Matthew Watkins

Matthew Watkins writes about higher education and the business of college sports for the Tribune. Previously, he has covered local government at The Dallas Morning News and The Eagle in Bryan-College Station. A Texas native, Matthew grew up in Austin and has lived in Houston, Dallas and Bryan. He earned his bachelor's degree from Texas A&M University in 2008.

Recent Contributions

At Ceremony Marking 50th Anniversary of UT Tower Shooting, No Mention of Campus

Cliff Martinez was moved by the memorial honoring the victims and survivors of Charles Whitman's shooting spree on the 50th anniversary of the attack. Martinez's uncle, Ramiro Martinez, was one of two police officers who confronted and shot Charles Whitman on Aug. 1, 1966.
Cliff Martinez was moved by the memorial honoring the victims and survivors of Charles Whitman's shooting spree on the 50th anniversary of the attack. Martinez's uncle, Ramiro Martinez, was one of two police officers who confronted and shot Charles Whitman on Aug. 1, 1966.

In the sweltering heat Monday, hundreds of mourners gathered in the shadow of the University of Texas Tower to honor the 16 people killed and dozens wounded during Charles Whitman’s shooting rampage exactly 50 years earlier.

At UT, Debut of Texas Gun Law Intersects with Tower Shooting Anniversary

The granite memorial on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin in memory of the victims of Charles Whitman’s murderous on-campus shooting spree. The 50th anniversary of the shooting is Aug. 1, 2016.
The granite memorial on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin in memory of the victims of Charles Whitman’s murderous on-campus shooting spree. The 50th anniversary of the shooting is Aug. 1, 2016.

Aug. 1 is an important day on the University of Texas at Austin campus for two reasons: It’s the first day people will be allowed to carry guns into Texas university buildings, and it’s the 50th anniversary of the UT Tower shooting.

Armed Civilian Allen Crum Helped Stop UT Sniper Charles Whitman 50 Years Ago

Allen Crum at a press conference on Aug. 2, 1966. Crum, an employee at an off-campus bookstore, joined police at the top of the University of Texas Tower to stop sniper Charles Whitman.
Allen Crum at a press conference on Aug. 2, 1966. Crum, an employee at an off-campus bookstore, joined police at the top of the University of Texas Tower to stop sniper Charles Whitman.

When Charles Whitman went to the top of the University of Texas Tower and started shooting on Aug. 1, 1966, dozens of people grabbed their rifles and tried to stop him. But only Allen Crum made it to the top of the tower with police that day.