Dr. J.m. Carroll Named First PresidentIn San Marcos on September 19, 1906, trustees were elected by the Conference of Texas Baptists. In their first meeting they ratified the action of the San Marcos Business Men’s Club by electing Dr. J. M. Carroll as the first president of the San Marcos Baptist Academy.
On January 22, 1907, Dr. Carroll submitted general plans and specifications for the first building, which was approved on April 9 of that same year. On July 10, 1907, the Academy received its charter from the state of Texas. The cornerstone of the first building, eventually named Carroll Hall, was guided into place by Dr. Carroll’s daughter, Edena May, on December 19, 1907.
By the time Carroll Hall was completed, the contributions from the citizens of San Marcos had reached $40,000, almost doubling their original pledge. The history of San Marcos Baptist Academy cannot be written without recognizing the devotion, generosity, and loyalty of the citizens of San Marcos.
San Marcos Baptist Academy opened its doors for the first day of school on September 24, 1908, with an enrollment of 200; by the close of the first year, the enrollment was 277 including day students. Eleven students graduated that first year.
Dr. J. R. Pentuff was the first dean and he had thirteen faculty members. Originally the curriculum was organized into a program of study that consisted of the sixth, seventh, and eighth grades in the preparatory department and four years of high school. In the high school program of studies, students were required to complete four years of Latin for graduation. During the 1908-1909 term, a band was organized. The policy was to provide for aesthetic as well as spiritual, social, and academic training. It was Miss Edena May Carroll who selected the green and purple of the mountain laurel as the Academy colors. Athletics were part of the Academy culture from the first year of operation. Both a football team and baseball team were fielded in the 1908-09 school year.
In 1910, at the request of the Board of Trustees, the Academy was passed to the patronage of the Baptist General Convention of Texas. The school has been affiliated with the BGCT ever since.
The administration of Dr. Carroll, who resigned in 1911, is credited with the erection of four permanent buildings, the securing of a well-trained Christian faculty, and the enrollment of a student body of more than 200 annually. His tasks were tremendous and his achievements extraordinary, opening the door to an even greater future.