Although most people within the UHD community believe that the University is around 40 years old, our institution is much older. Founded by the YMCA in 1948, the South Texas Junior College was meant to serve returning veterans and other nontraditional students to help them achieve higher education. The Junior College was paired with the South Texas College of Law, and they shared space at 1600 Louisiana for many years. When the two entities split, South Texas took over its own management and broke ties with the YMCA. They leased space at One Main and we all know the rest of the story.
But even after the purchase of STJC by the University of Houston, the University kept its identity as an institution that served students who would not usually be served by the higher education system. Open enrollment, programs that focus directly on student success, low tuition rates, a central location that can be accessed from most of the city–these are the cornerstones of what the South Texas Junior College, and UHD, have built their reputation upon. This is the history that needs to be shared of this place, and hopefully as we build the archives, the story will continue to develop, deepen, and grow richer.