The University of Texas at Austin, or referred to as UT Austin, is the University of Texas System’s flagship institution. This university is considered to have the seventh-largest single-campus enrollment in the United States, with about 50,000 graduate and undergraduate students as well as 24,0i00 staff and faculty. Aside from that, the university is also home to seventeen libraries and seven museums, such as the Blanton Museum of Art and the LBJ Presidential Library. In this article, we are going to learn more about the history of the University of Texas at Austin.
The University of Texas in Austin was officially opened on September 1883 in a ceremony held inside an incomplete building located on a grassy hill where the iconic Tower now stands. After the school’s opening, classes were held in the temporary Capitol, a three-story building situated on Congress Avenue that houses the state government. At the same time, the current Capitol was being constructed. The next year, the students attended classes on the campus, and it is one building known as Old Main.
The university’s earliest faculty leaders had gambled on moving to Texas because it was a little more than a wilderness back then. That is why during the early-to-mid 20th century, the UT campus was filled with intellectual instructors such as folklorist J. Frank Dobie and Americo Paredes, historian Walter Webb, and Nobel laureate biologist Hermann Muller.
In 1929, the American Universities Association confirmed that UT was indeed the first-class university when they invited UT to be their member. During that time, only three universities in Texas are AAU members, and UT became the first member by more than 50 years.
Back in 1950, no flagship university in the former Confederacy accepted black students. And that same year, the lawsuit that was filed by a postman who wanted to get a law degree at Texas made its way to the Supreme Court. The University of Texas fought the amalgamation, but still, HemanSweatt triumphed, which is why he became the university’s first-ever black student.
Two years after Sweatt’s admission to UT, the university started to support universities’ right to consider race in admissions favorably. Thus, the University of Texas in Austin knows the benefits of creating an inclusive environment that can help students learn from one another. The university understands that the educational benefits of learning in a campus with diverse students can help them prepare to succeed in a highly diverse state as well as an interconnected society. That is why, over the years, the population of the University of Texas rose from 22,000 to 41,500. Along with this, its legislative appropriations also increased from $16million to a whopping $100million. The university also managed to complete 55 major building projects.
Austin became the 11th largest city in America in 2012, which makes it larger than Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, or Boston. It became one of the country’s largest cities, but it did not have a medical school and teaching hospital. That is why Austin’s community leaders, which was led by state senator Kirk Watson, petitioned to establish a medical school so that they could improve the health sector locally. Travis County citizens all voted for a tax so that they could support a school and teaching hospital. Aside from that, Susan and Michael Dell stepped forward and donated $50 million. Hence, the Dell Medical School at the University of Texas in Austin was born, and in 2016, it welcomed its first class of future doctors.
Today, the University of Texas in Austin receives about $600 million a year fund for research, mostly from federal sources, which is led by the Department of Defense. The University of Texas has produced some of the world’s fastest computers.