Aileen Short Gauntt

Student, Pharmacy Building

00:00 / 10:20
Listen to the interview

“I graduated with a BS in Pharmacy in August, 1966, and was on campus that day.

My father was a professor of Mechanical Engineering, and we had been home for lunch. I had a lab in the pharmacy building, which at that time was south of the Health Center (26th Street), and in direct line with the UT tower. My father drove down between Littlefield Dorm and the Health Center to drop me off at the front door of the Pharmacy Building.

We noticed people crouched behind cars, but thought nothing of it.

I went in the front door, and several people asked how I got in. ‘Through the front door,’ I said. I then was told what was happening. Classes were cancelled, so like very smart senior pharmacy students, we went to the lab on the third floor of the building, and watched out of the dormer windows at the tower!  (Considering that we were easy targets … not very smart!)

The dean’s office called my home (this was before cell phones), to let my mother know that I was safely inside the building. I remained there until all was clear.

My father went east on 26th to San Jacinto, and then to 24th to go to the Mechanical Engineering Lab building. He was not allowed on campus, and was not happy, as he had no idea of what was going on and why he could not go to conduct his class. He went home, turned on TV and found out what was going on, and realized that both of us had been in danger and did not know it!

Looking back, it told me that we can be vulnerable every … in the least expected places and ways.”