Norris A. Hiett

SHELBY, THOMAS HALL (1881–1963). Thomas Hall Shelby, professor of education and university administrator, was born in Henderson County, Texas, on June 22, 1881, the son of John McNitt and Josephine (Jackson) Shelby. At an early age he moved with his family to Wilbarger County, where he graduated from Vernon High School. He received his B.A. degree from the University of Texas in 1907 and his M.A. from the University of Chicago in 1921. From 1913 to 1916 he taught education at Sam Houston Normal School. After teaching and serving in administrative capacities in Texas public schools, in 1920 he became director of the extension service at the University of Texas; in 1925 he became dean of the extension division and professor of education; he served in this capacity until 1951. As dean, Shelby initiated extension programs that enabled thousands of teachers to complete undergraduate and graduate degrees. He gave vigorous leadership to the development of adult education in Texas and also served as chairman of the state executive committee of the University Interscholastic League. As dean emeritus he continued to serve the university in an advisory capacity. Shelby was a life member of the Texas State Teachers Association and was president of that organization in 1919. He served as president of the National University Extension Association in 1929 and was a delegate to the World Federation of Education conferences in Geneva, Switzerland, that year. He was named a member of the White House Conference in 1933. In 1938 he received a Rockefeller Traveling Scholarship to study radio education in the United States and England. Shelby was a Democrat, a Mason, a Rotarian, and a Methodist. He married Dora Ethel Beasley on December 22, 1907, and they had two children. He died at his home in Austin on November 3, 1963, and was buried in Oakwood Cemetery.

Carl John Eckhardt, One Hundred Faithful to the University of Texas at Austin (197-?). Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin. Who's Who in America, 1948–49.

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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Norris A. Hiett, "SHELBY, THOMAS HALL," accessed March 22, 2019,

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

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