Shirley R. Harris Student Lounge Dedication Ceremony

Shirley R. Harris

You are invited to attend:

Monday, November 27, 2023
3:30 PM - 5:00 PM
LBJ Student Center, Suite 2-20.0
Second Floor of LBJSC; Adjacent to University Bookstore

Physical Address
109 Student Center Drive
San Marcos, Texas 78666

Google Maps + Direction

About Shirley R. Harris

Shirley Ruth Harris graduated from Edwards High School in Gonzales in 1961, was one of six children, and the first in her family to get a college degree. Her father A.T. Harris was a minister at Wesley Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church in San Marcos, Texas.  

Harris was the first Black graduate of Southwest Texas State College (now Texas State University) on May 26, 1967 and obtained a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. She originally enrolled at San Antonio College and transferred to Southwest Texas State College in 1965. Two years prior to her enrollment at Southwest Texas State College, a federal judge ordered the end of the university’s whites-only policy in response to a class-action lawsuit initiated by Dana Jean Smith, an 18-year-old Black student from Austin, Texas. On February 4, 1963, five women (Dana Jean Smith, Helen Jackson [Franks], Georgia Faye Hoodye [Cheatham], Gloria Odoms [Powell], and Mabeleen Washington) enrolled.

After graduation, Harris worked as an elementary school teacher in the South San Antonio Independent School District for one year. She then taught at San Antonio ISD’s Briscoe Elementary School for 42 years and retired in 2011. Harris passed away in 2018 at the age of 73.

Harris’ legacy is highlighted by her focus as an “all-business person,” dedication to completing her degree, and fearless pursuit of racial equality in education.  

Inside TXST (2023): Focused and Fearless: Remembering Shirley Harris, TXST's First Black Graduate

Program Details

3:30 PM - Light Reception
4:00 PM to 5:00 PM - Program

Program will include remarks from distinguished guests (Dwight Harris - Shirley Harris' brother, TXST President Kelly Damphousse, and a student leader), performance, ribbon cutting ceremony with presentation of plaque. 


LBJ Student Center Parking Garage 
109 Student Center, San Marcos, Texas 78666
Google Maps + Directions

A collaborative effort by:

LBJ Student Center
President's Office
Student Involvement and Engagement