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Early days of Dallas Baptist University

Dallas Baptist University began as Decatur Baptist College, pictured here in 1909.
Dallas Baptist University began as Decatur Baptist College, pictured here in 1909.
From the Wagner Family Vintage Postcard Collection

Dallas Baptist University began in 1898 as Decatur Baptist College. It was the first junior or two-year college in the state of Texas. Also referred to as the Texas Baptist College, the campus relocated in Dallas with the support of the Dallas Baptist Association in 1965. In 1968, the college became a four-year institution and began building on donated property overlooking Mountain Creek Lake in southwest Dallas County. The donors of the first 100 acres of the campus included John Stemmons and and Roland Pelt. Another 100 acres were donated by a group of Dallas businessmen, and the remaining 92 acres were donated by the family of Louis Hexter, a prominent Dallas Jew. The main building replicates the red brick structure with its tall white columns.

It is interesting to note that the character and style of one of the early buildings are replicated on the present-day campus. More than just hints of the original white columns, roof lines, and red brick echo across the campus and particularly in the Matler Student Center and the Pilgrim Chapel. To see for yourself, take a drive along Mountain Creek Parkway or view the campus grounds from Kiest Boulevard. Every time I travel through the area, I am always impressed with the view.