The Evolution of a Texas HBCU: Now Majority Hispanic, the Historically Black St. Philip's College Has Positioned Itself to Serve an Increasingly Diverse San Antonio Population

By Pluviose, David | Diverse Issues in Higher Education, August 9, 2007 | Go to article overview

The Evolution of a Texas HBCU: Now Majority Hispanic, the Historically Black St. Philip's College Has Positioned Itself to Serve an Increasingly Diverse San Antonio Population


Pluviose, David, Diverse Issues in Higher Education


Though many smaller HBCUs are facing ongoing crises as funding and enrollment continue to dwindle, St. Philip's College in San Antonio has found a way to thrive. Founded in 1898 by the Episcopal Church as a sewing school for Black girls, St. Philip's has evolved into a comprehensive public community college with a for-credit enrollment exceeding 10,000. Currently, Hispanics make up the largest ethnic group on campus, and St. Philip's, part of the Alamo Community Colleges District, is now the only college to be federally designated as both a historically Black college and a Hispanic-serving institution.

"St. Philip's evolved just to exist. It had to evolve," says college archivist Mark Barnes. The college became co-ed in the early 1920s, and was classified as a Class-A junior college in 1927. At that point, Barnes says the college's administrators realized that the school would have to be transformed from a private to a public institution, "because a lot of HBCUs were closing down because of lack of funding."

Dr. Lanier E. Byrd, the recently retired vice president of academic affairs at the college, witnessed its transformation personally, first as a student and then during a 35-year career as a professor and administrator. Back in his student days, Byrd says the college was "99 percent Black." But now, as "San Antonio's population is largely Hispanic, the institution mirrors that population of the city. And St. Philip's probably mirrors it more than any of the other sister colleges we have in our district."

Maintaining a balance between the college's HBCU roots and its current status as a predominately Hispanic school can be a challenge, as evidenced by discussion surrounding the appointment in March of a Black president, Dr. Adena W. Loston. Some of the college's Hispanic constituents argued that it would have been natural to appoint a Hispanic president based on the current student demographics. Byrd, however, says San Antonio's East Side is "probably the last stronghold of the Black community, with St. Philip's in the middle of it."

According to Byrd, some residents in the neighborhoods surrounding St. Philip's argued that the college should have a Black president to "represent the African-American community and its rich history."

Adds Loston: "The community absolutely felt that it should be an African-American. We have a 109-year history of that, and we have the designation of being a historically Black college. The community demands that kind of recognition from the administration. And so, rightly or wrongly, that is still something that the community holds dearly to, and they're not willing to give up on it and recognize that the demographics have shifted."

Being an HBCU and an HSI

Loston has hit the ground running, implementing a broad agenda aimed at boosting student recruitment and retention in part through a recovery program for high school dropouts. She says the program specifically targets minority dropouts in the surrounding community, thereby boosting both Hispanic and Black recruitment. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Evolution of a Texas HBCU: Now Majority Hispanic, the Historically Black St. Philip's College Has Positioned Itself to Serve an Increasingly Diverse San Antonio Population
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.