Education: Bigger Than Himself

When the University of Houston started out as a four-year institution in 1934, it had 909 students and one big shack on the San Jacinto High School campus. It also had one unusual asset: Vice President Walter W. Kemmerer. A Ph.D. from Columbia, Kemmerer was a blunt go-getter who thought he knew exactly what sort of university Houston should have.

As the driving force behind its philosophy ("We will teach anybody anything he wants"), he offered everything from a six-hour course in cafeteria sanitation to an eight-year course leading to a Ph.D. He made...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!