Schreiner University

The three-story main building on the Schreiner Institute campus in 1929. 


This week, a long-time friend brought by a copy of the 1929 Recall, the yearbook of Schreiner Institute. The book, with an elaborate cover, has about 186 pages and has a lot of wonderful photographs of the school and its students.

Schreiner Institute is now Schreiner University. It was started in late 1917, when Charles Schreiner donated $250,000 to establish the school, along with 140.25 acres of land, with the condition that construction not begin until World War I was over and at least one year had passed from the signing of the peace treaties. 

In the years after that first gift, Schreiner added to his commitment, eventually providing a little more than $550,000 to start the school.

Construction on the campus began in 1922. Three buildings were erected: a three-story main building, today called Weir Academic Building; a dormitory, Dickey Hall; and a headmaster’s house, now used as the Alumni House. 

The architectural style of the buildings was described in the Kerrville Mountain Sun as “English Colonial,” a style “which is specially adapted to the rugged surroundings and has the further advantage of being very homelike.”

The choice of this architecture style is interesting. Charles Schreiner was not English, but was born in Alsace, a region of France bordering Germany. I wouldn’t call the architecture style of Schreiner’s own house on Earl Garrett Street “English,” either, although his eldest son’s house might have some English inspiration. It’s the big house between the print shop and the library.

Perhaps the style of architecture was chosen because it best represented a local idea of what a school should look like, using design to create something from nothing.

In September 1923, classes began at Schreiner Institute. This means the 1929 yearbook given to me this week offers a glimpse of the school from its earliest days.

Five brick buildings are featured in the 1929 yearbook: In addition to the original three, A.C. Schreiner Hall was built in 1925 and Hoon Hall in 1926.

Two Kerrville homes also are featured in the yearbook: the Water Street home of A.C. Schreiner, who was the president of Schreiner Institute’s board of directors in 1929; and the home of Louis Schreiner, “Tulahteka,” which is south of town on a hill and was most recently the headquarters of the L.D. Brinkman Corporation.

In 1929, J.J. Delaney was the school’s president. He lead a faculty of 20 men and women.

The students ranged from high school freshmen through college sophomores. 

There are 34 college sophomores listed in the yearbook, all pictured in military uniforms. Most of the young men are from Texas towns, ranging in size from Dime Box to San Antonio. Many of the sophomores are from Kerrville. 

There were 77 college freshman listed, and there were 94 students enrolled in the high school department. 

The student body, when combining the high school and college student, was 205 young men in 1929.

The sports teams at Schreiner had a successful season in 1929. The football team won 8 out of 9 games, only losing to Texas Tech; the basketball team won 17 of 20 games.

Sixty nine diplomas were awarded in 1929, with 22 graduating as college sophomores and 47 graduating as high school seniors.

I visited the Schreiner University campus this week and was reminded what a special part of Kerrville it is. We are very lucky to have the school in our community.

Until next week, all the best.

Joe Herring Jr. is a Kerrville native who is especially fond of one particular Schreiner College graduate, the lovely Ms. Carolyn.


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