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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It’s the annual “Pink Out” game this weekend. Everyone wear pink and support the search for a cure for breast cancer.
Deciding what to wear to the Sam Houston vs.Texas A&M Commerce game on Saturday will be a no brainer. But back in 1959 The Houstonian decided to give female football fans a few helpful hints on the latest football fashion. This clipping is from The Houstonian, October 24, 1959.
To see more football fashion in the SHSU yearbook, The Alcalde, or copies of The Houstonian come visit the University Archives, room 400, Newton Gresham Library.
Since 1923 the BearKats have been pinned against the SFA Lumberjacks in a rivalry that has lasted for 90 years.
The Battle of the Piney Woods rivalry collage above was complied from various sources that are in the SHSU University Archives. Click on the image to see it larger.
The current win-lose statistics for the battle stands at BearKats with the edge at 52-35-2. The Bearkats have won the last 4 years since 2010 when the Battle has been held at the NRG Stadium in Houston.
Eat’em up Kats!
To see more about the Battle of the Piney Woods visit the University Archives in the Newton Gresham Library, room 400, 8-5, Monday-Friday.
It was 55 years ago that the Sam Houston State Teachers College BearKats beat Lamar at home in a 45-0 blowout. With this non-conference game the Kats won 4 games in a row. A feat the previous year’s teams failed to do. The Kats would go on to win 5 and lose 5 and end up 3rd in the Lone Star Division.
Clipping from the sports page of The Houstonian, October 18, 1950.
Special thanks to the Sam Houston State University Athletics Football records book for providing University Archives with all the football stats the archives could ever need.
Click this link for the SHSU Football records book pdf.