Presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren got her start at University of Houston

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren often refers to a commuter college on the campaign trail. She said the affordable tuition, $50 a semester, offered her a chance in life.

Warren doesn't mention the school by name, but the Democratic candidate is speaking about the University of Houston.

She attended the campus in the late 1960s and early 1970s. A class photograph from the university's 1970 yearbook captured Warren.

She attended the campus in the late 1960s and early 1970s. She appears above in a class photo from the university's 1970 yearbook (center).

University archivist Mary Manning opened up the archives for Eyewitness News. She walked us back to a time when Warren once walked on campus.

In photographs, the school appeared much smaller. It was a newly formed public college with a destiny to be a powerhouse.

"It shows she graduated from special education," said Manning. "Her specialty was speech and pathology. This is the only picture we have of her out of all of our collections."

Warren returned to campus about a decade later as a research and writing teacher.

John Mixon retired from the University of Houston as a law professor. Mixon told ABC13 he worked alongside Warren at the school and said she sought him out for teaching advice.

"She pulled me aside and asked if we could have some time together and chat about teaching," said Mixon.

"We made a fairly regular routine of meeting for lunch at a Mexican restaurant in the Heights. We talked about the course she was teaching, how things went that day, and how things might be used to engage the students a little better."

Mixon said he wanted Warren to remain as a professor at UH. After a few years, she left for the University of Texas.

"It was clear that she was going to be a superstar in legal education," said Mixon.

"We wanted... I wanted her to be our superstar."

Mixon said he's supporting Warren's presidential campaign. He said she supports middle class values and can take on a fight with President Trump.

"Elizabeth is someone I've known for 40 years. She's not in it for herself. She's there as a champion of the middle class," said Mixon.

"She's tough. She'll be able to put Trump in his place. She will dominate him. She is not a shrinking violet."

Follow Steve Campion on Twitter and Facebook.
Copyright © 2022 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.