Y’all probably know all about Jack Wylie’s AC ROOts Happy Hour group in the D/FW area. Well, Monica Walters Crowley, Charlotte Marx Harper,
and others have followed in his footsteps and have started an AC ROOts
group down here in Austin. You gotta attend, you just gotta! Why’s
that? Cause phoning it in means a missed opportunity.
College was searching for a new home in 1875, and one city in particular
was the obvious choice. The citizens of Austin, TX gathered to
convince President Luckett to relocate west. Not only was Austin the
capital of the state, the city had no college to call its own. The
University of Texas was still nearly a decade away. Conveniently, the
city and the college were already named for the same man, the father of
education in Texas.
However, by the end of the year it became
clear that the effort had not been enough. Austin College was slipping
away. From the December 18, 1875 Austin Statesman:
playing a scurvy trick on the other towns of Texas that were competing
for the Austin College. Most of what is promised is in town lots and
swamp lands which have been put down at three times its earned value.
Let Austin and the good Presbyterians of Austin make one more little
effort and Austin will win a million by raising one hundred thousand
Sadly, Austin failed to secure AC. Like the effect of
the Great Storm of 1900 on Galveston, the town has still never quite
recovered from the blow.
But here’s your chance to right the ship
Austin, TX. Grab a beer with fellow Roos after work and make Jack
Wylie proud of his legacy. Let AC know that in spite of their mistake
in 1875, it’s all water under the bridge now. And prove that the oldest
small college in the Lone Star state is not primarily a “metroplex”
college, it’s a college for all Texans.
Yeah, Jack may be a
north Texas fella. But his future is south. He’s got a Longhorn kid in
school at Austin, and he sure does love the Hill Country and the
Guadalupe river. He played Austin baseball for years with my UT
colleague Kevin Craig.
Heck, I’ve even gotten him out on the tennis court here in Austin
(he’s good!). Just a matter of time before Jack shows up for good at an
Austin AC ROOts Happy Hour.
Things kick off on January 23rd at
the Black Star Co-Op on North Lamar. Thanks to Charlotte Marx Harper
for organizing the location for the first one.