Leon "Tex" Taylor Papers

Identity elements

Reference code

US TxSaT UA0014

Name and location of repository

Level of description

Collection

Title

Leon "Tex" Taylor Papers

Date(s)

  • 1940s-1980s (Creation)

Extent

8 record storage boxes, 1 document box, and 2 oversize flat files (10.5 linear feet).

Name of creator

(1916-1999)

Biographical history

Leon McCord “Tex” Taylor was born on December 15th, 1916 in Knoxville, Tennessee. Mr. Taylor attended Jefferson High School in Port Arthur, Texas, graduating in 1935. In 1955, Taylor became a Trinity Alumnus when he graduated Cum Laude with a B.A. in English and a minor in speech and drama. Prior to his tenure as Director of Public Relations at Trinity University, he worked as newspaper columnist, radio announcer, sportscaster, and radio production manager. Taylor also served in Army Intelligence and Air Force Public Relations during World War II. He remained in the Air Force Reserve until his retirement in 1976 as a decorated colonel. According to Trinity Magazine, Taylor was “widely considered the dean of San Antonio public relations”(Trinity Magazine 1999, 14). He was the president of the Central Texas chapter of the Public Relations Society of America, president of Sigma Delta Chi, the national journalism fraternity, and director of the Southwest District of American College of Public Relations Association.

In 1947, President Monroe Everett created the position of director of public relations. Taylor was recommended for the position by Trinity football coach, Bob Coe, who knew him from his time in the Air Force and described him as “a publicity genius” (Brackenridge 2004, 156). Taylor was quickly appointed to the position and was instrumental to the construction of Trinity University’s public image following the move from the Waxahachie campus to the Skyline campus in 1952.

Taylor’s career at Trinity University spanned forty-one years, half of which took place under the leadership of President James Laurie. Taylor was critical to the process of moving campuses, preparing press releases and planning events, as well as ensuring press coverage. Many of the records in the Tex Taylor Papers document this period of change. In 1970, Taylor was appointed Vice President for University relations and assistant to the president under Duncan Wimpress.

Under Taylor, The Office of Public Relations was responsible for the interpretation and communication of University policies, programs, and goals. The Office also managed advertising, news, publications, special events, and the production of TV and radio programs (Taylor, 1964). During his tenure at Trinity, Taylor was involved in numerous efforts, from influencing the University’s institutional image, to directing programs in fundraising, publicity, and special events. He wrote speeches for the president and other university officials, and prepared and published policy statements and publications for the board of trustees. Taylor was also deeply involved with student life, becoming a pioneering force behind the intercollegiate athletic programs. Taylor was credited with branding such as “University in the Sun”, “the miracle of Trinity Hill”, and “Trinity of Texas”. He wrote and narrated the Trinity University film, “University in the Sun”, which was awarded first prize in its category at the 1961 honors competition of the American College Public Relations Association. He also wrote and staged 40-plus building dedications and managed the university’s $60 million Centennial Development Program.

Taylor experienced a career shift in 1983 when he was appointed Vice president for special services. By the time of his retirement in May 1987, Leon “Tex” Taylor had worked under five presidents, occupied three positions at Trinity, been an associate professor of journalism, and a public relations lecturer. Leon Taylor died on June 25, 1999, in San Antonio and was survived by his wife Juanita Thompson Taylor and his six children.

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

This collection contains material from the former director of public relations, Leon “Tex” Taylor Taylor. The collection includes correspondence, biographical files, development department files, samples of print media, various articles about Trinity University, and assorted event files spanning Taylor’s tenure at Trinity University from 1947 to 1987.

System of arrangement

Series 1: Biographical
Series 2: Buildings & Grounds
Subseries 2.1: Assorted
Subseries 2.2: Chapman Graduate Center
Subseries 2.3: Coates Library
Subseries 2.4: Coates University Center
Subseries 2.5: George W. Delavan Tennis Stadium
Subseries 2.6: Ewing Halsell Administrative Studies Center
Subseries 2.7: William Knox Holt Continuing Education & Conference Center
Subseries 2.8: Landscaping
Subseries 2.9: Laurie Auditorium
Subseries 2.10: Camille Lightner Women's Honor Residence
Subseries 2.11: E.B. & Myrtle McFarlin Dorm, Susanna Wesley Hall
Subseries 2.12: Marrs McLean Science Center
Subseries 2.13: Verna McLean Residence Hall
Subseries 2.14: William L. Moody Engineering Science Building
Subseries 2.15: T. Frank Murchison Memorial Tower
Subseries 2.16: Preston Gaines Northrup Hall
Subseries 2.17: Margarite B. Parker Chapel
Subseries 2.18: Sid W. Richardson Communications Center
Subseries 2.19: Earl E. Sams Memorial Center
Subseries 2.20: Solar Energy Project
Subseries 2.21: Ruth Taylor Fine Arts Center
Subseries 2.22: E.M. Stevens Sports Complex
Subseries 2.23: George Storch Memorial Library
Subseries 2.24: Swimming Pool
Series 3: Correspondence
Series 4: Development
Subseries 4.1: Buildings & Campus
Subseries 4.2: Campaigns & Outreach
Sub-subseries 4.2.1: Campaigns
Sub-subseries 4.2.2: Outreach
Sub-subseries 4.2.3: Pitches
Subseries 4.3: Donors & Foundations
Subseries 4.4: General Administrative Files
Series 5: Events
Subseries 5.1: Academic Department Events
Subseries 5.2: Alumni
Subseries 5.3: Anniversaries
Subseries 5.4: Calgaard Inauguration
Subseries 5.5: Centennial
Subseries 5.6: Church Service
Subseries 5.7: Special Events
Subseries 5.8: Trinity University Associates
Series 6: Governing Bodies
Subseries 6.1: Board of Trustees
Subseries 6.2: Presidents
Sub-subseries 6.2.1: Laurie
Sub-subseries 6.2.2: Wimpress
Subseries 6.3: Synod of Texas
Series 7: Institutional Knowledge
Series 8: Photographs
Series 9: Print Media
Subseries 9.1: Articles about Trinity University
Subseries 9.2: Associated Correspondence
Subseries 9.3: Brochures, Pamphlets, and Broadsides
Series 10: Productions
Series 11: Public Relations Professional Organizations
Series 12: Reports & Proposals
Series 13: Student Life and Academics

Conditions of access and use elements

Conditions governing access

This collection is open and available to the public for research in the Special Collections & Archives reading room. The materials are non-circulating.

Physical access

Technical access

Conditions governing reproduction

The materials in this collection may be protected by copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code). The materials are available for personal, educational, and scholarly use. It is the responsibility of the researcher to locate and obtain permission from the copyright owner or his or her heirs for any other use, such as reproduction and publication.

Languages of the material

  • English

Scripts of the material

Language and script notes

Finding aids

Acquisition and appraisal elements

Custodial history

Immediate source of acquisition

This collection was transferred by the office of the Vice President, Special Services in 1986.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information

Accruals

Related materials elements

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

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Related descriptions

Notes element

Specialized notes

  • Citation: Leon "Tex" Taylor Papers. UA0014. Coates Library Special Collections & Archives, Trinity University (San Antonio, Texas).
  • Processing information: According to accession records, the files of Leon "Tex" Taylor were acquired through Taylor himself and the special services office he oversaw at time of his retirement. Some of the transfer records stated files were arranged by Taylor, the archives, or rearranged by the archives. At the time, it was standard practice for the archives to rearrange material that was transferred in. The collection was arranged alphabetically, either by a designated series or format, by box. Boxes acted as individual units, series did not correspond between boxes, and there was not an overall collection arrangement or finding aid to pull content together. There was a mix of item level and folder level description. This collection appears very piecemeal. Much of the content is from the development unit, and many of the brochures and broadsides, and correspondence are from specific time periods. While content spans his tenure, it is not exhaustive. The selection and transfer process is unknown. Reprocessing consisted of looking at all the box inventories and physically merging like folders together. It was realized a true series arrangement would need to be created, like content would need to be combined, and folders would need to be relabeled. Many of the campus publications were sorted out to their existing collections. Copies of the Trinitonian went to the Trinitonian collection. The few folders designated as press releases were transferred to UA0050 Public Relations Subject Files. A folder consisting of the Trinity Quarterly will be made into its own collection. While the nature of this collection is that of records, as they document operations of an organization, this collection was classified as papers because it could not be determined that these files were transferred under any records schedule or retention program. Original order was not maintained. AS 05/2021

Alternative identifier(s)

Description control element

Rules or conventions

Sources used

Denny, Mary, ed. 1999. “Leon ‘Tex’ Taylor.” Trinity Magazine, Fall 1999.

Brackenridge, R. Douglas. Trinity University: A Tale of Three Cities. San Antonio: Trinity University Press, 2004.

“Public Relations 1964-1965.” 1964 Box 03, Folder 44. Vice President of University Relations, Leon "Tex" Taylor Papers, UA 0014, Series: Correspondence. Coates Library Special Collections & Archives, Trinity University (San Antonio, Texas).

Taylor, Leon. Public Relations 1964-1965, 1964. Leon “Tex” Taylor Papers. Coates Library Special Collections & Archives, Trinity University.

Archivist's note

Finding aid created by student assistant Madeline G. Smith, May 2021
Reprocessed by Abra Schnur and student assistant Madeline G. Smith, Spring 2021
Processed by Katherine Pettit, 1986

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Physical storage

  • Records Storage Box: UA0014 | B-01 | 32060012371783
  • Records Storage Box: UA0014 | B-02 | 32060012371536
  • Records Storage Box: UA0014 | B-03 | 32060012371577
  • Records Storage Box: UA0014 | B-04 | 32060012371742
  • Records Storage Box: UA0014 | B-05 | 32060012371619
  • Records Storage Box: UA0014 | B-06 | 32060012371775
  • Map cabinet: UA0014 | F-01 | 32060012371528
  • Map cabinet: UA0014 | F-02 | 32060012371494
  • Records Storage Box: UA0014 | B-07 | 32060012371650
  • Records Storage Box: UA0014 | B-08 | 32060012371692
  • Document Box: UA0014 | B-09 | 32060012371734