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William Akins

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Information about William Akins

Profile image of William Akins

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Academic Administrator

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Brown, Gold
Favorite Food:
Stew, Chocolate
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
California, Washington, D.C.
Favorite Quote:
It Is Always Good.

Birthplace

Born:
11/9/1932
Birth Location:
Austin, Texas

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Academic Administrator

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Brown, Gold
Favorite Food:
Stew, Chocolate
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
California, Washington, D.C.
Favorite Quote:
It Is Always Good.

Birthplace

Born:
11/9/1932
Birth Location:
Austin
See how William Akins is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Academic administrator and educator during integration, William Charles Akins was born in 1932 in Austin, Texas. He attended segregated Blackshear Elementary School. He next went to Kealing Junior High School and then Anderson High School where he met W.B. Campbell who inspired him to become a principal. He graduated from Huston-Tillotson University with his B.A. degree in history in 1954 and received his M.A. degree from Prairie View A&M University in 1956. Akins also received his administrative certification from Southwest Texas State University.

In 1959, Akins began teaching at Anderson High School, his alma mater, also known as Old Anderson. Three years after beginning, he was recognized as Anderson’s Teacher of the Year. In 1964, Akins was selected to be the first African American teacher at Johnson High School, a recently desegregated school. In 1971, he returned to Anderson High School to serve as Assistant Principal where he served until it was closed due to busing desegregation laws. He was then transferred to Lanier High School before becoming the first principal of the new L.C. Anderson High School in 1973. Akins worked through conflicts to set the school on its feet. After leaving L.C. Anderson High School he assumed several central administration roles for the Austin Independent School District including Assistant Superintendent for Business Affairs and Associate Superintendent for Development and Community Partnerships.

Akins received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Huston-Tillotson University in 1982. For his commitment to the Austin school district, in 1998, the district Board of Trustees voted to name Austin’s newest high school after Akins. The following year the groundbreaking ceremony for the W. Charles Akins High School was held and the school opened to more than 2,700 students.

Akins passed away on March 29, 2017 at age 84.

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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of William Akins' interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - William Akins lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - William Akins describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - William Akins remembers his mother's career
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Williams Akins talks about his maternal grandparents
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Williams Akins describes his maternal relatives' complexions
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - William Akins describes his father's career
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Williams Akins talks about his parents' religious activities
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - William Akins remembers his paternal grandparents
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - William Akins describes his earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - William Akins describes the sights, sounds and smells of their childhood
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - William Akins talks about his early education
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - William Akins describes his community in East Austin, Texas
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - William Akins remembers his neighbors' occupations
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - William Akins describes his experiences during the Great Depression
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - William Akins recalls visiting his mother's white employers
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - William Akins remembers Theodore Kealing Junior High School in Austin, Texas
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - William Akins describes his paternal grandmother's home
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - William Akins talks about his early influences
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - William Akins remembers L.C. Anderson High School in Austin, Texas
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - William Akins recalls his aspiration to become a school principal
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - William Akins recalls his decision to attend Tillotson College in Austin, Texas
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - William Akins describes his freshman year at Tillotson College
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - William Akins remembers his professors at Tillotson College in Austin, Texas
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - William Akins remembers the establishment of Huston Tillotson College in Austin, Texas
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - William Akins recalls meeting his wife
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - William Akins describes his experiences on segregated trains
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - William Akins recalls his graduation from Huston Tillotson College
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - William Akins remembers his search for a teaching position
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - William Akins describes how he joined the faculty of Booker T. Washington High School in Marlin, Texas
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - William Akins describes his graduate education
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - William Akins recalls the mentorship of Hobart L. Gaines
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - William Akins remembers integrating the faculty of Albert Sidney Johnston High School in Austin, Texas
  • Tape: 3 Story: 11 - William Akins talks about his involvement in the Civil Rights Movement
  • Tape: 3 Story: 12 - William Akins remembers President Lyndon Baines Johnson
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - William Akins remembers the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - William Akins remembers the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - William Akins talks about the closure of L.C. Anderson High School in Austin, Texas
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - William Akins recalls his appointment as the principal of the new L.C. Anderson High School
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - William Akins recalls the struggle to integrate L.C. Anderson High School
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - William Akins describes the violence between students at L.C. Anderson High School
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - William Akins describes his accomplishments as the principal of L.C. Anderson High School
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - William Akins describes his role at the Austin Integrated School District
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - William Akins talks about his honorary doctorate from Huston Tillotson University
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - William Akins describes his community service
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - William Akins remembers the founding of Akins High School in Austin, Texas
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - William Akins reflects upon his life
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - William Akins talks about his experiences as a high school football official
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - William Akins reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - William Akins talks about his family
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - William Akins shares a message to future generations
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - William Akins narrates his photographs