New Dormitory at the University of Texas Honors a Black Woman

The University of Texas at Austin has named a new dormitory on campus after Almetris Marsh Duren, an African-American woman who mentored many of the early black women students at the university.

Duren was a native of Oklahoma and came to Austin to study at what is now Huston-Tillotson University. In 1956 she was hired by the University of Texas to manage the Eliza Dee dormitory for black women, located several blocks from campus. Black students were not permitted to live on campus. When this building was torn down to make way for a highway, black women students were housed in what became known as the Almetris Co-op.

After the racial integration of the university campus, Duren stayed on, working for the dean of students. She was responsible for the establishment of a black choral group and managed the university’s first black student recruitment program. She was the coauthor of the 1979 book Overcoming: A History of Black Integration at The University of Texas at Austin.

Duren died in 2000 at the age of 90.