Saturday, January 03, 2015

This Week in Texas Methodist History   January 4

SMU Centennial Notes

2015 marks the centennial year for Southern Methodist University.  Robert S. Hyer resigned as Regent of Southwestern University at the conclusion of the 1910-1911 academic year and moved to Dallas.  He spent the next years planning, raising funds, building, recruiting faculty so that the university opened for the fall 1915 term.  It began as project of the 5 MECS conferences in Texas, but the 1914 General Conference named it the connectional institution for all the annual conferences west of the Mississippi River.  In 1939, with the union of the MEC, MECS, and MP denominations, it related to the South Central Jurisdiction of the Methodist Church (Texas, New Mexico, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas, and Nebraska).  

In honor of the Centennial celebration, we will honor the history of SMU with interesting highlights of its history throughout the year.  This week’s subject is Dallas College.  

SMU friends and alumni will probably know about SMU’s facility near Taos, New Mexico, but did you know that SMU once had a large extension program across much of northern Texas in such small cities as Wills Point, Lindale, and Electra?    As hard times hit in the Great Depression, universities struggled.  Some colleges  didn't make it, and others had to cut back.  SMU expanded by going  where the students were--downtown Dallas and oil boom towns in northern Texas. 

In the 1934 SMU report to the Texas Annual Conference we read about Dallas College, directed by G. O Clough, Ph.D.,
Here is the report

Dallas College is the down town division of the University.  It offers classes at the Y. W. C. A. Dallas, Little Theater, Dallas Technical High School, and after four o’clock on the campus of Southern Methodist University.  Classes are taught through the Extension Division in centers outside the city limits of Greater Dallas.  

During the year 1935-1936 Dallas College enrolled 1,231 students including 105 graduates.  This was a substantial increase over the enrollment of the year before.  The College has grown rapidly in the last few years.

Extension classes were taught last year at Mineola, Grand Saline, Lindale, Wills Point, Kaufman, Corsicana, Wichita Falls, Greenville, and Electra.  

The instructors for the most part are the regular teachers of the various colleges on the campus.
The students of Dallas College are usually mature, hard-working people.  A large percentage of them art employed.  Instructors report that the students are more serious and in general make better records than do the students in the same classes on campus.  During the year 334 teachers and 357 persons employed in the business and professions were registered in Dallas College.  One hundred and twelve Dallas firms had employees registered.  


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