A recent letter attacking Lawrence Sullivan Ross in The Battalion claiming he “has ties to white supremacy, and committed many gratuitous acts of violence against people of color” is totally wrong and, in fact, the reverse is true!
Not only is it true that Ross saved Texas A&M when wealthy real estate developers in Austin were trying to shut it down, but he also saved Prairie View A&M as well. In a speech in Waco in July 1897, Edward Blackshear, for whom the Prairie View football stadium is named and who was the first leader of Prairie View A&M, praised Ross as perhaps the best friend black Texans ever had. Literally, Prairie View A&M and Texas A&M would not exist but for Lawrence Sullivan Ross.
Perhaps the writer of this letter also didn’t know that black children who were deaf and blind had no services available to them until Ross, as Governor, ordered the creation of an institute specifically for blind and deaf black children in Texas and created a mental health facility for black Texans because they were excluded from that as well.
In addition, he had NO ties to white supremacy as the writer wrongly asserts.
We are all entitled to our opinion, but we are not entitled to our own wrongheaded facts.
Lawrence Sullivan Ross will have his statue at Texas A&M forever, not because of obstinance, but because he deserves the honor with a lifetime of service to ALL TEXANS and ALL AGGIES.
John Sharp Chancellor
Office of the Chancellor