. The following year he was promoted to superintendent of schools. While at Belton Hubbard began work on a master of arts degree in Austin and taught English at the University of Texas' normal school during the summer of 1917 and 1918. He received the degree in 1918. He also taught at Baylor College (now the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor) for several summers during this period. In 1924 he left Belton to become a lecturer and the first dean of students at the University of Texas, where he also earned a doctorate in education in 1930 and was nicknamed "Mother Hubbard" by the undergraduates. He remained in Austin until 1926, when the board of regents selected him, at the age of forty-four, to become president of the College of Industrial Arts (now Texas Woman's University) in Denton.

During his twenty-four years as president, Hubbard increased the number of buildings on campus by persuading the Work Projects Administration and the Public Works Administration to allocate funds for construction costs and inaugurated the college's concert and drama series. Through this series, begun in 1930, he brought to Denton more than 150 notable figures, including Artur Rubenstein, Sinclair Lewis, Arnold Toynbee, and Frank Lloyd Wright. In 1945 Hubbard became chairman of the Commission on Colleges and Universities, an arm of the Southern Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools. In part this appointment was a result of his success in improving the academic reputation of Texas State College for Women, as the institution was then called.

During his teaching and administrative career Hubbard contributed a number of articles to educational journals and coauthored two textbooks, A Handbook for English Teachers for Use in the Texas High Schools (1914) and The Multiple Review Speller (1924). He also wrote two monographs, The Private Endowment of Public Education (1927) and The Improvement of College Teaching (1928). On July 31, 1912, he married Bertha Altizer; she died in 1947. The couple had two sons and one daughter. The Hubbards were members of a number of community organizations and were leaders in volunteer work conducted by the Episcopalian Church. In 1950 Hubbard retired from the presidency of TSCW. In 1951 he was visiting professor at the University of Miami, and in 1952 he began a seven-year association with Texas Wesleyan College in Fort Worth. For the first three of these years he was dean of the Graduate Division of Texas Wesleyan and then, from 1955 to 1959, he served the school as a graduate consultant. In 1960 he retired to Pennsylvania, where he lived with his daughter. For the next thirteen years he traveled, wrote his memoirs, Recollections of a Texas Educator (1964), and spoke before educational organizations. Hubbard died in Georgetown, Texas, on July 13, 1973, and was buried in Oakwood Cemetery, Austin.

Louis Herman Hubbard, Recollections of a Texas Educator (Salado, Texas, 1964). Who Was Who in America, Vol. 7.

  • Education
  • University Presidents and School Administrators

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

David Minor, “Hubbard, Louis Herman,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 17, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

May 6, 2011