The University of Texas at Tyler will name the Administration Building in honor of founding president Dr. James H. Stewart, Jr., President Rodney H. Mabry announced.
As part of the university’s 40th anniversary celebration events, an unveiling ceremony recognized Stewart and his contributions to the institution that is now UT Tyler. The ceremony was held at 11 a.m., Thursday, Nov. 3 at the University Center theater, followed by the signage unveiling.
“In recognition of Dr. Stewart’s remarkable achievements as the first president, the UT System Board of Regents approved my recommendation for this honorific naming. This building was constructed during Dr. Stewart’s era, and it is fitting that it be named for him,” said President Mabry.
Serving 1972 – 1981, Stewart is the only president to have led all three institutions – Tyler State College, Texas Eastern University and The University of Texas at Tyler. He was instrumental in developing the only public degree-granting institution of higher education in the 14-county East Texas Planning Region and responsible for the plans to move the university to its present-day location in 1976.
He established a higher education program based on academic excellence, developing a fully-accredited institution. Under his leadership, enrollment increased from 176 in spring 1973 to more than 1,900 in spring 1981. Stewart also led the university through four major construction contracts totaling more than $21 million.
Stewart was named President Emeritus of UT Tyler in 2005.
He holds bachelor’s, master’s and Ed.D. degrees from North Texas State College, having served there as an assistant to the president until moving to Tyler in the early 1970s.
One of the 15 campuses of the UT System, UT Tyler offers excellence in teaching, research, artistic performance and community service. More than 80 undergraduate and graduate degree programs are available at UT Tyler, which has an enrollment of almost 7,000 high-ability students at its campuses in Tyler, Longview and Palestine.