Foundation and Growth: Images of the University's Early Years

Program of The University's first commencement, 1884   Program of The University's first commencement, 1884. CN 09258

The University's first commencement exercises were held at Millett's Opera House in downtown Austin on June 14, 1884. Thirteen law students received Bachelor of Law diplomas and William Preston Johnston, president of Tulane University, gave the commencement address. Albert Sidney Burleson, representing the graduates, gave the valedictory address. Burleson later served as a U.S Congressman and U.S. Postmaster General.
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The University's first faculty, 1883/1884. CN 09264

When The University of Texas opened in September 1883 the faculty was composed of the eight men picture here (left to right): John William Mallet, professor of physics and chemistry; Leslie Waggener, professor of English language, history, and literature; Robert L. Dabney, professor of mental and moral philosophy and political science; Robert S. Gould, professor of law; Oran M. Roberts, professor of law; Henri Tallichet, professor of modern languages; Milton Humphreys, professor of ancient languages; and William LeRoy Broun, professor of mathematics. Following the University of Virginia model, the faculty elected one of their colleagues, Professor Mallet, to serve as Chairman of the Faculty; the office of University President was not created until 1895.
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  The University's first faculty, 1883/1884
Samuel Clark Red, the first UT graduate, 1885   Samuel Clark Red, the first UT graduate, 1885. CN 09262.

Although several students graduated from the UT Law School at the conclusion of The University's first year, the first undergraduate to earn a Bachelor's degree was Samuel Clark Red, who graduated in June 1885. Because he was the only academic student to graduate that year, Clark could justifiably remark later that he was the only UT alumnus that could hold his class reunion “under my hat.”
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