Multicultural Center

About Us

Message from the Director

Portrait of Arthur Gregg

Welcome to the Multicultural Center website. It is my pleasure to extend an open invitation to you to participate in the various programs and events that we sponsor. In addition to our programs, the Center provides a wide range of support services and activities to enhance the cultural and educational development of both undergraduate and graduate students.

We are proud to sponsor various cultural programs and events and we are home to several lively student staff, students available to assist you while you are here at UT Dallas. Feel free to explore our website. If you would like more information on our services, you can contact us via phone, e-mail or just stop by our office and visit.

Arthur Gregg
Director of the Multicultural Center
Assistant Vice President of Multicultural Affairs

Multicultural Staff

Mission Statement+

The Multicultural Center is committed to providing a variety of quality cultural programs, education resources, leadership opportunities and support services that enhance the ability of UT Dallas students to achieve success in their academic, personal and work lives.

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Vision Statement+

All UT Dallas students will treat each other with civility, dignity and respect, regardless of differences, which will prepare them for a global, diverse society.

Core Values+
  • Excellence: We pride ourselves on achieving a high standard of quality programs and services, which provide the utmost satisfaction.
  • Student Focused: We value student involvement, engagement and feedback to provide programs and services that shape the cultural experience of our campus.
  • Collaboration: We value intentional partnerships at all levels that assist us in service of our students, campus and greater community.
  • Diversity: We believe that intentional inclusive environments enhance educational experiences and create successful academic outcomes.
  • Integrity: We maintain an ethical, professional and just methodology of leadership and service.
Learning Outcomes:+

The Multicultural Center will show students how to:

  • Demonstrate cultural competency by identifying various cultures and defining their own.
  • Identify and utilize resources to excel academically and develop personally.
  • Create community and discover resources to function in a diverse workforce and global society.
Land Acknowledgement Statement:+

U.S. Department of Arts and Culture Logo

U.S. Department of Arts & Culture

HONOR NATIVE LAND: A Guide and Call To Acknowledgement.

We call on all individuals and organizations to open all public events and gatherings with acknowledgement of the traditional Native inhabitants of the land.

Land Acknowledgement Statement

Event Statement

Before we begin this program, we would like to start by acknowledging the history and legacy of colonization. UT Dallas stands on land originally settled and occupied by the Caddo, Wichita and Comanche people. We recognize the history of UT Dallas begins with the forced removal of the indigenous people through the legacy of colonization.

Print Statement

The Multicultural Center acknowledges the history and legacy of colonization. UT Dallas stands on land originally settled and occupied by the Caddo, Wichita and Comanche people. We recognize the history of UT Dallas begins with the forced removal of the indigenous people through the legacy of colonization.

The Caddo people were the leaders of the Caddo Nation, an organized confederacy of at least 25 smaller tribes. The Caddo Confederacy was active until the 1800s and numbered 250,000 at the height of their existence. The Hasinais were among the 25 tribes of the Caddo Confederacy. Tejas is the Spanish spelling of Tayshas, the Hasinai word for those who are friends. The Caddo Confederacy was commonly known to the Spanish as “The Tejas”. Texas is the English spelling of Tejas.

Recommended Usage of the Statement

It is recommended that this statement be read or in published in print at any public event or large gatherings of faculty, staff and/or students in honor and recognition of the Native American people.

Large gatherings can include, but not exclusive to, banquets, luncheons, ceremonies, public events, conference openings, invited lectures, webinars, and/or speakers.

The History of the UT Dallas Land

In 1961, Eugene McDermott, J. Erik Jonsson and Cecil Green established the Graduate Research Center of the Southwest (GRCSW). The construction of the Founders Building, the new home of the GRCSW, began in 1963 and was completed the next year. In 1967, the GRCSW’s name was changed to the Southwest Center for Advanced Studies (SCAS). In September 1969, The Southwest Center for Advanced Studies joined the UT System and became The University of Texas at Dallas.

The Founders Building, which housed the GRCSW, was built on 191 acres of farmland owned by F.M. and E.T. Armstrong. When UT Dallas joined the UT System in 1969, the Armstrong farmland and farmland from C.M. Walton (120 acres) and J.R. Black (160 acres) was included as part of the agreement. In 1972, 275 acres of land were donated by the Hoblitzelle Foundation to UT Dallas. The original road from Campbell Rd. to the Founders Building was named Armstrong Drive, which is now located between University Pkwy. and N. Loop Rd.

Prior to the establishment of the GRCSW, this area was primarily family owned agricultural farmland and was often referred to as the Blackland prairie. Smaller farmlands would have been primarily for personal livelihood and local trade. Wheat and cotton were grown seasonally in rotation along with other agriculture crops. Farms also included animals, such as horses, sheep, chickens and cattle. These farmlands were an integral part of the growth of the city of Richardson and Collin County.

Little is known about the Armstrong farmland, such as the crops, animals and when it was originally established. However, this farmland would have resembled the adjacent Farrell farmland which is now the Plano Heritage Farmstead Museum on 15th Street, east of Custer Road. The Farrell farmland was located on the north side of the Armstrong farmland. The Farrell farmstead was established in 1871. This 365 acre farmstead was a sizable wheat farm owned by Hunter and Mary Farrell. The Farrell’s divorced In 1928. Mary took ownership and her daughter Ammie owned and ran the farm until 1972. “Miss Ammie” was known as a champion sheep breeder.

Immediately north of the Farrell farmstead is the Haggard farmland currently located at Custer and Park. The Haggard farmstead was settled in 1884. This farmland would have been adjacent to the north end of the Hunter farm. The Haggard farm is still an operational wheat farm today. Originally, this was a large wheat and cotton farm. The Haggard name can be found on many current Plano buildings and schools. Today, you can drive by the farm and see the llamas that were originally brought in to protect the sheep herds from coyotes.

The Peters Colony

The Haggard and Farrell families were likely early European settlers that came to this area as part of the Peters colony. Depending on when the Armstrong land was established, there’s a high probability that this family also originated from the Peters colony.

The Peters colony, lead by William S. Peters, were recipients of an 1840s Empresario grant from Mexico. These were the first European settlers from the U.S. in this area, which at that time, was Mexico. The first of these families settled in the Breckenridge area. The main town was located on land that is now occupied by Richland College. There is no record of the Peters colony bringing slaves with them as there is with the Austin colony, which settled in the Brazos area in 1824. There are also no records of the Peters family being involved in the slave trade. William Peters, prior to moving to this area, owned and operated a music store in Louisville, Kentucky.

Empresario grants were given by Mexico, after their independence in 1821. These grants were designed to aid in the settlement of Northern Mexico. Each “empresario” had to claim Mexican citizenship, Catholicism, and agree to settle a specific number of Catholic families on a defined land grant.

The removal of the Caddo people

Prior to the arrival of the Peters colony, the land that UT Dallas currently sits on was fully settled by the Caddo people. The Caddo communities date back to around 800 A.D. The Caddo groups were complex and socially ranked societies with well-planned civic-ceremonial centers They conducted elaborate mortuary rituals and ceremonial practices, and engaged in extensive interregional trade. These centers had earthen mounds used as platforms for temple structures for civic and religious functions, for burials of the social and political elite, and for ceremonial fire mounds. An example of these Native American mounds can be found in the town center of what is currently known as Flower Mound. This mound was created by the neighboring Wichita tribe.

The Caddo people were the leaders of the Caddo Nation, an organized confederacy of at least 25 smaller tribes. The Caddo Confederacy was active until the 1800s and numbered 250,000 at the height of their existence. The Hasinais were among the 25 tribes of the Caddo Confederacy. Tejas is the Spanish spelling of Tayshas, the Hasinai word for those who are friends. The Caddo Confederacy was commonly known to the Spanish as “The Tejas”. Texas is the English spelling of Tejas.

In 1855, the Caddo people were forcibly removed from the land they had originally settled and lived on for generations. They were relocated to the Brazos Indian Reservation, making room for the Peters colony. In 1859, they were again forcibly removed and relocated to the Washita River in Indian Territory in what is currently Caddo County, Oklahoma. The Caddo Nation of Oklahoma is a federally recognized tribe located in Binger, Oklahoma, which is made up of descendants of the historic Caddo tribes.

It would be safe to say the Caddo people were the true original Texans.

Whole Texas Map of Native Americans
North Texas map referring to Caddo Tribe

Sources

Contracts and Instruments Effecting Transfer of Title of Land, Buildings, Equipment and Contracts from The Southwest Center for Advanced Studies To The University of Texas at Dallas. The Minutes of the Board of Regents of The University of Texas System. Volume 1 pg. 1-262. Sept. 12, 1969. – https://utd-ir.tdl.org/handle/10735.1/1733

Heritage Farmstead Museumhttps://www.heritagefarmstead.org/about-us/our-history/

Indian Removal Act of 1830. Library of Congress – https://guides.loc.gov/indian-removal-act#:~:text=The%20Indian%20Removal%20Act%20was,many%20resisted%20the%20relocation%20policy.

Oklahoma Historical Societyhttps://www.okhistory.org/publications/enc/entry.php?entry=CA005

Historical Setting of Richardson, Texashttps://www.cor.net/our-city/visitors/city-history

Stephen F. Austin Empresario Grant: Dividing the Land – http://txmn.org/cradle/files/2010/07/downloadCA2BGT5U.pdf

Texas State Historical Association: The Peters Colonyhttps://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/uep02

TSHA Caddo Indianshttps://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/bmcaj

Texas Historical Commissionhttps://www.thc.texas.gov/historic-sites/caddo-mounds/caddo-mounds-history

The Flower Mound (Documentary)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZTFOFldTzaM&t=879s

TSHA Old Three Hundred – https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/umo01

Texas Indians – http://texasindians.com/

U.S. Department of Agriculture/Nativelandhttps://usdac.us/nativeland

U.S. Department of Arts and Culture #HonorNativeLandhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ETOhNzBsiKA

UT Dallas History Timelinehttps://www.utdallas.edu/about/history-timeline/

Caddo Nation of Oklahoma – https://mycaddonation.com/