Celebrating 120 Years!

Join us as we celebrate 120 years of pride in the community with a journey through time from 1898 to 2018.


SPC is Established
– 1898 –

St. Philip’s School opened on March 1, 1898 with Mrs. Alice G. Cowan as the full-time instructor. The school began as a weekend sewing class for six black girls, taught by Mrs. Cowan, a missionary with the Episcopal Church.

Photo: Class of 1898

– 1898 –

James Steptoe Johnston, a bishop of St. Philip’s Episcopal Church of the West Texas Diocese, founded St. Philip’s Normal and Industrial School, a school designed to educate and train recently emancipated slaves.

Bishop Johnston and St. Philip’s Church raised enough money to buy a property behind St. Philip’s Church, bought in the spring of 1898 at a cost of $400, and erected a two-room brick schoolhouse at a cost of $1,800.

Photo: Bishop James Steptoe Johnston

Saint Artemisia Bowden
– 1902 –

Artemisia Bowden, daughter of a former slave, joined the school as administrator and teacher.

Miss Bowden served St. Philip’s College for 52 years. Under her leadership, the school grew from an industrial school for girls into a high school and later a junior college.

During this period, the institution was known as Bowden's School.

Photo: Saint Artemisia Bowden

Boarding Facilities
– 1907 –

After an attempt to provide boarding facilities, the Committee on Education recommended the purchase of land for a girls’ dormitory.

Photo: Saint Artemisia Bowden with SPC Students


New Faculty House
– 1908 –

Work was completed on a teacher’s home to house faculty.

Photo: St. Philip's at La Villita

Graduating Class at La Villita
– 1913 –

St. Philip’s Normal, Grammar and Industrial School graduating class at La Villita.

Photo: Graduating Class Circa 1913-1914


SPC Moves to East Side of San Antonio
– 1918 –

St. Philip’s moved from La Villita to its present location on the East side of San Antonio.

The school’s name changed from St. Philip’s Normal, Grammar and Industrial School to St. Philip’s Normal and Industrial School. The grade school was discontinued.

After several building additions, St. Philip's became a junior college for the black community of San Antonio and the area.

Photo: Johnston Building and Chapel on Campus

Bishop Johnston Memorial Building
– 1927 –

The Bishop Johnston Memorial Building was built.

St. Philip’s began offering junior college courses.

Photo: Bishop Johnston Memorial Building


St. Philip's Junior College
– 1928 –

St. Philip’s was officially designated as a junior college.

An evening school was established with an enrollment of five students.

The Girls’ Friendly Society of America was organized at St. Philip’s.

Photo: Saint Artemisia Bowden, President 1927-1942

St. Philip's During the Great Depression
– 1930's –

During the Great Depression, the Episcopal Church was unable to continue financial support for the school it founded.

Bowden, the president of St. Philip’s College, fought to keep the school afloat. Considered the savior of St. Philip's College, she frequently used her own money to pay teachers and to keep the doors open.

In a fundraising effort, she traveled around the country with a quartet of singing students soliciting donations for the historically black college.

St. Philip's participated in Negro Song Fest alongside other historically black colleges.

Photo: Class of 1937


St. Philip's Debt was $500

– 1938 –

The Diocesan Expense Budget for St. Philip’s Junior College debt was $500.

The Arts and Crafts Club, Student Government, Science and Mathematics Club, Public Affairs Forum and Alumni Association were organized.

Photo: Painting of Saint Artemisia Bowden by Bess King

St. Philip's No Longer a Private Institution

– 1942 –

The school, retaining the St. Philip’s Junior College name, affiliated with San Antonio College and the San Antonio Independent School District, marking the end of the college’s era as a private institution.

Photo: St. Philip's $140,000 Building Program

St. Philip's Pre-Nursing

– 1944 –

Pre-nursing program started in 1944 and leading to the Vocational Nursing training in 1949.

Photo: 1944-1945 Catalog

San Antonio Union Junior College District

– 1945 –

An elected district board of trustees, named the San Antonio Union Junior College District (now Alamo Community College District), assumed administration of the two colleges.

Photo: Class of 1947

Artemisia Bowden Travels to D.C.

– 1946 –

Artemisia Bowden traveled to Washington, D.C. to be recognized as One of Ten Outstanding Women of 1946 in the Field of Education by the National Council of Negro Women.

Photo: Saint Artemisia Bowden, Dean 1942-1954

Veterans Housing

– 1947 –

St. Philip's maintains cozy trailer-like quarters for its veteran students, both married and single. There are fourteen units for married "vets" and six units for single "vets", making a total of twenty units. There is also a laundry unit provided for the convenience of the residents.

Photo: Veterans Housing


Board of Trustees Approves the Building of SPC GYM

– 1948 –

The Board of Trustees approved the building of a gymnasium at St. Philip’s.

Photo: SPC Gymnasium

Vocational Nursing Started

– 1949 –

St. Philip's Junior College began the Vocational Nursing program.

Photo: SPC Nursing Students in Yearbook 1950

Industrial Education Building Built

– 1957 –

An industrial education building was built.

Harpist Ariele Hall, a member of the San Antonio Symphony, performed at St. Philip’s College.

Photo: Ariele Hall, Harpist


SPC obtains a $4,000 Grant

– 1958 –

St. Philip’s obtained a $4000 grant from the Minnie Piper Stevens Foundation, and the Board of Trustees approved matching funds, to build a physics laboratory.

Dr. Clarence W. Norris, Sr. is Dean from 1954-1969.

Photo: Dr. Clarence W. Norris, Sr., Dean 1954-1969

Trade Programs Added to Curriculum

– 1967 –

Business Technology, Carpentry Technology, Drafting Technology, Surveying Technology and Welding Technology were added to the


Photo: Student Welding, 1967


Medical & Technical Programs Added

– 1968 –

Medical Records, A&P Mechanics, Nurse Aide, Operating Room Technician, Real Estate and Ward Clerk added to the curriculum.

Photo: Student Council, 1968

SPC Homecoming

– 1969 –

1969-1970 Miss St. Philip's, Gloria Ball crowned Miss St. Philip's College at an SPC Homecoming event.

Photo: From left to right - Matilda Lewis, Gloria Ball, Madeline Townsdend and Patsy Allen

SPC Historical Marker Unveiled

– 1976 –

Photograph of Edwin Ward, Minnie Meade Lowery and Dr. Clarence W. Norris, Sr. unveiling a historical marker at the original site of St. Philip's College.

Photo: Edwin Ward, Minnie Meade Lowery & Dr. Clarence W. Norris, Sr.

Capital Improvement Projects

– 1977 –

This year marked the beginning of several capital improvement projects. The Learning Resources Center (now the G.J. Sutton Learning Center, Physical Plant Building and Campus Police Office were added to the campus.

Dr. John B. Murphy, is Dean from 1969-1982 and became President in 1982.

Photo: Dr. John B. Murphy


SPC Student Center Renovated

– 1978 –

Parts of the Student Center were renovated.

Photo: St. Philip's Aerial View, 1976

SPC Presidents

– 1980's –

Dr. Theodore R. Williams (Interim President, 1982)

Dr. Gloria Jackson (President, 1982-1984)

Dr. Kay Moore (Interim President, 1985)

Dr. Stephen R. Mitchell (President, 1985-1992)

St. Philip’s was designated as a Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) member in 1987.

Photo: Dr. Stephen R. Mitchell, President 1985-1992

SPC Designated as an HBCU

– 1987 –

St. Philip’s was designated as a Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) member.

Photo: St. Philip's Basketball Team, 1984-1985

Southwest Campus Established

– 1987 –

The Southwest Center, now Southwest Campus, was designated as a campus of St. Philip’s in July 1987. St. Philip's added the Southwest Campus, a hub for technical training programs and formerly part of Kelly Air Force Base, as an official campus. It had previously served as a district extension center.

Photo: Industrial Technology Center (ITC), Building 1 at Southwest Campus


C.E. Sign Language Class

– 1988 –

Continuing Education launched a sign language class for Health Care Professionals at Baptist Memorial Hospital. This was the first hospital class of its kind in San Antonio.

Photo: St. Philip's Continuing Education Graduates, 1985

St. Philip's Presidents

– 1990's –

Dr. Byron R. Skinner (President 1992-1993)

Hamice James (Interim President 1993-1995)

Dr. Charles A. Taylor (President 1995-2000)

Photo: From left to right - Dr. Byron R. Skinner, President 1992-1993 and Dr. Charles A. Taylor, President 1995-2000

Maya Angelou Performs at SPC

– 1995 –

Dr. Sandra Mayo, Director of Theatre and Fine Arts, and Maya Angelou. Ms. Angelou gave a performance in the St. Philip's College Fine Arts Auditorium on September 2, 1995.

Photo: Dr. Sandra Mayo and Ms. Maya Angelou, 1995

Learning and Leadership Development Center Opens

– 1997 –

A multi-million-dollar capital expansion added major buildings; a state-of-the-art theater complex at the MLK campus; and the Northeast Learning Center in 1996; and the Learning and Leadership Development Center, in collaboration with the City of San Antonio, opened.

Photo: Learning and Leadership Development Center (LLDC)


SPC Celebrates 100 Years

– 1998 –

St. Philip’s College celebrated its 100th anniversary with a series of events throughout the entire year.

Photo: San Antoino Symphony at SPC's Centennial Celebration, 1998

David Robinson Visits SPC

– 1998 –

Photograph of the San Antonio Spurs basketball player David Robinson being welcomed to St. Philip's College. Mr. Robinson served as the Honorary Chair of the St. Philip's College Centennial Celebration. He also gave a speech, "New Directions for the Next 100 Years", during the Centennial Lecture Series.

Photo: David Robinson at SPC, 1998

LVN to ADN Mobility Program Began

– 1998 –

St. Philip's College began it's LVN to ADN Mobility Program.

Photo: Clara Eita Brooks Williams, Nursing Student Graduate at the Centennial Reunion, 1998

SPC Presidents

– 2000's –

Homer (Butch) Hayes (Interim President 2000)

Dr. Angie Stokes Runnels (President 2000-2006)

Dr. Patricia (Patti) Candia (Interim President 2006-2007)

Dr. Adena Williams Loston became the fourteenth President of St. Philip’s College in 2007.

Photo: From left to right - Dr. Angie Stokes Runnels, President 2000-2006 and Dr. Adena Williams Loston, President 2007-Present

St. Philip's Episcopal Church

– 2007 –

St. Philip’s College re-established a relationship with St. Philip’s Episcopal Church, the school’s founding church.

Photo: Dr. Adena Williams Loston, President and Reverend Richard Thayer of the St. Philip's Episcopal Church


Presidential Scholarships

– 2008 –

First Presidential Scholarship under College’s new leadership empowers students to serve others. Three students with 4.0 grade point averages, individual histories of community service and commitments to involve themselves in leadership and community engagement activities were awarded the St. Philip’s College Presidential Scholarship. The three inaugural recipients of the St. Philip’s College President’s Scholarship.

That same year St. Philip’s College Student Life hosted the first Hispanic Mother-Daughter Conference.

Photo: President Dr. Adena Williams Loston, Thomas Espinosa, Ava Delgado, and Jana Penniston, October 23, 2008

First Annual Golf Tournament

– 2009 –

St. Philip’s College hosted its Inaugural Scholarship Golf Tournament on March 3 at Pecan Valley Golf Club. Proceeds from the goodwill event will benefit student scholarships at St. Philip’s College.

Photo: Gloria Hernandez, Alicia Davila, Jorge Trevino and Dr. Sharon Crockett-Ray of Institutional Advancement

New Capital Improvements

– 2009 –

On April 29, 2009, three new buildings for over 10,000 college students in the San Antonio area were opened to the public for the first time during a dedication ceremony at St. Philip’s College Martin Luther King Campus. The Welcome Center, Center for Health Professions, and Center for Learning Resources are now open to welcome students.

Photo: SPC Welcome Center, Center for Health Professions, and Center for Learning Resources Ribbon Cutting, 2009

Davis Science Building Dedication

– 2012 –

Dr. William Conan Davis was honored on Friday, October 19, 2012 with the naming of the Science Building dedicated in his honor for his many contributions.

Photo: Dr. William C. Davis Science Building, 2012

Celebrating a Saint

– 2015 –

Nearly 50 years after her death, Artemisia Bowden, a teacher and administrator at St. Philip’s College for more than a half-century, continues to garner plaudits. The latest is recognition by the Episcopal Church as a Holy Woman.

The 78th General Convention of the Episcopal Church in Salt Lake City authorized adding Bowden’s name to the liturgical calendar in “Holy Women, Holy Men: Celebrating the Saints.” August 18 is her designated feast day.

Photo: Celebrating a Saint Ceremony, November 20, 2015

SPC Re-Instate LVN to RN Mobility Program

– 2016 –

The LVN to RN Mobility Program at St. Philip’s College is a one-year program consisting of three consecutive semesters utilizing online, face to face and lab/clinical experiences to meet the educational requirements for the students to become Registered Nurses.

Photo: SPC Nursing Student, 2017

The Honorable Ruth Jones McClendon Collection

– 2017 –

On Feb. 28 in the St. Philip’s College Center for Learning Resources, the final highlight of the St. Philip’s College 2017 African-American Heritage Month was a ceremonial scholarship presentation and ribbon cutting during the opening reception for the exhibition of The Honorable Ruth Jones McClendon.

Photo: The Honorable Ruth Jones McClendon Collection in the Center for Learning Resources at SPC, 2017

Dual Grand Opening Ceremonies

– 2017 –

Guests attended two facility grand openings Aug. 9 the college’s Good Samaritan Veterans Outreach and Transition Center at 202 Connelly St. is a re-purposed building opened in partnership with the City of San Antonio following the first ceremony of the day. Our goal is to provide free services to veterans and their families, regardless of their affiliation with St. Philip’s College. We are here to connect you with information and services to ensure a smooth transition to civilian life.

The Turbon Center ceremony was the second of two prior to re-opening a building named in 1996 for college Professor/Director Of Counseling Emeritus Everett L. Turbon (1919-2002), an alumnus who entered the college at age 16. The Turbon Student Center is home to the Tiger Café, Campus Bookstore, Post Office, and the Department of Student Life. Student Life manages Tiger Lanes (bowling alley), and the Student Government Association.

Photo: Top to bottom - Good Samaritan Veterans Outreach & Transition Center (GSVOTC), 2017 and E. L. Turbon Student Center, 2017


St. Philip's Celebrates 120 Years

– 2018 –

On March 1, 2018 St. Philip’s College celebrated 120 years of pride in the community with a celebration at both Martin Luther King and Southwest campuses.

Photo: SPC Celebrating 120th Anniversary, 2017

10th Annual Scholarship Golf Tournament

– 2018 –

On March 2, 2018 St. Philip’s College held it’s annual scholarship golf tournament receiving donations from various donors participating in the golf tournament.

Photo: SPC 10th Annual Scholarship Golf Tournament, 2018