Postcards from SHSU’s Past

Postcards have always been a great way to remember places that you have been. The SHSU University Archives owns hundreds of postcards from all over the world.

The two postcards pictured above are recent additions to the SHSU Postcards Collection. (Click on the image to make the postcards easier to view)

The top postcard features the Center Motel and Chef Restaurant before the motel, restaurant, bowling alley, and the entire block was torn down in 2003/2004 to make way for the first new SHSU dorm in over 40 years, Sam Houston Village. Printed when SHSU was Sam Houston State College, this postcard would date from 1965-1969. Purchased for the view of the spires of the Old Main Building in the foreground it is a great addition to the collection.

The bottom postcard is a view of the SHSU President’s House from around the early 1950s or 1960s. The President’s House was located where the Alumni Garden, Clock Tower, and Presidents Tree are now. From 1912-1963 the various presidents of Sam Houston State lived in this house in the middle of campus. In 1963 after President Lowman died the house stood empty until 1964 when the Home Economics Department used it as a Demonstration Home. In 1970, the house was deemed unsuitable for the university and demolished. Later a park named President Park was dedicated on the site.

To see more postcards from SHSU and Huntsville,Texas visit the Special Collection Department and SHSU University Archives. These departments are open Monday-Friday, 8-5, and are located on the fourth floor of the Newton Gresham Library.

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#WBW – They called it, “The Giant.” Cybernetics comes to Sam Houston State College in 1967.

the Giant comptuer 1967

They called it, “The Giant.”

It arrived on campus in August of 1967. Its lair was room 107 in Sam Houston’s three year old Computer Center in the ACB Building (Academic Classroom Building- AB-1) where it sat purring all day long, absorbing information about the campus, its educational programs, its students and faculty. The price tag to feed this giant was $50,000 dollars per year in rental fees.

The “Giant” consisted of a room full of electronic equipment, storage, files and an IBM 360, Model 30, 25/19 data processing computer.

The University Library (now the Newton Gresham Library) would become one of the top users of The Giant. The Estill Library in 1967 was already using IBM automated typewriters and the tape produced by the IBM typewriters could be converted to tape readable data to be read by The Giant which would help the library in its automation plans.

If you worked on, “The Giant” or have photographs or materials about the early days of SHSU campus computing the archives would love to talk with you.

To learn more about the history of computers on the Sam Houston State University campus stop by the University Archives in room 400 of the Newton Gresham Library. The University Archives is open m-F, 8-5.

Football Fun Fridays! the lighter side of 100 years of Bearkat football

Chris @ SHSU Homecoming

Houstonian 11 14 1967 editted

Homecoming Week! Since the mid-1940s Homecoming as we known it today has been a big deal on the Sam Houston State University campus. With all the festivities, electing the Queen and King, and most importantly THE BIG GAME there will be fun for all. This year we take on Nicholls State and have a record of 6-0 against the Colonels.

This week University Archives would like to introduce you to the cutest BearKat Homecoming fan. His name is Chris Gilstrap. Chris was destined to be a BearKat from an early age. His father Michael was a student (alum 1968 and life member of the SHSU Alumni Association) and his mother, Barbara, worked for Dr. George Killinger, who was involved in starting the Criminal Justice program at the same period of time this photograph was taken at the 1967 Homecoming game between Sam Houston State College and Texas A & I. Sad to say we lost that game 48 to 6, but gained this adorable photograph to feature in this post 48 years later.

The game was played at Bedrock Bowl or Old Bedrock, also known as Pritchett Field. Little Chris was getting bored so his father decided to take him out of the stands and entertain him on the sidelines. Chris’s picture was shot by a Houstonian photographer and he appeared in the November 14, 1967 issue of The Houstonian.

Just a quick 22 years later in 1989, Timothy “Chris” Gilstrap, now a BearKat of the 1980s, graduates from Sam Houston State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts, Mass Communication/Media Studies continuing the Gilstrap Family BearKat tradition. Chris was also a member of Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity.

Many thanks to Michael Gilstrap for letting the University Archives use this picture.

To learn or see more materials on Homecoming activities come visit the University Archives in the NGL, room 400.