Earl Campbell, the first Heisman trophy winner from The University of Texas at Austin, walks on the 40 acres in 1976.
Marion Ford a transfer student from the University of Illinois in 1956, was the first black student to approach UT about participating in variety sports. Although the football team was struggling that year and Ford had lead his high school team at Wheatley to wining seasons, he was not permitted to play. Read more here:
Darrell Royal coached the last all-white Longhorn football team and helped to usher in the first African American recruits in 1970. Read this article to learn more about his moral and strategic motives to finally integrate the football team here:
James Means became the first African American athlete allowed to compete in a Longhorn Jersey. The son of Austin activist Bertha Means, James competed on the track and field team in 1965. While a talented athlete he struggled with the "gentlemen's rules" of the South, sometimes not allowed to stay with the rest of the team and/or compete on certain campus in the conference. Deloss Dodds, former UT Athletics Director (1981-2013) recalls competed against him while a runner at Kansas State.
“He don’t take no prisoners,” former UT coach Darrell Royal once said of his star runner’s style of all-out attack. Campbell had breakaway speed and a dancer’s balance and agility. He was never a vicious player, yet the game aroused and challenged him most when he lowered his head and went straight at would-be tacklers. He was the essence of football: one on one, its irresistible force." - Jan Reid (Texas Monthly, 2001)
Jody Conradt became the second Women's Basketball coach in UT history in 1977 and the winningest coach in school history. Confronted with helping to build the newly constructed women's athletics program under Title IX, Jody was also instrumental in helping to recruit African American women to UT.
Roosevelt Leaks was the first African American All-American who went on to have a successful professional career in the NFL. He played for the Baltimore Colts (1975–1979) and the Buffalo Bills (1980–1983) and ventured back to Austin, Texas in the mid-eighties to work in real-estate, he retired as the Director of Veterans Land Board Appraisals in 2013.
Julius Whittier was the first African American to grace the gridiron on the 40 acres, ushering in a new era in 1970. When Julius Whittier committed to attending Texas, he didn’t know he would become the Longhorns’ first black letterman. “I didn’t go there with that as a goal,” he says. “I went there because I wanted to play big-time football, take a shot and see how I stacked up against guys like me. If I was an icebreaker, I didn’t feel the breaking ice.”He went on to have a successful career in law after attending UT Law School and UT's Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs. Read more about Julius here:
Almetris Marsh Duren was a key figure in University of Texas at Austin life from 1958 through 1981. Known as "Mama Duren" or "Mama D," Duren was a mentor, counselor, adviser and inspiration to young people for four decades. She began her career as a housemother and served as a University student development specialist and adviser in the Dean of Students Office from 1968 through 1981. She co-authored Overcoming: A History of Black Integration at The University of Texas at Austin. The book is used in the training of University orientation advisers. Read more here: http://www.utexas.edu/gtw/duren/about.html.
Diversity feature in 1972 Cactus, The University of Texas at Austin yearbook. (Dolph Briscoe Center for American History)
Minority efforts feature in 1974 Cactus, The University of Texas at Austin yearbook. (Dolph Briscoe Center for American History)
White and African American students gather inside on of the many white only restaurants on the Drag (Guadalupe street) for a sit-in protest. (Dolph Briscoe Center for American History)
The first dormitory open to African American female students. Located on East avenue, the house affectionately called "Duren House" after the dorm mother, Almetrius Duren, served as not only a dormitory, but a safe haven for both male and female African American students for socializing, community and encouragement. (Dolph Briscoe Center for American History – Almetrius Duren Archive)
Diversity article featured in the 1968 Cactus, The University of Texas at Austin yearbook. (Dolph Briscoe Center for American History)
Students gathered during a pre-orientation program based on achieving diversity in academics. (Dolph Briscoe Center for American History – Almetrius Duren Archive)
Women housed in the Duren House gather for a annual photo in the foyer of the dorm (1950s). (Dolph Briscoe Center for American History – Almetrius Duren Archive)
Conversation with UT Precursors Maudie Ates Fogle and Sherryll Griffin Bozeman filmed in 20011. (DDCE)
Precursors and UT Sports legends Roosevelt Leaks and Retha Swindell chat about their time on the 40 Acres.