Opening Doors

One step at a time...

December 17, 1947 - Austin Seminary faculty makes the following decision on the application of a black student:

“The application of Lonnie R. Proctor, a Negro, for admission to the Seminary as a theological student was presented. No action by the faculty was deemed necessary, inasmuch as the application goes automatically to the Board of Trustees.”

May 19, 1948 - Austin Seminary Board of Trustees approves admittance of African American students, but does not approve accommodations such as housing.

“That the Board approve the admission of Negro candidates for the Presbyterian ministry to the regular courses in the Seminary, provided... that it be clearly understood the Seminary cannot at the present time provide housing, room or board for such men.”

May 9, 1950 - Faculty approves the admission of Austin Seminary’s first African-American student, Daniel Clark Jr., a graduate of Tillotson College (now Huston-Tillotson University).

Daniel Clark, Jr.

Daniel Clark Jr.'s student photo from the 1950-1951 Austin Seminary Theolog

September 16, 1950 - shortly after the start of classes, the faculty voted to make an exception to the a policy preventing African American students from eating in the dining hall on behalf of Daniel Clark Jr.

“[The faculty] voted that Dan Clark could take his noon meals in the dining hall if necessary to facilitate his attendance on afternoon classes and eliminate a trip across the City to Tillotson College and return.”
Declaration of Intent book, 1902-1989, page 75

A page from the Declaration of Intent book for the opening of the 1950-1951 academic year shows the signature of Daniel Clark Jr., Austin Seminary’s first African-American student

Opening Doors