Blog Series: Early Texas collegesBlog Series
Trinity University was founded in 1869 after three small antebellum Presbyterian schools in Texas – Ewing College, Chapel Hill College and Larissa College all failed during the Civil War. Cumberland Presbyterians wanted to establish a single institution of higher learning in Texas. Trinity opened its doors in Tehuacana (near Waco) with around 100 co-ed students in its first year. By the end of the century, enrollment had dramatically declined so they moved the campus in 1902 to Waxahachie seeking access to greater financial and cultural resources. The school thrived until the great depression when they decided to once again relocate in 1942 to San Antonio. The San Antonio Chamber of Commerce wanted to establish a strong Protestant institution of higher learning in the city so business leaders promised financial support and merged Trinity with the University of San Antonio, a small Methodist institution. The school was housed on the West side of San Antonio with limited facilities until 1952 when they made their permanent move to their present site near downtown San Antonio. In 1969, Trinity became a private, independent University.
Information courtesy of Trinity University and Texas State Historical Alliance. Photo below is of the administration building at Tehuacana courtesy of the 1912 Trinity University Mirage yearbook.