Huston-Tillotson Celebrates 143 Years this Friday


AUSTIN — On Friday, October 26, at 10:00 a.m., in the King-Seabrook Chapel, Huston-Tillotson University will celebrate its 143rd year since its founding in 1875 as Tillotson College.  Charter Day, the official name for the celebration, brings together all faculty, staff, and students.  Alumni also join the momentous occasion.  The keynote speaker will be Bishop Robert E. Hayes, Jr., a Huston-Tillotson board member and Bishop in Residence of the 14,000-member Woodlands United Methodist Church of The Woodlands, Texas.

On Charter Day, the campus will be filled with excitement from alumni, visitors, and dignitaries who will travel to Austin for the campus convocation.  Faculty, staff, and students assemble in King-Seabrook Chapel for the one hour and 45-minute program.   In addition, Top Ranking students and Honor Society students, the HT Concert Choir, and the University Ambassadors are in the spotlight.  Campus offices, library, dining hall, mailroom, etc. are closed during this time.

A reception will be held immediately following the Charter Day Convocation.  Campus visitors enjoy the catfish feast in the dining hall, as well as the opportunity to visit with students.

Throughout Huston-Tillotson University’s 143-year history as Austin’s oldest institution of higher learning and the only historically black college and university in Austin, scores of first-generation, legacy students—students whose parents attended Huston-Tillotson—, and many other students such as international have matriculated the historic University located at 900 Chicon Street on Bluebonnet Hill.

During these 143 years, Tillotson College merged with Samuel Huston College, forming then-Huston-Tillotson College.  Later, the College became a University after creating a School of Business and Technology, which is home to an expanded Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (opening December 6).   Huston-Tillotson also is home to the nation’s only diversity hackathon completely organized and run by students of color.  This fall, Huston-Tillotson welcomed its third largest freshman class in school history and largest since 2010.  Monumentally, four years ago, the University welcomed its first female president since the merger, Dr. Colette Pierce Burnette (Mary E. Branch served as president of Tillotson College).

With over 25 majors and pre-engineering, pre-law, and pre-medicine as options and an all-new environmental justice major, Huston-Tillotson continues to grow and reaffirm itself as historic East Austin’s “Intellectual Heartbeat.”

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