Holy Trinity College/University of Dallas
1907-1928 (college portion 1911-1926)
The DeAndreis-Rosati Memorial Archives of DePaul University have the papers relating to Holy Trinity College/University of Dallas. They also have the 1910 yearbook from which the logo and football photo came. The school received extensive coverage from the Dallas Morning News.
Holy Trinity College and Academy was founded by the Vincentian Fathers, opening in September 1907. It opened with 88 male students in 3 divisions. The preparatory division handled grades six through eight. The high school division had classical, scientific, commercial and engineering sections. Though a collegiate division was listed, it did not become a reality until 1911, when the school was chartered to issue college degrees and received a name change to University of Dallas. At that time the collegiate division had classical and scientific programs, leading to Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees; the charter also allowed master’s and doctor’s degrees. The Fathers felt that mental and moral training was far more important than acquiring specific knowledge, and so the proper educational tools were Greek and Latin languages. However, the school offered Bachelor of Science degrees in civil, mechanical and electrical engineering.
Enrollment had reached 193 by 1911 and had ballooned to near 400 by 1915.
The University Glee Club represented the school in tours around the state. There was also a university orchestra and several choral societies that performed at commencements.
Because of financial problems, the University of Dallas ended its Collegiate Division, its boarding school, and its athletic programs in 1926. It continued as an academy until 1928, when that too was closed. The name and charter were given up. In 1954 the charter was given to the Sisters of St. Mary of Namur, and the school was reopened in the fall of 1956 as the present University of Dallas.
Bricks and Mortar
Holy Trinity College was located in the Oak Lawn suburb of Dallas. The main building was completed in 1907. Newspaper accounts told of 2,400,000 bricks ordered for the buildings. Originally planned as a 4-story building, it was built with 5 floors and a 368-foot front. In addition to administration and classrooms, this building served as the dormitory for boarding students and faculty. It had a capacity of 180 boarding students.
In 1913 the school added a natatorium and club house and a separate dormitory building. In 1914 the athletic fields were upgraded with a grandstand and a half-mile running track.
According to the DePaul archives, the building was occupied by a girls’ boarding school in 1930. In 1941 a Jesuit high school operated in the building until 1964. It was razed in 1966.
A postcard view of Holy Trinity College building https://www.cardcow.com/698882/dallas-texas-holy-trinity-college/
Team name: Newspapers refer to the team as “Catholics.” Because of the hilltop location of the campus, teams ultimately were called ‘Hilltoppers.”
Colors: Purple and Gold
Holy Trinity College began playing football as the school opened in 1907. Under Coach Joe Utay the team had a 7-1-1 record in 1908, winning the North Texas Interscholastic Association. Early on, Holy Trinity played a mixed schedule of high school and college teams, with a big rivalry game against Dallas High School.
College football Data Warehouse shows games between 1908 and 1925. The top opponents through the years were Southeastern Oklahoma, Trinity College, Austen College, North Texas Normal, East Texas Normal, Howard Payne, and Texas A&M.
Collegiate high lights in football were back-to-back 6-1 teams in 1915 and 1916, and a final 7-2-1 season in 1925. Low lights included a winless 1919 season in which the team was outscored 325-6.
1909 Holy Trinity football team. Joe Utay is back row, right. (Photo courtesy of John T. Richardson Library, DePaul University)