Joseph M. Ray


Oscar J. Martínez and Sarah E. John


History of the University

Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee

Born in Kentucky; received a B.A ., M. A. and PH. D. in Political Science from the University of Texas, the latter in 1937; President of Texas Western College - U. T. EL Paso, 1960-1968; Professor Emeritus of Political Science.

Summary of Interview

Tape I, pp. 1-32: First impressions of Texas Western College; how he first came to El Paso as a hitchhiker in 1927; how he entered the University of Texas in 1928; employment experiences from 1937 until he came to Texas Western College in 1960; problems with the administration at Amarillo College concerning ethnic and fiscal policies; the El Paso business community; how he helped improve the academic standing of the institution; administrators he worked with during his presidency; the establishment of the H.Y. Benedict professorships; MexicanAmerican faculty on the campus.

Tape II, pp. 33-62: His rel ationship with Frank Erwin of the Board of Regents; more on his relationship with El Paso businessmen; TWC's involvement with the Second Peace Corps training program; Mission 73; the name change from Texas Western College to the University of Texas at El Paso.

Tape III, pp. 63-93: 1966 NCAA Basketball Championship team; black athletics at TWC; athletics; Sports Illustrated articles on the exploitation of black athletes; the building of the Sun Bowl; more on the name change of the university; how he raised funds for the Excellence Program. Tape IV, pp. 94-121: The acquisition of the Hoover House; the Faculty Senate; relations with the faculty; programs he would like to see carried on at UTEP, anecdotes involving faculty and students; his assessment of his tenure as President of TWC- UTEP.

Date of Interview


Length of Interview

8 hours

Tape Number

No. 682

Transcript Number

No. 682

Length of Transcript

121 pages

Interview Number

No. 682

Terms of Use



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See also: Interview no. 750

682 Dr. Joseph Ray 2.mp3 (207161 kB)
Ray interview, part 2

682 Dr. Joseph Ray 3.mp3 (207635 kB)
Ray interview, part 3

682 Dr. Joseph Ray 4.mp3 (214285 kB)
Ray interview, part 4