Project Highlights Black Experience at UTA

Dr. Maxwell C. Scarlett’s biography is punctuated by firsts.

In 1966, Scarlett became the first African-American to graduate from what is now the University of Texas at Arlington. In the fall of 1962, he was among the first three African-American men to live in a college dormitory at the North Texas State University, now the University of North Texas.

Scarlett, 67, was also the first African-American to teach in the biology department at North Texas.

“My generation came along in a different day,” Scarlett said. “I never went to school with any students who were white and never had any teachers who were white until I was a freshman in college.”

Scarlett’s experience will be part of an oral history project at UTA that focuses on black alumni. The project is the first major undertaking for the university’s new Center for African American Studies. The center is described as unique to North Texas and the third of its kind in the state. The University of Texas at Austin and Texas Lutheran University in Seguin have similar centers.

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