Out with the old, in with the new!

(repost from September 19, 2008)

On Saturday, September 20, 2008, Gaston and Thompson Halls will be demolished to make room for the new Jerry S. Rawls College of Business at Texas Tech University. If you were a student at here, chances are you visited one or both of these buildings at some point. You may have stayed in Gaston Hall when it served as graduate housing or paid a late night visit Thompson Hall to see a doctor in the Student Health Clinic. In rememberance of these structures, here’s some interesting facts from Texas Tech history:

Located on the northwest side of the Tech campus, the Thompson-Gaston-Wells-Carpenter Halls complex was comprised of two-hall complexes. The Thompson-Gaston dormitory cost an estimated $2,705,120 to build in 1958.

Thompson Hall was named after Dr. Charles Collins Thompson, a lawyer who served on the Texas Technological College Board of Directors starting from 1937-1957. He was born on July 3, 1898, in Erath County, Texas. After attending Simmon College for a year, he received a teacher’s certificate and later attended UT Law School. Thompson was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1923, served as a County Judge of Mitchell County from 1925-1931, was President of City National Bank in Colorado City, Texas in 1937, and received an honorary Doctor of Law degree from Tech in 1958. He was active in numerous civic organizations and had the nickname “Mr. Farm Credit” due to his involvement in farm credit lending practices. In 1972, he was named “Man of the Year in Texas Agriculture” by The Progressive Farmer magazine. Thompson passed away in 1983. Aside from having the dormitory named after him, a Charles C. Thompson Professorship in Agricultural Finance was established in his name in the College of Agricultural Sciences.

William Thomas Gaston, for whom Gaston Hall was named after, was born in Henderson, Texas on May 10, 1879. He attended Polytechnic College for one year before going on to accept numerous business manager positions. He accepted the position of Business Manager at Texas Tech in 1929 and remained in this position until his retirement in 1954. He is noted for laying the ground work for the dormitory system at Texas Tech. Gaston is also credited with being the first member of The Heritage Club, an archiving project started in 1965 to preserve the photographic history of the university.