St. Philip's College
A Point of Pride on San Antonio's Eastside
African American Studies - Education - Texas History - College Histories
8.5 x 11, 248 pp.
20 color, 80 b&w photos. Appendix. Index.
Pub Date: 01/08/2013
Peoples and Cultures of Texas, Sponsored by Texas A&M University-San Antonio
Price:        $29.95

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St. Philip's College

A Point of Pride on San Antonio's Eastside

Marie Pannell Thurston
Series Editor's Foreword by Maria Hernandez Ferrier
Foreword by Adena Williams Loston

In 1898, St. Philip’s Normal and Industrial School opened its doors in San Antonio, offering sewing classes for black girls. It was the inaugural effort in a program, founded by the West Texas diocese of the Episcopal Church, to educate and train former slaves and other African Americans in that city.

Originally tied to St. Philip’s Church, about three miles east of the downtown center, the school grew to offer high school and then junior college courses and eventually affiliated with the San Antonio Independent School District and San Antonio College. One of the few remaining historically black junior colleges in the country, St. Philip’s, whose student body is no longer predominantly black, has also been designated a Hispanic-serving institution, one of few schools to bear both designations.

Known by many as “the school that love built,” St. Philip’s College claimed in its 1932 catalog, “There is perhaps as much romance surrounding the development of St. Philip’s Junior College as there is of the ‘Alamo City’ in which it is located.”

That love story, also containing dominant strains of sacrifice, scarcity, creativity, determination, and pride, finds its full expression in this history by Marie Pannell Thurston. Based on archival research and extensive interviews with current and former alumni, faculty, and friends, St. Philip’s College presents the heartwarming and inspiring record of a school, the community that nurtures it, and the collective pride in what the institution and its graduates have accomplished.

MARIE PANNELL THURSTON has been coordinator of the Oral History Project for St. Philip’s since 2002. Her PhD is from the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio.

What Readers Are Saying:

"Author Marie Pannell Thurston skillfully chronicles the history of what is currently the nation's only community college designated as a Historically Black College and Hispanic-Serving Institution. She succeeded in producing a book very worthy of the school's proud history."—The Journal of South Texas

“This book provides the story of St. Philip’s in a creative manner, mostly from the editing of individual oral history interviews of various people associated with the college into a cohesive and chronological historical narrative. Unlike some institutional histories of other colleges and universities, which can be very administratively oriented and dry, this book pays much attention to student life and campus activities. As such, alumni over the generations of St. Philip’s history will find much in this book that will recall to them their own experiences at the school. It also tells an inspiring story in very human terms of former students whose subsequent success in life has clearly flowed from their educational experiences at the college. The meticulous research, adroit use of oral history interviews, and the inspiring stories of faculty and students contained in this book drive home that fact that St. Philip’s College most certainly deserves its slogan as an accurate reflection of its history.” —Southwestern Historical Quarterly


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