Texas Historical Marker designated for Dr. Thomas F. Freeman

Posted on Thursday, October 27, 2022

Dr. Thomas Freeman Historical Marker unveiled

Friends, family, colleagues, students and admirers of Dr. Thomas Freeman help unveil a Texas Historical Marker in honor of the legendary TSU Debate Coach. Freeman taught students for more than 70 years at the University. He passed away in 2020 at the age of 100. His wife, Clarice, who is 102, was in attendance.

The Texas Historical Commission (THC) has recognized the late Dr. Thomas F. Freeman, long-time Texas Southern University debate coach, as a significant part of Texas history by awarding an Official Texas Historical Marker in his name. The designation honors his legacy as an important and educational part of local and national history.


In his 100-year life, Dr. Freeman directly influenced the lives of thousands of people including former students Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Congresswoman Barbara Jordan. He also left an indelible mark on the community and the nation.


A marker unveiling ceremony to commemorate the late Dr. Freeman was held on October 27, 2022 under the Sigma Pi Alpha Healing Tree in the Carroll Harris Simms Plaza on the TSU campus.


“Dr. Freeman embodied TSU’s mission and he inspired not only his students, but the entire TSU community and beyond, to never settle for anything less than excellence,” said Dr. Lesia Crumpton-Young, President of Texas Southern University. “He made history every day at our University, so this historical marker is a fitting honor for the rich legacy he provided to us.”


This is the fourth such marker to be located on the TSU campus, with the others located in front of Hannah Hall (honoring the murals found in Hannah Hall and other places on campus), in front of the John T. Biggers Art Center (honoring longtime TSU art faculty member John T. Biggers), and in front of the School of Public Affairs (honoring Barbara Jordan).


“The Official Texas Historical Marker program helps bring attention to community treasures and the importance of their preservation,” said Mark Wolfe, executive director of the THC.  “Awareness and education are among the best ways to guarantee the preservation of our state’s history.  This designation is a tool that will increase public awareness of important cultural resources,” Wolfe said.


The Texas Historical Commission is the state agency for historic preservation. The agency administers a variety of programs to preserve the archeological, historical and cultural resources of Texas. For more information, visit

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Last updated: 10/27/2022