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

Eugenia A. Gaines

Eugenia A. Gaines entered UT in 1957.

“They brought us to this this testing room and we all took the test. I don’t know if it was a choice, ‘Did you want to go? Or did you not want to go?’ I don’t remember. I just know that I was one of the ones that did come. I was one of the ones to pass the test. I was one of the ones that was said that you can go to UT in September. You know, no entrance exam, no nothing. I just passed the test and I was enrolled.”
Eugenia A. Gaines


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

Learn more about

Precursors Oral Histories Project