Huston-Tillotson University

Type: General Entry

Published: 1976

Updated: June 7, 2013

Huston-Tillotson University (formerly Huston-Tillotson College), in Austin, is a coeducational college of liberal arts and sciences, operated jointly under the auspices of the American Missionary Association of the United Church of Christ and the Board of Education of the United Methodist Church. It was formed by merger of Samuel Huston College and Tillotson College, which was effected on October 24, 1952. Huston-Tillotson remained primarily a black college after the merger, although there were no restrictions as to race. The college is accredited or approved by the following bodies: the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the University Senate of the Methodist Church, the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, the Association of American Colleges, the National Committee on Accrediting, the Council for Higher Education of the United Church of Christ, the Texas Education Agency, and the Association of Texas Colleges. The college awards baccalaureate degrees in three divisions: liberal studies, professional studies, and science and technology with major concentration in nineteen areas. In 1966 the twenty-three-acre campus contained an administration building, science building, two residence halls, student union-dining hall, gymnasium-auditorium, music hall, lounge, and two other halls. The Downs-Jones Library housed more than 86,000 volumes in 2001. By the early 1970s new buildings included a classroom-administration building, a chapel, an addition of three wings to the women's dormitory, and an addition of two wings to the men's dormitory. Mary E. Branch and William H. Jones, last presidents of Tillotson College, and Karl E. Downs, Robert F. Harrington, and Willis J. King, past presidents of Samuel Huston College, undertook cooperative sponsorship of several academic activities beginning in 1945. Matthew S. Davage served as interim president during the transition period. He retired in 1955 and was succeeded by J. J. Seabrook, the first permanent president of Huston-Tillotson. Upon Seabrook's retirement in 1965, John Q. Taylor King became president; King, the university’s longest serving president, retired in 1988. Joseph T. McMillan, Jr., succeeded him and in 2000 Larry L. Earvin became the fifth president of the college. Effective February 28, 2005, the college name changed to Huston-Tillotson University. In the fall of 2010 there were seventy-one faculty members and 785 students at the university.

Chrystine I. Shackles, Reminiscences of Huston-Tillotson College (Austin, 1973). Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

  • Education
  • Private Four-Year Colleges and Universities
  • Peoples
  • African Americans
  • Religion
  • United Church of Christ

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

Anonymous, “Huston-Tillotson University,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 17, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

June 7, 2013

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