Homecoming Old School: 1966 Homecoming Images

These images of the SHSU Homecoming in 1966 are from the University Archives.

Fifty years ago rain poured down on Pritchett Field as the BearKats battled in the mud to defeat the East Texas Lions. The BearKats fell to the Lions 17-14.

Scroll down and enjoy a look at the past….



The traditional bonfire was followed by a pep rally. (later it would become known as FireFest!)





Rain, Rain, go away,                    Nothin’ can stop a                   BearKat Game Day.




1966 Homecoming Queen, Judy Robbins, a senior Elementary Education major from Dallas. She was also a cheerleader, in Who’s Who;  Alpha Chi; Orange Keys; Kappa Delta Pi; Alpha Delta Pi; Inter-House Council, and Sigma Phi Epsilon Sister of the Golden Heart.

Now that’s one busy BearKat!




Sammy the BearKat like most Kats doesn’t like the rain. Note how much difference 50 years makes in the image of our beloved Sammy BearKat.



ZZ Top takes over the SHSU-LSC Ballroom, 1971


On August 24, 1971, 45 years ago, ZZ Top, the hottest super-group in Houston at the time, came to Sam Houston State University. They came to play their breed of hard-rock in the Lowman Student Center Ballroom. (the room where the Barnes and Noble Bookstore is now).  The images above are from the 1971 The Alcalde and The Houstonian.

The LSC Ball Room was the site of many 1970s concerts featuring groups or singers such as Cheap Trick, CowSills, Manhattan Transfer, Climax, Mac Davis, Mel Tillis, and more.

For more information come visit the SHSU University Archives in Room 400 of the Newton Gresham Library.



1950 SHSTC Offical football program jpg 2

It’s time for the 101st season of BearKat Football!

Come this Saturday the BearKats will be back on Bowers Field to meet the Oklahoma Panhandle State Aggies. This game will be the annual BearKat, “Orange Out,” so the stadium will be covered in a sea of orange, white, and blue.

The image above is from a recent donation to the University Archives. This football program is from the October 28, 1950 game featuring Sam Houston State Teachers College BearKats vs. East Texas State Teachers College Lions.

The Sam Houston State University Archives collection of BearKats Football programs dates from the 1930s to the present. It you would like to look at these programs come visit the SHSU University Archives in Room 400 of the Newton Gresham Library.

It is World Photography Day!

Sam Houston Normal Insititute rooftop

This photograph of the Sam Houston Normal Institute with Huntsville, Texas, in the back ground was shot in the early 1920s. Judging by the view this image must have been shot from the top of the Old Men’s Gym.

The Old Men’s Gym was a wooden building that was built by the students. Because the building was made out of wood the students had to rebuild the old gym more than once due to fires.

In the foreground is what they called at the time the Demonstration School (later the Wood Buildings) roof. In front of the Demonstration School is the Science Building (now Bobby K. Marks Administration Building), then the Women’s Gym, (where the Dan Rather Communications is now) across from that was the Agriculture Building, Austin Hall, with the 3rd floor still attached, and finally in the back, the Old Main Building.

To the far left you see the smoke stack and building of the West Plant which fronts a dirt road now known as Sam Houston Avenue. The current West Plant is built on the foundation of the original West Plant.

The gates in the back of the Administration Building and Women’s Gym are placed on what it now Ave J. This gateway was considered the entrance to the Normal before the entrance we have now on 20th and Sam Houston Ave.

To see more photographs come visit the SHSU University Archives in the Newton Gresham Library, Room 400. We are open from 8-5, M-F.

Let It Snow: Old Main, Austin Hall, and Peabody Library 1924

sc wilson 1924

So as a cool break from the heat the SHSU University Archives presents these two pictures from 1924 found in the S. C. Wilson Collection of the Old Main Building, Austin Hall, and Peabody Memorial Library covered in snow.

Note the Austin Hall Building still had a three floor in the lower photograph.

For more snow pictures or to see the rest of the S. C. Wilson Collection come visit the Sam Houston State University Archives in the Newton Gresham Library, Room 400.

Outlaw Raymond Hamilton and the Barrow Gang.


Raymond Hamilton was a notorious outlaw and member of the Barrow Gang in the early 1930s. Born in Oklahoma and raised in Dallas, Hamilton later fell in with the infamous Bonnie and Clyde of the Barrow Gang. He was well-known for participating in the murder of Sheriff Eugene C. Moore in Stringtown, Oklahoma. But it was his escape from the Eastham prison farm in Texas that eventually put Hamilton in Old Sparky, the Texas Electric Chair.

In 1935, Raymond Hamilton was sentenced to death in Walker County, Texas for the murder of Major Crowson, a Texas prison official. Crowson was shot during Hamilton’s escape from the Eastham prison farm. Hamilton and Joe Palmer escaped with the help of Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow. Hamilton claimed that Joe Palmer, another notorious Barrow Gang member killed Major Crowson. The jury determined that there was no way to distinguish which man had killed Crowson during the escape and sentenced both men to die in the electric chair. Above are the official court documents from Walker County on Hamilton’s death sentence.

Stop by SHSU Special Collections in the Newton Gresham Library if you are interested in more information on Raymond Hamilton and other famous Texas outlaws.

Thanks to Trent Shotwell, MLIS, Library Associate for Special Collections in the Thomason Room for contributing this week’s posting.

Life off Campus – Sam Houston Avenue & 16th Street just off Campus, 1976.

sam houston ave Alcalde 1976

Hello 1976! This is Sam Houston Avenue & 16th Street just off the main campus which was captured in this photograph from The Alcalde, 1976.

A lot has changed in this area since 1976. Some of the building you see in this photograph are gone. Gone are the Center Hotel, restaurant, and bowling lanes, Gulf Station, Sam Houston Hotel (which had two restaurants in it), bus station, Ward Furniture Building, and City Lumber. Tasty Freeze Big Tee Burger is now a storage building for Heartfield Floral across the street. The Center Motel block is now Sam Houston State University’s dorm called Sam Houston Village.

You can find more photographs of life off campus in The Alcalde. In University Archives there are copies of the Alcaldes from 1910 to 2007, excluding 1932-1935 (Depression years), 1944 (World War II), 1999-2001 (ceased printing in 1998 and started printing again in 2002 for the 125th anniversary of the University).

#WBW – Are you smarter than a 1884 SHNI student?

Questions 1884jpg Questions 1884 p4 Questions 1884 p3

#WBW goes really way back to 1884 to see if you are you smarter than a student of the Sam Houston Normal Institute from 132 years ago.

This is a competitive examination from 1884 for the Sam Houston Normal Institute which is now Sam Houston State University. These exam were used to judge which 2 students from each legislative district in Texas would be sent, all fees paid, to SHNI by their respective senators.

So if you haven’t been totally drained from your final exams you might take a whack at some of the questions the students were asked 132 years ago.

P.S. I would love to know the answers myself.

Come and visit some other way back exams in the SHSU University Archives, room 400, of the Newton Gresham Library, M-F, 8-5.

#TBT – Repelling back to Recondo, CS143, KSHU 90.5, SHSU Observatory, and class gift gates.

The SHSU University Archives has a comprehensive collection from the 1900s through 2000s of what are called view books or informational booklets. These booklets are still produced for informing and enticing future students to attend Sam Houston State University. Today the view books are still sent to future students by the thousands. Now days this University information can also be found online which appeals to our tech savvy, social media loving, future students.

Above is the back cover of the 1982-1983 information booklet. The photographs are of KSHU 90.5, Computer Science 143 class, (note the C in the word computer is missing on the bulletin board behind the instructor), the ROTC repelling tower called the “Recondo,” the SHSU observatory which at the time was on top of the Farrington Building, and in the middle are two class gift entry gates that were at the original entrance to SHSU on Sam Houston Avenue.

To see more view books come visit the SHSU University Archives, room 400, of the Newton Gresham Library. We are open M-F, 8-5.

Happy National Agriculture Day!


For over a 100 years the teaching of Agriculture has been a big part of Sam Houston State University.

For National Agriculture Day the University Archives thought it would be fun to show these four adorable sheep from the 1940s. This photograph was part of the 100th Anniversary of the SHSU Department of Agricultural Sciences and Engineering Technology. The Department of Agricultural Sciences and Engineering Technology held their big 100th Anniversary Celebration in 2011.

To see more Agriculture materials visit the SHSU University Archives.