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May 2004

Release Date: May 05, 2004

ASU Presents Plaque to Edison Junior High, Site of Original College

Where Edison Junior High students attend class today was the first home for San Angelo Junior College, a fact that is now memorialized in a bronze plaque as part of Angelo State University's 75th Anniversary Celebration.

Established in 1928, San Angelo Junior College (SAJC) was the forerunner of Angelo State University. Today's Edison facility was where SAJC first opened its doors. SAJC classes were conducted in the building until the college moved to ASU's current location on Avenue N in the late 1940s. The institution's first commencement was conducted in the SAJC building's auditorium.

ASU President James Hindman presented the plaque to Superintendent Cole Pugh of the San Angelo Independent School District. The marker reads: "Presented to Edison Junior High School, the original building site for San Angelo Junior College, on the occasion of Angelo State University's 75th anniversary since its founding as San Angelo Junior College in 1928." The plaque also incorporates the logo for ASU's 75th anniversary commemoration.

A previous plaque identifying the building as the site of SAJC was given to the university by the SAISD and will later be installed in the LeGrand Alumni and Visitors Center.

The exchange of plaques between ASU and SAISD was fitting because San Angelo schools superintendent Felix E. Smith was the de facto president of SAJC when it first opened its doors on the southwest corner of North Oakes and East Second streets. Classic architecture highlighted the two-story building of reinforced concrete, cream brick and white stone when the inaugural SAJC classes began.

At the time the first floor included the college's administrative suite, classrooms for science and "domestic economy," as well as an auditorium seating 600. The second floor included additional classrooms, teacher offices, a 64- by 22-foot study hall and a library.

The facility was promoted as "the second largest and best in the state," exceeded in size but not in quality by only Wichita Falls Junior College, which cost four times more to establish than the $250,000 San Angelo facility.

When the school opened in the fall of 1928, 112 applicants were admitted. Tuition was $75 for city residents and $150 for non-residents. Students could choose from courses in business, education, English, mathematics, science, social studies, Spanish and Latin.