Alton W. Birdwell

Alton W. Birdwell (HMK01)

Location: Nacogdoches, TX 75965 Nacogdoches County
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Country: United States of America
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N 31° 37.362', W 94° 39.138'

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This plaza is dedicated to the memory of the first president of Stephen F. Austin State Teachers College. In 1917 the state created an "East Texas Normal" and selected Nacogdoches as its location. The State Board of Regents selected East Texas historian Alton W. Birdwell to lead the new institution. From his arrival in Nacogdoches until his death, Birdwell dedicated his life to the interests of the institution and set rigorous standards for the new college. He pioneered higher education in East Texas by forging a lasting partnership with the citizens of Nacogdoches and other towns of East Texas in support of the institution's educational mission. He laid out the campus, established the rules, and recruited a dedicated faculty. He always placed the needs of the institution above circumstances. When faced with collapsing enrollments, limited funds, and a legislative threat to close the college during the Great Depression, Birdwell organized a regional defense of the college that saved the institution. Despite criticism, he welcomed Public Works Administration aid and continued the expansion of the college buildings. Birdwell prepared SFA students and oversaw the first campus responses to World War II. As President Emeritus after 1942, Birdwell endeared himself to his successor Dr. Paul Boynton.

In 1953 Birdwell's friends endorsed and dedicated SFA's first scholarship to him. On this site in 1954, the Regents named a new classroom building in his honor. After Birdwell's death, Boynton said "The college is a perpetual memorial to the late educator."

The Board of Regents of Stephen F. Austin University takes pride in designating Birdwell Plaza a part of the historic campus property he loved.
HM NumberHMK01
Year Placed2009
Placed ByStephen F. Austin State University
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014 at 1:26am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)15R E 343285 N 3499801
Decimal Degrees31.62270000, -94.65230000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 31° 37.362', W 94° 39.138'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds31° 37' 21.72" N, 94° 39' 8.28" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)936
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 2100-2106 North St, Nacogdoches TX 75965, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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