Duty and Doctrine: The Origin Story of Southwestern University

of the facility was already completed, and the commu- nity contributed additional property and gifts. The strength of this offer eventually enabled Mood to convince the Texas University Company to name Georgetown as the site in August 1872. Texas University opened its doors to 32 young men in October 1873. They were instructed in that first term by three male faculty members, including Mood. The two-story building was adequate for this number, but the equipment, especially for science classes, was not, and the library was far short of satis- factory. However, Mood had laid the foundation for this institution. For two-and-a-half years, the school operated as Texas University. Though this founding name was used in the Company’s proposed charter as submitted to the State Legislature in 1872, that governing body sought to reserve that title for an anticipated state-supported institution. Therefore, legislative approval, which was granted on February 6, 1875, came with a name change to South Western (originally two words) University. In section seven of the new charter, the Legislature officially recog- nized the Georgetown university as the successor to its four predecessors: Rutersville, Wesleyan, McKenzie, and Soule. During the interval between opening and gaining the charter, Southwestern University survived its birth pangs and began a period of stability and growth. Enrollment increased, the faculty grew in number, and the school was accepted across Texas (except possibly in Chappell Hill) as the central university for Methodism. Within 10 years, the teaching staff was increased to nine from the original three, a third story was added to the main building, and a Female Department was built on a site a few blocks to its west. Additionally, a home was purchased for President Mood and his family, freeing up space for the growing student body. In one decade, Mood developed a unified educa- tional effort among often competing Methodist factions and overcame attempts to derail the work and remove him from its leadership. His determi- nation, though, likely caused irreparable damage to his health. He was often bed-ridden or at least home- bound in the late 1870s and early 1880s. In November 1884, Mood died in Waco while attending one last Methodist Conference session. He was 54 years old. [1] Texas HERITAGE, Volume 4 2014, pp. 8–13. Texas Historical Foundation, www.texashistoricalfoundation.org [2] To Survive and Excel: The Story of Southwestern University 1840–2000, William B. Jones, Georgetown, Texas: CS Graphics, 2006  Top: The Prepatory Deapartment of South Western (originally two words) University. Above: The Women’s Uniform, 1891. 9 SPRING 2015 www.southwestern.edu 1869 Mood called a meeting of the trustees of Soule University on October 4 to present a resolution that a convention be called for the following June to begin proceedings for the organization of a university for the Southwest. 1870 The leaders of Georgetown, Texas, decided that a good school would be an advantage in drawing settlers to the area. On January 29, they organized a stock company, appointed committees, prepared a constitution, and elected trustees for the proposed college, requesting that it be built immediately southeast of town. They proposed constructing a building worth $8,000 to $10,000. When they encountered difficulties in collecting subscriptions, they leased to the State Board of Education the unfinished building, which would become a public school. 1873 Among the communities vying for the university were Fairfield, Calvert, Fort Worth, Salado, Waco, Owensville, Corsicana, Kosse, Belton, Austin and Georgetown. On August 21, it was formally announced that Georgetown would be the location for the new university. 1876 In July, Southwestern had four graduates, the first students to receive a Bachelor of Arts degree. Five other students graduated from the Commercial Department.