Texas Woman’s University Celebrates a Half-Century of Racial Integration

In 1901 the Texas state legislature founded the Girls Industrial College in Denton. The institution became Texas Woman’s University in 1957. At that time, no black women were allowed to enroll.

In 1961, a half century ago, the university’s board of regents voted to admit black women. In September 1961 Alsenia Dowells became the first African-American student. Six more black students enrolled in 1962.

Currently the library at Texas Woman’s University is featuring an exhibit entitled, “A Historical Retrospective: 50 Years of Integration at TWU.” The exhibit captures the transition time in TWU’s history, tells the stories of the first black students, and profiles campus life and student activities amidst the civil rights movement and the tumultuous times of the 1960s. The exhibit includes photographs, newspaper articles, books, and a snapshot of racial integration at other college campuses across Texas.


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