Monday, October 22, 2012
I participated on Saturday, October 20 in the re-dedication of Austin Hall on the campus of Sam Houston State University. This building served as the home of Austin College from 1851 until 1876. When Austin College moved to Sherman, this historic building became the home of what is now Sam Houston State University. This historical structure recently underwent an extensive renovation. This $2 million project was needed to repair years of deterioration and interior problems to preserve the 160-year-old building. It has lived through the Civil War, Reconstruction, several hurricanes and even a devastating fire in 1982 that destroyed nearby buildings. Austin Hall will now serve as a special events center for receptions. Speakers at this event included S.H.S.U. President Dana Gibson; the Mayor of Huntsville Mac Woodward: Brian McCall, Chancellor of the Texas State University System, and me. My remarks surveyed the history of the building when it served as the administration and classroom home for Austin College.