Herschel Thurman Manuel
Herschel Thurman Manuel was born near Freetown, Indiana, on December 24, 1887. And after graduating from Brownstown High School in 1905 he earned his bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from DePauw University. Following this he earned his Masters in 1914 from the University of Chicago, and his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois in 1917.
As 1917 was also the year the United States entered WWI, known as “The Great War” at the time, Manuel enlisted in the US Army. When he was discharged in 1925, he began teaching at the University of Texas here in Austin.
Manuel cared deeply about bilingual education and received a grant that would allow him to conduct research specifically on the education of Spanish-speaking children. This resulted in a book, The Education of Mexican and Spanish-speaking Children in Texas in 1930. His follow-up to this came in 1965 with, Spanish-speaking Children of the Southwest: Their education and the Public Welfare.
During this time he also began work with the League of United Latin American Citizens, a Texas organization that was founded to counter political disfranchisement, racial segregation, and discrimination of Latin Americans. (Still active today, the LULAC seeks to support the growth of the Mexican-American middle class)
Manuel would often address LULAC meetings and contribute to its national publication, the LULAC News. He would argue that education was a birthright and that it was the responsibility of the state to provide it.
Not at all neglecting his teaching responsibilities, Manuel was named supervisor of the University of Texas freshman testing program in 1935. He established the Testing and Guidance Bureau (known today as the Measurement and Evaluation Center) and created a series of bilingual parallel achievement tests in English and in Spanish called the Inter-American tests that were later published by the Educational Testing Service.
Manuel was also made a fellow of Evaluation and Measurement of the American Psychological Association as well as a Diplomat in Counseling of the American Board of Examiners in Professional Psychology.
Herschel retired from teaching in 1962, but was named Professor Emeritus of Educational Psychology and continued to work as president of Guidance Testing Associates in Austin until he also retired from this in 1975.
Herschel Thurman Manuel died in March of 1976 and was buried in Austin Memorial Park.