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Events of the 1950s



September 25 – KVOF-FM, the College of Mines’ second radio station, begins broadcasting. It is the first FM station in the El Paso region. [Pros.]


January 14 – Campus radio station KVOF-FM located in Kelly Hall (now Vowell Hall) is dedicated.

March 15 – Carl Hertzog issues the first publication of the recently founded Texas Western Press—the Texas Western College Catalog, 1951-1952. [Cat.]


April 29 – The dean of the School of Nursing from U.T.’s Medical Brach visits the school to discuss on the possibility of establishing a school of nursing at Texas Western. [Pros.]

December 10-11 - Students remove an alligator from San Jacinto Plaza and place the creature in the office of Professor Howard E. Quinn.


Schellenger Research Laboratories, a legacy of the estate of Emma H. Schellenger, is established as part of Texas Western College.


17 - The United States Supreme Court in Brown v. Board of Education rules 9-0 that segregation by schools is unconstitutional.

Thelma White, a honor's graduate of El Paso's Douglass High School and valedictorian of her 1954 graduating class, is denied admittance to TWC under Article 7, Section 7 of Texas State Constitution, which prohibits integrated schools. White leaves TWC and drives with her parents to Las Cruces, where she is admitted into New Mexico A & M (now New Mexico State University).


Following a 49 percent increase in enrollment, TWC successfully lobbies for an annual appropriation increase to $1.45 million.

30 - Thelma White files suit in federal court against Texas Western College and the Board of Regents of the University of Texas arguing TWC violated her rights as a U.S. citizen when it denied her admission the previous September.

8 - The Board of Regents votes to end segregation for all courses at Texas Western College beginning in the fall of 1955. In a separate resolution, the Board stated that it was its "intention" to end segregation at the University of Texas by fall of 1956.

18 - Federal Judge R.E. Thompson rules in favor of Thelma White, ordering TWC to admit her, and declaring Texas state laws on school segregation to be unconstitutional.

9 - TWC admits ten black students becoming the first senior public college in Texas to desegregate.


TWC is threatened with loss of its accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools after its budget fails to allocate the mandated $300 per student and for operating a library not in compliance with Association standards.

Sources: El Paso Herald-Post; Fugate, Frontier College (1964); The Prospector.

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