|Students walk to class at the University of Houston-Victoria in the late 1980s. The building is now The Victoria College Administration Building.|
The University of Houston-Victoria’s rich history includes a cookout involving students using an old searchlight reflector to roast hot dogs, the formation of what is now the Victoria Symphony by a music professor, the unveiling of the Jaguar mascot at the Texas Zoo, and, of course, approval to add underclassmen this coming fall.
These and other facts about the university’s 36-year history will be part of a new book tentatively titled “The University of Houston-Victoria: An Oral History of an Academic Journey.” The book is expected to be published around Thanksgiving.
“With all the tremendous growth and development we have experienced recently, it just seems like the right time to document UHV’s journey from a regional teaching center to a destination university,” UHV President Tim Hudson said. “I’d like to invite everyone in the community to contribute their recollections about UHV, photos and memorabilia to make this project a success.”
The idea for the book started in June when Texas Gov. Rick Perry signed House Bill 1056, which paved the way for UHV to add its FIRST 200 underclassmen in the fall. Hudson tapped American Book Review Managing Editor Charles Alcorn to coordinate the project, and they started making plans.
A Web site, MakingUHVHistory.org, is now up to allow community members to share their favorite UHV moments, upload photos and videos related to UHV, and schedule interviews with Alcorn to provide their oral histories of UHV. The Victoria College/UHV Library also is serving as a collection point for photos and other memorabilia. The deadline to submit items for the book is July 1.
“I want this book to be an enlightening, interesting and entertaining read that will give people a quick and comprehensive understanding of how UHV came to be and where it’s headed,” Alcorn said. “The university’s history is full of fascinating characters, occurrences and anecdotes.”
The full-color book will be published by UHV and printed in both hardcover and paperback editions, Alcorn said. Kyle Schlesinger, a UHV communications and publishing professor, will design and lay out the book.
A large part of the book will focus on articles from the Victoria Advocate’s archives and the oral histories from the community residents involved in creating the University of Houston-Victoria Center, which opened on Sept. 4, 1973, with 350 students and 24 faculty. It will cover the development of UHV through the early part of this century.
The remainder will be about the rapid growth at UHV during the last five years. This includes the evolution of online courses, the start of the Jaguars athletics program and the School of Nursing, the addition of the American Book Review and several other literary organizations and publications, and the 47 percent growth in student enrollment from the fall of 2005 to the fall of 2009.
For more information about “The University of Houston-Victoria: An Oral History of an Academic Journey” or to schedule an interview, contact Alcorn at 361-570-4100 or firstname.lastname@example.org.