Board of Regents Approved Naming Task Force Recommendations

May 25, 2021

Dear Colleagues and Students,

I am pleased to share with you that The Texas State University System Board of Regents unanimously approved the motions set forth by our university to rename two residence halls that were originally named for rivers – Angelina and San Gabriel on the San Marcos Campus – and name two unnamed streets on the Round Rock Campus after distinguished members of the Texas State family who are from the Black and Hispanic/Latinx communities.

This exciting news is the result of an inclusive and thorough nomination process conducted by the Texas State University Naming Task Force that I established in September of 2020. The Naming Task Force received more than 40 nominations of influential alumni, former staff and faculty, and leaders from Black and Hispanic/Latinx communities for consideration.

We will proudly move forward to implement the following recommendations:

  • Renaming San Gabriel Hall to Elena Zamora O’Shea Hall, after Elena Zamora O’Shea, who was the first known Latina student at Texas State in 1906.
  • Renaming Angelina Hall to First Five Freedom Hall, after Dana Jean Smith, Helen Jackson Franks, Georgia Hoodye Cheatham, Gloria Odoms Powell, and Mabeleen Washington, who were the first Black students at Texas State in 1963.
  • Naming one of the unnamed roads on the Round Rock Campus Adolfo Barrera Drive, after Dr. Adolfo “Sonny” Barrera, a former university administrator, for his work in multicultural programming.
  • Naming one of the unnamed roads on the Round Rock Campus Elvin Holt Drive, after Dr. Elvin Holt, the first Black professor in the Department of English, for his work in multicultural curriculum development.

To learn more about the incredible contributions of these individuals, visit the Naming Task Force Announcements page on my website, featuring their bios and photos.

I want to thank the members of the Task Force, and co-chairs Dr. Gloria Martinez and Dr. Scott Bowman, for their commitment to this process and the quality of their extraordinary work. I am very proud of the way that the Task Force engaged the university and surrounding communities, the large number of nominations that were received, and the approach taken to evaluate each nomination. We are planning events this fall to officially recognize and celebrate the new names of these residence halls and streets.

I hope that as we etch these names into our university’s history, we’re reminded of all the courageous trailblazers that came before us and helped shape our institution. They laid a foundation decades ago that we have a privilege and responsibility to build upon today, to move our institution to achieve greater levels of equity and inclusion.


Denise M. Trauth