Texas Tech University

Humans of Texas Tech

I still believe in the justice system, even if the justice system doesn't believe in me.

Timothy Cole,
Wrongfully accused and posthumously pardoned Texas Tech student.

"I am not inspired by a particular person, but gravitate towards specific qualities held by an individual. Those who exude an aurora of self-confidence, pride themselves on loyalty, and have an unwavering desire to learn inspire me to lead when needed, stand by those who support me, and reward my mind with the wonders of the world.


Inspiration should never come from a person, but instead from the confidence and skills we all have within, that should then be directed towards achieving our goals."

Chinwe A. Obi

Honors College Alumna and
Technical Communication & Rhetoric Graduate Student

"Throughout time many people have been influential in the advancement of African-Americans in the United States. Each built upon a foundation for the next and, through their voices and selfless actions, encouraged future generations to do the same. I applaud the bravery and steadfast commitment of the thought leaders, who continue to lead African-Americans today.


Recognizing the sacrifices and lives of generations of African-Americans should not be relegated to one month, rather celebrated everyday as a part of the fabric of what makes our country great."

Duane Nellis

Past President, Texas Tech University

"Why do I dream? I dream because I have the right to. I dream because I have the freedom to. I dream because I know that I have the opportunity to make it a reality. My dreams are the manifestations that the dreamers before me envisioned. My dreams are the result of an everlasting hope that one day I and millions of others would be able to speak our minds, strive for our goals, and achieve excellence without any hindrances. I have the ability to do and be whoever I so desire. However, it was not always this way.


Nothing worth celebrating comes without a price, and great sacrifices were made by my ancestors, forefathers, and other minorities before me who gave everything to create the opportunities my contemporaries and I enjoy today. For those brave men and women I dream. I dream for Martin Luther King Jr. and the many unsung heroes of the Civil Rights Movement who endured the worst so that I could have the best. Everything that I am; everything I desire to be, and everything that I will become is an ode to these great people. "I am the hope and the dream of the slave." These words by Maya Angelou ring within my mind, and sing to my soul. I dream because I have an obligation to achieve, and with the dreams of those past fueling my ambitions greatness is not the exception but the reality, perfection is possible, and my dreams are limitless."

Leroy Mitchell

Honors Philosophy Student

"My parents were born and raised in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, they arrived in America in the 1980's and since then gave birth to seven boys and six girls. I am the tenth child of thirteen, I truly believe that I have the most exceptional parents and they provided my siblings and I with every opportunity they could and shaped and molded all of us into the people we are today and who we will be in the future.


When I look back on my parents journey and the hope that they had of a better life for themselves and for their children, I am reminded of the sacrifices that people like Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, Marin Luther King, and many others had to make in order to make America what it is today. Black History Month motivates me to embark on my own journey, to be bold in what I do and accomplish, and to lead individuals in a manner similar to the individuals who led Civil Right movements. Black History Month is not just a motivation for African Americans, but people of all ethnicities, cultures, religions, and sexual orientations; it is motivation for a better tomorrow."

Michaelle Jean

Honors Pre-Medicine Student
Honors College Ambassador

Black History Month

TTU Timeline of Diversity

Laura Song, a native from Korea, was the first Asian student to graduate from Texas Tech on June 5, 1933. She received a Bachelor's of Science degree in Home Economics. (June 15, 1933 issue of the Toreador)

Maria Alejandrina Hevia was an international student from Brazil who attended Texas Tech in 1935. She may be the earliest cited female Hispanic student to attend the university. She only attended one year and did not graduate from Texas Tech. (June 15, 1933 and January 22, 1938 issues of the Toreador)

Maria Cpl. Thomas I Bowser and Pfc. Joseph A. Finlayson, 18-year old airmen stationed at Reese Air Force Base sought to attend night classes at Texas Tech but were rebuffed on the grounds that the college was only open to white students. (The Toreador, August 17, 1951)

Mrs. Lucille S. Graves, the founder of the first black private school in Lubbock, was the first African-American to gain entrance into Texas Tech in the summer of 1961. Her persistent attempts to gain entrance into the college opened the door for other minorities to attend. She also established the Mary and Mac School, which was the first black private school in Lubbock. The Lubbock County Historical Commission placed a historical marker on the school's structure on July 11, 2014. (Link to the AJ's article about the site dedication)

Be Shiao, from Taiwan, was awarded a scholarship funded jointly by Phi Upsilon Omicron and the American Economics Association that would allow her to obtain her master's degree in home economics.

The July 21st issue of the Toreador announced that African-Americans had enrolled at Texas Tech for the first time, though the names of the students and their number were not revealed.

Ophelia Powell-Malone was the first African-American to receive a B.A. degree from Texas Tech in 1964.

Anita Carmona Harris on was the first native Chicana Lubbockite to graduate from Texas Tech in 1967. She was also the first Mexican to go through the entire Lubbock School system and graduate from Texas Tech. (El Editor, February 15-22, 1979)

In February of 1967, Danny Hardaway became the first African-American athlete at Texas Tech to receive an athletic scholarship and he was a charter member of the university's first black student organization.

Stella Crockett Courtney oral history interview was the first non-transfer African American student to graduate from Texas Tech University. Stella Crockett Courtney oral history interview (2010)

George Scott, previously a science teacher and football coach at Dunbar High School, came to Texas Tech in 1969 as Assistant Dean of Students and part-time instructor in educational psychology. In a University Daily article dated September 11, 1984, Scott stated he was "the first black person to have a job in a professional capacity at Tech."

Dr. Hortense W. Dixon, who majored in Higher Education and minored in Home Economics, was the first African-American to graduate with a doctorate from Texas Tech University. She graduated in August, 1970, and then went on to become an associate professor of Home Economics at Texas Southern University. (TTU Press Release 5-9-15-70)

Hui-Ying Tseng was the first woman to receive a master's degree in agronomy from Texas Tech in 1970. (Photo)

Mrs. Hazel S. Taylor received the first Ford Foundation Advanced Study Fellowship for Black Americans at Texas Tech in July of 1971. (Photo)

As Payload Commander on Space Shuttle Discovery STS-63 in 1995, Dr. Bernard A. Harris Jr., a graduate of Texas Tech's School of Medicine, served on the first flight of the joint Russian-American Space Program, becoming the "First African American to walk in Space." (Link to Harris' bio)