AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin’s oldest institution of higher education and only Historically Black College and University added a new title to its accolades as a new member of the National Register of Historic Places.

The National Register of Historic Places designated Huston-Tillotson University as a historical site worthy of preservation efforts. With the title, the entirety of Huston-Tillotson’s campus is now protected as a “historic district,” officials said in a campus news release Wednesday.

“Established in 1875, Huston-Tillotson University is Austin’s oldest institution of higher learning, only Historically Black College and University, and now a historic district,” campus officials said in the release. “Huston-Tillotson College (now Huston-Tillotson University) has been a nexus of African American higher education since the Tillotson Collegiate and Normal Institute purchased the property in 1877.”

With the National Register of Historic Places designation, officials said it guarantees “a measure of protection from the potential impact of federally funded projects” along with access to grant funding options to help with the campus’ restoration and preservation.

The City of Austin’s Historic Preservation Office collaborated with Huston-Tillotson on the nomination, along with support from a National Park Service Underrepresented Communities Grant.

  • The National Register of Historic Places added Huston-Tillotson University to its list in the spring. (Courtesy: Huston-Tillotson University)
  • The National Register of Historic Places added Huston-Tillotson University to its list in the spring. (Courtesy: Huston-Tillotson University)
  • The National Register of Historic Places added Huston-Tillotson University to its list in the spring. (Courtesy: Huston-Tillotson University)

Dr. Archibald W. Vanderpuye, interim president of Huston-Tillotson University, said this designation is a celebration of the university’s contributions to the east Austin community and city at large.

“The recognition of the physical space of Huston-Tillotson University speaks of the equally immense educational, cultural, and economic importance of the University to the East Austin community and beyond,” Vanderpuye said in the release.

Former University President Dr. Colette Pierce Burnette said the university’s addition to the National Register will help best serve current and future students.

“The addition of our University to the National Register of Historic Places enables us to keep the campus beautiful and best-in-class for our students, the place where they live, learn, and grow as well as for our faculty and our staff for the phenomenal purpose-driven work that they do on a daily basis,” she said. “There is nothing like the mission of Historically Black College and Universities, and there’s definitely nothing like Huston-Tillotson University – continue to support one of Austin’s national treasures.”