Dr. Wallker E. Hunt, San Antonio College

Dr. Walker E. Hunt
Department of Mathematics
San Antonio College
San Antonio, TX

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My name is Walker Eugene Hunt. I was born June 7, 1937 in Luling, Texas. My father and mother (Walker and Mary Belle Hardeman Hunt) were the ones that encouraged me to study mathematics. When I was about five years old, I remember their statement "Mathematics makes the world go around".

My parents were sharecroppers. My dad had to quit school in the spring of 1915 at twelve years old because my grandfather died suddenly from some type of respiratory ailment. So, I know that my dad was not talking about advanced mathematics. However, I took that statement to heart.

I attended small rural schools with one exception until I reached the ninth grade. I went to Austin, Texas in September 1952 and enrolled at the LC Anderson High School. It was ironic that I lived with an aunt and uncle who lived within a ten to fifteen walk from Austin High School, but because I was black, I could not attend. So, my sister and I had to leave home about 5:45 A.M. every morning to catch a bus and ride across town to attend school. This was a blessing! The very best teachers that one could encounter were there. Professors: I.E. Chapman, Bernice F.Hart and Raymond Timmons were my algebra one, two and geometry teachers respectively. I left Anderson after three years and attended Morehouse College on a tuition scholarship. Because of the additional expense, I left and returned to Austin and enrolled at the University of Texas in September 1956. By the way, the lengendary Dr.Benjamin Mays was still president of Morehouse. Even though I was there for only one year, I considered the association with the Morehouse family something to always cherish.

I received B.A. in June 1960( major in Pure Mathematics ); M.A. in August 1962 ( major in Pure Mathematics ). My thesis director was Hyman Joseph Ettlinger. I had Hubert Stanley Wall( his specalty was Continued Fractions and Integral Equations) as an undergraduate. I also wanted to take Robert E.Lee Moore's famous (Foundations of Point-Set Topology). However, that was not to be. The reason, I was black! I used to feel that I was short changed! Over the years, I have come to the realization that it was for the best. As a graduate student, I took classes from Professors: W.T.Guy(Integral Transforms), Ettlinger(several courses in Ordinary and Partial Differential Equations, as well as Integral Equations). The Masters Thesis was ("Special Green's Functions for Selected Differential Equations ").

In September 1962, I started to teach part-time at Huston-Tillotson College in Austin, Texas. After two years, I taught from June 1, 1964 to May 31, 1965 at Prairie View A&M College at Hempstead, Texas. The department chairman was Professor A.D.Stewart. By the way, Professor Stewart, Professor Llayron L.Clarkson and Professor Vivienne M. Mayes were friends of mine. In fact, I took classes with Clarkson and Stewart. Stewart was the first African-American to receive the Ph.D. in mathematics from UT at Austin. His dissertation director was H.J. Ettlinger. Clarkson's Ph.D. dissertation director was I believe, was H.S.Wall. So, I was encouraged to study for the Ph.D.

I came to San Antonio, Texas in September 1965. I joined the San Antonio College Faculty. I have been here ever since. The person that really inspired me to attempt to finish my Ph.D. was my good friend Professor Raymond L.Johnson, who is a good friend of ours. Professor Ettlinger's health begin to fail rapidly in the mid-seventies. I finished my dissertation( "Unique Periodic Solutions of a Class of Differential Equations and Composite Solutions of a System of Partial Differential Equations") and received the Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin in August 1979. My dissertation director was Professor Don E. Edmonson, who by the way, was the director of Vivienne M.Mayes's dissertation.

As far as I am able to ascertain, as of January 1999, the late Doctors Mayes, and Stewart; Clarkson and myself are the only African-Americans to be awarded the Ph.D. in Pure Mathematics from the University of Texas at Austin.

I am a professor of mathematics at San Antonio College (one of the two-year colleges in the Alamo Community College District. There are four). We have an enrollment that ranges from 19,000 to 21,000 student per semester. The four colleges have a total of 35,000 to 38,000 students per semester.

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