Not Ashamed: Celebration of an Abilene Christian President’s Life

Andrew Boone is a senior theatre major at ACU and has worked in Special Collections for three years. Today we honor the life of Abilene Christian University’s 9th President, William J. Teague with this blog post below from Andrew.

Not Ashamed: Celebration of an Abilene Christian President’s Life

Tom Teague told me he didn’t want me to refer to this as a funeral. “If there’s anything about this that resembles a funeral, we’ve failed,” he told me. Instead, he wanted the December 6 event to be a celebration of the life of his father, William J. Teague.

William J. Teague, left, next to his son Tom, right, at Tom Teague’s graduation. Sewell Photograph Collection, Milliken Special Collections, Brown Library. Abilene Christian University, Abilene, TX.

William (known as “Bill”) Teague served as the ninth president of Abilene Christian University from 1981 until 1991. An alumnus of Abilene Christian College with a degree in Bible and Speech, Teague believed strongly in the value of education, not only as a means of intellectual growth and professional preparation, but as a tool for personal and spiritual growth and connection.

The service was held, fittingly, in the Teague Special Events Center, on the indoor tennis courts that had been covered with carpet for the ceremony. Tom Teague achieved his stated goal; the memorial did not have the air of a funeral. Guests were jovial, talkative, and smiling, sharing stories about Teague’s life and food catered from Perini’s.

The ceremony was concise and ripe with humor, just like Teague’s mode of verbal communication. Dr. Gary McCaleb gave the invocation and read scripture.

Footage of Dr. Gary McCaleb interviewing then President Teague. Abilene Christian University and McCaleb, Gary, “On Campus Video, Featuring William J. Teague” (1986). McCaleb & Company.

Cecil Eager, a former ACU tennis coach and athletics director, shared memories of Teague’s life. Dawne Swearingen Meeks, chair of the ACU Theatre Department, led the singing of “I’m Not Ashamed To Own My Lord.”

This song provided a segue into a speech by Tom Teague, which centered around the theme of being “not ashamed.” Tom spoke of his father as being unashamed of his faith, his family, his values, his school, and his passions. I never knew Bill Teague, but the many stories that his son shared–some very old and others quite recent–gave me the feeling that I did.

To conclude the ceremony, I had been asked to sing “Danny Boy,” a personal favorite song of Teague’s. Tom introduced me by referencing my father, a sports broadcaster for ACU Athletics, and my great uncle Pat Boone, an old friend of Bill’s and a longtime friend of the university. I then led the room in the singing of ACU’s Alma Mater before being joined by thirteen other ACU theatre students who helped me lead “The Lord Bless You And Keep You.”

To say it was an honor to participate in the memorial service for such a beloved and important figure in ACU’s history would be greatly understating the point. As a student archives assistant in the ACU Special Collections, I spend all day handling, digitizing, describing, and sorting materials related to ACU/ACC history. Today, I had the privilege to be a part of it.

Andrew Boone sings at December 6 service for Dr. William J. Teague.

Picture This: Edwards Hall

Jackson Hager is a senior history major from Austin, Texas who hopes to go on to graduate school for public history or archival studies. Jackson has been a student worker in Special Collections for several years and joins us as a guest blogger today as we continue our series on dormitories throughout the years at ACU.

For many young men following in the footsteps of their fathers by attending ACU, spending their first two years on campus in the same dorms where their fathers lived has become somewhat of a tradition on campus. I followed in that tradition with my father, uncles, and cousins. Ever since its founding in 1955, Edwards Hall has remained a place of memories and stories for the generations of young men who have dwelled within its walls.

Photograph of Edwards Hall from the front and right side. From the Sewell Photograph Collection.

Before 1955, young male students had few options for places to live on campus. Before the university’s move to today’s location in 1927, men could find local houses or apartments to live in while students. In the 1930’s McDonald Hall was built to house the growing number of young men. In the later years, married men were able to take up residence in the Hutments, north of McKinzie Hall. In 1952 Mabee Hall was constructed. And finally, in 1955, Edwards Hall was constructed, thanks in part to the donations of land and money from famed Texas rancher William Edwards.

William Edwards and a horse by a campfire on Edwards’ ranch. From the Sewell Photograph Collection.

The construction of Edwards Hall was a part of a larger burst of expansion on Abilene Christian College’s campus, which included Catching Cafeteria, Nelson Hall for women, and the much beloved Bible Building. The quality of the facilities were well-known with spacious rooms, beautiful outdoor areas to grill, and according to 1979-1980 ACU Catalog, air-conditioning. All these features lead to cost of living in Edwards Hall for the 1979-1980 school year to be $209. Mabee, on the other hand, only cost $189 due to the lack of air conditioning. Despite all the changes that have come to the campus of Abilene Christian University, life in Edwards Hall remains relatively the same. Young men study, laugh, pull pranks, grow together spiritually, and continue to contribute to the wonderful culture that exists here on campus. Edwards Hall may seem like only a building, but it is so much more that. It has a place where ACU history is made, and where friendships are formed for a lifetime.

View of the Abilene Christian College campus from the roof of McKinzie dormitory. The “L” shape of Edwards Hall is visible in the upper left of the photograph. From the Sewell Photograph Collection.

Track and Field with ACU’s Bobby Morrow

Track and Field with ACU’s Bobby Morrow (1957-58). This reel of news stories about college track and field meets focuses primarily on Abilene Christian College’s Bobby Morrow competing at meets in 1957 and 58. The stories capture scenes from the West Coast Relays in Fresno in 1957, the Texas Relays in Austin in 1957, and the American Business Club Relays in Big Spring in 1958. Throughout, Morrow and the ACC relay team that also included Bill Woodhouse, James Segrest, and Waymond Griggs consistently break records. Among other footage of big names in track and field are scenes of Morrow racing Duke’s Dave Sime in 1958; Morrow and Sime were constant rivals for the title of “Fastest Man in the World.” Although they had both beat each other previously, in this race, Sime wins by a foot and a half.

http://www.texasarchive.org/library/index.php/2013_01476

Track and Field with ACU's Bobby Morrow 1957-58