We Are Texas East Mall Project

The first cohort of Black undergraduates, who refer to themselves as the Precursors,
started classes in 1956.

Photograph by Ursula Rogers

Edwin Dorn

Edwin Dorn entered UT in 1963.

“African Americans and Hispanics, for that matter, are still not represented on this campus at the level of their representation in the general public. There may be a lot of reasons for that, but I suspect one of those reasons is a kind of legacy effect… I suspect that a lot of kids – people in my generation, certainly in subsequent generations – hear from their parents or their grandparents that, ‘Well, you know, there are probably better places than UT for a Black kid or an Hispanic kid to go.’ And I suspect that that affects UT’s ability to attract the best and brightest Black and Hispanic students from Texas. So, we’ve got a ways to go.”
Edwin Dorn


Photographed and interviewed on May 15, 2022 at the Moody School of Communications, UT Austin, Austin, Texas.

Learn more about

Precursors Oral Histories Project