Blog Series: Early Texas collegesBlog Series
St. Edwards University
St. Edwards was founded by the Rev. Edward Sorin of the Holy Cross Fathers and Brothers. The same congregation had established the University of Notre Dame in the 1840s. In the 1870s, Sorin learned that Mary Doyle of Austin wanted a Catholic school established in Austin and was willing to donate her 398-acre farm just south of the city. Upon coming to Austin in 1872, Sorin acquired the land from Doyle and another 123 acres from Col. Willis L. Robards. Holy Cross Brothers arrived in 1874 and began working the farm but classes did not begin until 1878 in the Doyle farmhouse. In the fall of 1881 the school was given the name St. Edward’s Academy in honor of Sorin’s patron, St. Edward, King of England. And in 1885 the state of Texas chartered the school and changed the name to St. Edward’s College. The school got chartered again in 1925 as St. Edward’s University. In the spring of 1969 legal control of the university passed officially from the Brothers of the Holy Cross to St. Edward’s University Foundation.
Information courtesy of St. Edward’s University and Texas State Historical Association. Photo below was taken around the 1920s after the school was rechartered as a university courtesy of St. Edward’s University.