E.H. Hereford in his office, circa 1955

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Although the school that would become UT Arlington dates to 1895, no president presided over the campus for the first 53 years. In the early days, the top campus executives were called trustees or superintendents. When the school joined the Texas A&M University System in 1917, the chief administrative officer received the title of dean. Presidents eventually were named at branch campuses. Thus in 1948 North Texas Agricultural College (now UT Arlington) gained its first president, E.H. Hereford. Nicknamed “Old Rosebud” because he often wore a rose on his lapel, Dr. Hereford worked diligently to elevate the junior college to a full-fledged university. After suffering a heart attack in his Ransom Hall office, he died Nov. 24, 1958, about six months before legislation granted the school four-year status. The E.H. Hereford University Center is named in his honor. The rotary telephone and bulky intercom system he used are now obsolete. And on today’s smoke-free campus, President Hereford would have to ditch the ashtrays and cigar. Photograph courtesy of Special Collections, UT Arlington Library.

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