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The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star


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Texas State to ‘lay out facts’ surrounding controversial namesakes of buildings



Texas State is establishing a task force of scholars to research and analyze the lives of the namesakes of Beretta Hall and Flowers Hall in an effort to rename them.
In a Feb. 1 email from University President Denise Trauth, the university says a group of scholars from various departments in the university plan to “conduct scholarly analyses of the historical contexts of the lives and careers of Sallie Ward Beretta and John Garland Flowers,” the individuals who the buildings are named after.
Beretta Hall is named after a Daughter of the Confederacy.
Flowers, the third president of Texas State, or known then as Southwest Texas State College, openly opposed integration when he denied admission to Dana Jean Smith, an 18-year-old Black woman, by citing a whites-only provision in the school charter. 
Smith met all of the academic criteria but was denied admission in a letter from Flowers because of her “racial background”, leading Smith’s father to sue the university. Smith prevailed and became the first Black student to integrate into the school in 1963, paving the way to four other Black women enrolling.
The members of the task force, listed below, will “lay out the facts surrounding these complex issues” and will later inform another task force comprised of faculty, staff, students and alumni to review the scholar’s work and make recommendations over the possible name changes.

  • Dean Mary Brennan, College of Liberal Arts, Task Force Chair
  • Dr. Audwin Anderson, Department of Sociology
  • Dr. Ron Brown, Department of History
  • Dr. Dwonna Goldstone, Department of History
  • Dr. Jeffrey Helgeson, Department of History
  • Dr. Paul Kens, Department of Political Science
  • Ms. Margaret Vaverek, University Libraries
  • Dr. Kenneth Ward, Department of Political Science
  • Dr. Dwight Watson, Department of History

The potential renaming of the two on-campus buildings happened after the university announced in December 2020 it would rename the San Gabriel and Angelina Hall dormitories, as well as two roads in the Round Rock campus after distinguished Black and Latinx members in its history.

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