Happy 88th Birthday Dan Rather!

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Dan Rather is a Sam Houston State Teachers College Alumni, 1953, Distuingished Alumni, 1977, and of course, has a building honoring him named the Dan Rather Communications Building. He and his wife are also major donors and huge supporters of the University.

Thank you Mr. Rather for all that you do for Sam Houston State University!!

This newspaper photograph is from, The Houstonian, May 2, 1951.

Happy 50th Golden Anniversary to the Newton Gresham Library!

The images you see are two of  SHSU Archivist Barbara Kievit-Mason’s favorite early images of the new University library in 1969 and 1970.

Fifty years ago, the brand new three million-dollar University Library opened its doors to the students of the Sam Houston State College. It would be 4 months before the College would officially become, Sam Houston State University.

The University Library took its own sweet time to make its appearance. Waiting patiently as its sister buildings, AB-1 and the Business/Economics Building was built, the new library managed to go up stopping now and then for weather, building workers strikes, and moving of all the book shelves and books coming over from the older Estill Library.

Finally, on January 5, 1969, the doors opened and the sparkling new University Library started its time as the new temple of knowledge on the university campus. Decked out in the most up to date library equipment and furniture the students flocked to the new library.

Fifty years later, they are still flocking in for the most up to date library electronic equipment and trained staff and librarians. Some things remain the same, furniture, basic floor plans and elevators. However, many things have changed. These changes include: In 1985 the University Library was dedicated to Newton Gresham, SHSTC alumni, and friend of the University, the library catalogue is seen across the world, fancy coffee is bought and consumed within the library, books are checked out in a flash, computer are everywhere for the students to use, and nearly everything is electronic.

In addition, come 2020 another new era will begin for the NGL. There will be a major renovation going on for the first and second floor. The renovation will give the students even more reason to flock to the NGL for another 50 years.

Time Travel Stamps: one book set’s 120-year journey through four SHSU libraries

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It is not often that you find a title in the Sam Houston State University’s Newton Gresham Library that’s in the library collection since 1899.

In the above image of the book’s front, inner cover, you will see library book plates and stamps, like stamps on a passport or destination stickers on luggage, they tell the history of this title and the University libraries where it was used for the last 120 years of its life.

The title of this set is, “Confederate Military History, Vol. 1, A Library of Confederate States History, In Twelve volumes, written by Distinguished Men of the South.” Edited by Gen. Clement A. Evans of Georgia, and published by the Confederate Publishing Company in 1899.

This 12-volume set was first used in the Reference Library of the Sam Houston State Normal School, which was officially known as the Sam Houston Normal Institute. In this time period the library was, “a large and beautiful room,” in the Main Building, which later became known as Old Main. The above top image is of the Old Main Building Peabody Library room where the title was first used in 1899.

In 1901, The Peabody Memorial Library was finished and the book received its next book stamp. From 1902-1928, the book was used as reference material in the Peabody Memorial Library. In 1928 the new and vastly larger, Sam Houston State Teachers College Library. (Which would soon become the Harry F. Estill Library), was opened and the book received it next stamp.

In 1965, the Sam Houston State Teachers College was renamed Sam Houston State College. The book received another new stamp that lasted until 1969 when Sam Houston State College was renamed Sam Houston State University.

In 1969, the four floors, 3 million dollar, University Library (which would become the Newton Gresham Library) was finished and opened for the spring semester.

The 12-volume set was now 70 years old and had traveled through four libraries. The new University Library featured a brand new Special Collections Department that was perfect for all 12 volumes of this title.  The set was placed in the Special Collection’s Thomason Room of the new University Library without a new, “Sam Houston State University,” stamp. Special Collection items are not stamped owing to the fact they are rare and can be damaged by the stamping.

Once again used as a primary reference source the set will be celebrating its 120th anniversary along with the Newton Gresham Library, which is celebrating its own 50th anniversary.

Sam Houston State University Special Collections in the Thomason Room, is open from 8-5, Monday-Friday.

1897 Sam Houston Normal Institute Class Pin

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The Sam Houston State University Archives has many interesting small items in the collection. Pictured here is an example of a 1897 class pin. This class pin is example of various class pins in the University Archives collection.

In 1940, Dr.J.L. Clark, Professor History and Chairman of the Museum Committee, and the Sam Houston Museum put out a call to alumni of the Sam Houston Normal Institute and Sam Houston State Teachers College to donate their class pins to the college. “The Museum Committee is desirous of securing a class pin of every graduating class of the college,” said J.L. Clark in the December 1940 issue of the Ex-Students’ News Letter.

In December of 1940, three pins arrived at the museum including the pictured pin above. Mr. Robert Ernst, Sr. of the Ernst Jewelry Company of Huntsville presented this 1897 pin. According to Mr. Ernst, the pin was designed by SHNI’s fourth President H. Carr Pritchett and ordered for the students of Sam Houston Normal Institute by the jewelry firm of Randolph and Ernst. Made by McRae and Keele in Attleboro, Massachusetts, this pin was the last of the store’s stock.

The pin, which is only 1/2 x 3/4” inches, is in the form of a shield with a purple bar bearing the letters S.H.N.I. over a maroon bar with figures “97”. The shield is partially surrounded by a gold wreath.

Ernst Jewelers is still open here in Huntsville and is celebrating the stores’ 125th Anniversary this year.

To see this pin any many other class pins come visit the Sam Houston State University Archives in Room 400 of the Newton Gresham Library.

The Boys of Summer, SHSTC Baseball, March 1949

One of the most recent acquisition of the SHSU University Archives is this 68-year-old baseball program from March 18-19, 1949. The BearKats played their first two home games against the TCU Horned Frogs. The final score for the games was March 18, 8-5 to the Frogs and March 19, 9-8 to the Frogs.

Although they did not win, the BearKats were playing on a brand new baseball diamond. The Josey Vocational School dirt moving class who called the job, “Operation “fill-up,” constructed the field. This swampland turned baseball diamond later became Dewitte Holleman Field where the BearKats would play until the Don Sanders Baseball Complex was finished in 2006.

To find out more of the history of SHSU Baseball or Dewitte Holleman Field come visit the SHSU University Archives.

GROW THE GROWL! BEARKAT FOOTBALL IS BACK!

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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.

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

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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.

HAPPY 56th BIRTHDAY SAMMY!

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HAPPY 56th BIRTHDAY SAMMY!

On December 14th, 1959, during a basketball game the first ever Sammy the BearKat mascot costume was unveiled. In the years since then Sammy has undergone many changes to his appearance to morph into the Sammy the BearKat we know today.

This article from The Houstonian, 10/7/2003, gives a good overview of the various Sammy’s over the years.

To find out more about Sammy the BearKat come and visit the University Archives in room 400 of the Newton Gresham Library.

Football Fun Fridays! The lighter side of 100 years of BearKat football.

SHSTC Football program 1948

This Sam Houston State Teachers College BearKats football program from 1950 is a colorful example of the artwork that went into the football programs in the 1930s-1960s. All the colorful animal cartoon figures represent the team mascots of football teams that Sam Houston State had played up to that point. This cover was done by Ed Dillion.

In this 1950 game, Sam Houston State Teachers College BearKats played the University of Corpus Christi Tarpons. The game was a blow out with the BearKats winning 46-0. The BearKats have a 6-0 and 201-32 points scored record against the Tarpons from 1950-1965. Two school records were also set in these games. The first in 1954 for the 11th longest pass of 81 yards for a touchdown thrown by quarterback Allen Boren to Bobby Baldwin. The second record was the 9th longest punt return of 70 yards for a touchdown set by Tommy Luker in 1964.

The University of Corpus Christi Tarpons started playing football in 1947 with the mascot of a tarpon. In 1966 the University of Corpus Christi football program was ended. In 1994 Corpus Christi State University was incorporated in the Texas A&M system and the student body then voted to become the Islanders but their mascot was known as Tarpy the Tarpon until 2004.

Special thanks to the Mary and Jeff Bell Library, Special Collections Department, at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi for the history of their football program and Tarpy the Tarpon.

To see this program and many other BearKat football programs from the past 100 years come visit the SHSU University Archives, room 400 of the Newton Gresham Library.

Football Fun Fridays! the lighter side of 100 years of BearKat football.

Paul Pierce 1952Paul Pierce 1952 Photo

This booklet featured above is called, “From Coach to You,” and was done by new Director of Athletics and football Head Coach Paul “Red” Pierce in 1952 to introduce himself and the athletics program to the freshman students. Coach Pierce came to Sam Houston State in 1952 from his alma mater Sul Ross State Teachers College in Alpine, Texas.

While at Sam Houston State, Red’s BearKats won or tied for four conference championship in 1955, 1956, 1961 and 1964 and played four bowl games. In 1964, the BearKats shared the NAIA National Championship title with Concordia College with a final score of 7-7. The bowl games the Kats won during his tenure as head coach were the Shrimp Bowl, and two Refrigerator Bowls in 1953 & 1956. They also played in the 1958 Christmas Bowl but were upset by Northwestern State.

Coach Pierce left Sam Houston State in 1967 to return to Sul Ross State.

In 1978 Coach Pierce was inducted into the BearKat Athletics Hall of Honor.