Pioneers in TWU History image.jpg

Pioneers in TWU History: Louis Hubbard

Inside TWU is taking a look at the people who shaped Texas Woman’s University in a new series called “Pioneers in TWU History.” There are many who made a mark on the university since its founding more than 120 years ago, and we’ll learn more about them in this occasional series.

 

He once applied unsuccessfully for a teaching position at the College of Industrial Arts (CIA), but Louis Herman Hubbard eventually would become the institution’s fifth president.

Hubbard, after serving as a teacher, principal, and superintendent at various Texas schools, applied to teach in CIA’s Department of English. He wasn’t hired, but went on to become a lecturer and the first dean of students at the University of Texas. He was happy in that position, so when Hubbard learned he might be considered for the presidency at CIA, he was inclined to stay put. After receiving some encouragement, however, Hubbard applied for the post and was named president of the college on his 44th birthday, Feb. 10, 1926.

A number of new buildings were added to the campus during Hubbard’s tenure, perhaps the most distinctive being the Little Chapel-in-the-Woods. The last of the buildings added under Hubbard’s tenure would bear his name. Hubbard Hall, the original campus dining hall, underwent an expansion and renovation and reopened as the Student Union at Hubbard Hall in 2020. 

Campus beautification was a high priority for Hubbard. He initiated a long-term plan to add hundreds of redbud trees to the campus landscape, leading to the creation of Redbud Lane, a landmark on the Denton campus. He also helped bring the Pioneer Woman statue to campus.

Hubbard also focused on academics. He created an honors program, called for the establishment of a demonstration school so students could gain experience working with children before graduation, and strongly advocated for graduate education, which began at the college in 1930.

In 1945 Hubbard became chairman of the Commission on Colleges and Universities, an arm of the Southern Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools. The appointment was in part due to his success in improving the academic reputation of the university.

Under Hubbard’s leadership, the college’s name was changed from the College of Industrial Arts to the Texas State College for Women. He retired as president in 1950 but continued his career in education as a visiting professor, graduate dean, consultant, and speaker. He wrote about his life and career in Recollections of a Texas Educator.

 

 

Information for the article is gathered from online searches and Marking A Trail: A History of the Texas Woman’s University.