I promised a new set of photos, but the weather today has me once again reflecting on the past. It was 16 degrees at my house when I got up at 6am this morning. It sleeted most of the night and as I write this mid-morning the snow is pouring and we have about 4 inches on the ground. We are supposed to 6 to 8 inches in the Memphis area today with more over the next few days. The UofM closed yesterday in advance of the storm (most municipalities in the area have to no snow removal equipment). We may get as much as a foot and a quarter. It reminds me of a storm just over twenty years ago.
If you've been reading this blog you know that I did my doctoral work at Texas Tech. It is an institution that I love dearly. I finished up my Ph.D. there in August 2000. It had snowed once when I was there as a student. It was a very light dusting of a snow. In December 2000, I was going to help a friend move from Lubbock to Athens, Georgia. The idea was that on December 27 we would load a truck and head out. It was supposed to be quite cold and there was a winter storm that was going to hit the midwest and move east. We assumed that we would have no trouble as the bulk of the precipitation was predicted to be north of us. We were wrong! The snow began on Christmas Eve. The large snowflakes of a wet snow began to drop that morning. By nightfall, several inches were on the ground. By Christmas Day, between six and ten inches had fallen across the area. Further east it was more with well over a foot and drifts that were much larger. By the day after Christmas, everything was shut down. It was frigid and the cold meant the snow wasn't going anywhere. The initial idea was to drive south and connect with I-20 and then go east all the way to Atlanta. The southeast didn't fair any better with the storm, and I-20 was actually closed in parts. My friend had to be out of her Lubbock residence no matter. We chose to drive further south to skirt the snow and take I-10 east until we broke free of the snow. It was a much longer but in the end easier way to make the trip.
On the 26th, I took a drive around Lubbock to look at the snow and found myself, not unexpectedly, on campus. I had a few frames left on a roll of film and took the photos below. The first is Texas Tech Seal at the main entrance on Broadway and University avenues. The seal is part of the Amon G. Carter Plaza. Amon Carter was an icon in Texas and the publisher of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. He was also a member of the Board for the university and one of the people who had advocated for its creation. The seal stands 12 feet tall and is made of red granite and was erected in 1972. Today, similar seals are erected on the other Texas Tech University System institutions including the nearby Texas Tech Health Sciences Center Lubbock. The next two photos are of the "Park Place at Talkington Plaza" art installation located on the east side of the College of Human Sciences Building. The piece was created by Lubbock native Glenna Goodacre and was donated to the university by J.T. and Margaret Talkington in March, 1997. It is a number of bronze figures representing the lifecourse. The Human Sciences Building is in the background.
East of the Human Sciences Building is the "Into the Sunset" or "Riding into the Sunset" statue of Will Rogers on his horse Soapsuds. Rogers was a friend of Amon Carter and of Texas Tech. Rogers donated funds to the Texas Tech marching band which allowed them to travel with the team to a football game at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth. This made history as it was the first time in the U.S. that a marching band accompanied a football team on an away game. The band was subsequently dubbed the "Goin' Band", a name that has stuck. He would also donate funds for new band uniforms. There are actually three of these statues, all the same. Carter paid for their creation. One is at Tech, one is in Fort Worth at the Coliseum, and one near Rogers' grave in Claremore, OK. In the first photo, the statue is in the center with the Human Sciences Building to the left and the Administration Building to the right. You can just see the University Center in the distance behind the Administration Building. You just see Will and Soapsuds in the second in the right of the frame and the Human Sciences Building in the background.
The next photo is the backside of Doak Hall (originally Women's Dormitory #1). When Tech opened in 1925 it had no dormitories. Tech's then President, Bradford Knapp, was able to secure funding from the Public Works Administration (PWA) for the creation of Doak and West Hall (originally Men's Dormitory #1) across the street. Both buildings were designed by Wyatt C. Hedrick at a time when he, his colleagues, and their families were living in the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC, due to the amount of work they were doing for the PWA. Doak is named for Mary W. Doak, the first Dean of Women at Tech. West Hall is named for James M. West, Sr., a Texas businessman and philanthropist who was a member and President of the Board. Finally, we have the Frazier Alumni Pavilion with the Masked Rider statue. Frazier is located just southwest of Jones AT&T Stadium. You can see the old façade of the stadium on the right of the frame. They have added an addition to Frazier in recent years, and of course Jones AT&T stadium has been extensively expanded and improved as well.
University Grounds is a blog about college and university campuses, their buildings and grounds, and the people who live and work on them.
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Texas Tech University in the snow
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