Undated image courtesy Downs-Jones Library, Huston-Tillotson University
Oakwood Chapel presents To Elevate, a digital story map exhibit featured online at AustinTexas.gov/ToElevate from April through June, 2021.
To Elevate demonstrates the legacy of Huston-Tillotson University, an HBCU (Historically Black College/University) in Austin, Texas. The exhibit tells the story of those that planted the seeds of Huston-Tillotson's beginnings, those that carefully tended and spent their life's energy on managing, improving, and building upon HT, as well as those that continue to pass the torch onward in the elevation of its mission.
The story map features video, photography, digital maps, and other multimedia content to honor and document these leaders, faculty, and alumni. These historical figures have raised each other up through commitment to their community, its people, and its future. "To Elevate" celebrates education, which gives people the power to create their own lives and legacies, often against what societies and norms of a time would allow or comprehend.
The legacy of higher education in Austin dates to 1876, when the first college was chartered: Tillotson Collegiate and Normal Institute. In 1877, the origins of Samuel Huston College were founded. Both institutions would go through their shares of trials and triumphs, before merging in 1952 to become one. Through active lives, Huston-Tillotson leaders, faculty, and alumni have led schools, churches, newspapers, government agencies, and a diverse variety of businesses locally and across the nation.
This exhibit is a collaboration with the Downs-Jones Library and Archives at Huston-Tillotson University. An early version of this exhibit debuted at the 2020 African American Genealogy Conference in Austin, Texas, "Growing Your Roots" produced by the Austin History Center.
For more information and to view the exhibit, visit AustinTexas.gov/ToElevate.
About Huston-Tillotson University
Huston-Tillotson University, the oldest institution of learning in Austin, Texas, has roots dating back to 1875. HT is an independent, church-related, historically black, four-year liberal arts institution located on a 23-acre tree-lined campus near downtown in East Austin. Huston-Tillotson University's mission is to nurture a legacy of leadership and excellence in education, connecting knowledge, power, passion, and values. The University offers associate and master's degrees in addition to Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees in more than 19 areas of study.