85R21226 BK-D
  By: Hinojosa H.R. No. 1524
         WHEREAS, Dr. William Charles Akins, an esteemed educator and
  a central figure in the integration of Austin schools, passed away
  on March 29, 2017, at the age of 84; and
         WHEREAS, A lifelong resident of East Austin, Charles Akins
  was born on November 9, 1932, to Elmer and Mattie Lee Akins; after
  graduating from the original L. C. Anderson High School in 1950, he
  received a bachelor's degree from Huston-Tillotson College in 1954;
  he later obtained a master's degree from Prairie View A&M
  University and an administrative certification from Southwest
  Texas State University; in 1982, he was awarded an honorary
  doctorate of humane letters from Huston-Tillotson; and
         WHEREAS, Charles Akins began his career in 1956 at Booker T.
  Washington High School in Marlin, teaching history, civics, and
  economics; he went on to join the faculty of his alma mater, L. C.
  Anderson, in 1959, and just three years later, he was named Teacher
  of the Year; and
         WHEREAS, In 1964, the effort to integrate the Austin
  Independent School District began in earnest, and Dr. Akins was
  selected as the first African American teacher in the newly
  desegregated Johnston High School, where he taught social studies,
  sponsored the Boys Service Club, and earned promotion to Dean of
  Boys; he returned to L. C. Anderson to serve as assistant principal
  in 1969, but when the school was closed following a court
  desegregation order, he transferred to Lanier High; and
         WHEREAS, Dr. Akins became the first principal of the new
  L. C. Anderson High School, which opened its doors in 1973;
  presiding over a diverse student body, he viewed the success of his
  tenure as vital to the cause of integration, and he worked hard to
  ensure fairness and harmony whenever challenges arose; he served
  nine years in that role and led the school to excellence in
  academics, performing arts, and other areas before accepting a
  promotion to assistant superintendent and later to associate
  superintendent for community relations; and
         WHEREAS, Acknowledging Dr. Akins's significant
  contributions in the field of education, the Austin ISD board voted
  in 1998 to rename the district's newest high school in his honor,
  and W. Charles Akins High opened in 2000, the same year that
  Dr. Akins concluded his 44 years of service to Texas
  schoolchildren; in his retirement, he remained active in the local
  school system, giving generously of his time and expertise to the
  boards of the Region 13 Education Service Center, the UIL
  Foundation, and other organizations; his civic involvement also
  included serving as president of the Capital City Lions Club and as
  chapter president of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and holding
  membership on several local bond issue committees; and
         WHEREAS, Devoted to his family, Dr. Akins enjoyed a rewarding
  marriage with his wife, Estella, whom he had met as a student at
  Huston-Tillotson, and he was further blessed with two daughters,
  Dianne and Joyce, and two grandchildren, Justin and Rena; he loved
  taking his family on cross-country trips to visit relatives in
  California as well as on vacations to historical sites; sustained
  by a deep faith, he was a valued congregant of Wesley United
  Methodist Church and served as a delegate to the General and
  Jurisdictional Conferences for the United Methodist Church; and
         WHEREAS, Dr. Charles Akins was a man of quiet strength and
  exceptional character, traits that made him a beacon of inspiration
  during a pivotal time in the history of Austin, and he leaves behind
  a legacy that will resonate long into the future; now, therefore, be
         RESOLVED, That the House of Representatives of the 85th Texas
  Legislature hereby pay tribute to the life of Dr. William Charles
  Akins and extend sincere condolences to all who mourn his passing;
  and, be it further
         RESOLVED, That an official copy of this resolution be
  prepared for his family and that when the Texas House of
  Representatives adjourns on this day, it do so in memory of
  Dr. Charles Akins.