El Centro News »

El Centro Hosts Reunion of Former Sanger-Harris Employees

Posted: October 5, 2016, 11:51 am

El Centro hosts reunion of former Sanger-Harris employees
In conjunction with the new “Before El Centro: Sanger-Harris” exhibit, this special event –
hopes to reconnect long-time friends and former associates from Dallas’ once iconic downtown retailer.
(October 4, 2016) Dallas, TX – As part of the institution's 50th anniversary celebration, El Centro College is hosting a reunion of former Sanger-Harris employees on Thursday, October 20, 7:00 p.m. in conjunction with the current historic fashion exhibition, "Before El Cento: Sanger-Harris," at the H. Paxton Moore Fine Art Gallery which opens next week:

In 1873, Sanger Brothers Department Store opened its first downtown location at the intersection of Elm and Lamar, where El Centro College resides today. In 1961 the company merged with long-time competitor, A. Harris & Co., to form Sanger-Harris, and four years later the expanded company moved to its most recent home at Akard and Pacific, where the Dallas Area Rapid Transit headquarters currently resides. The Dallas County Community College District purchased the old Sanger-Harris building on Main Street, and El Centro College began offering classes there in 1966. Sanger-Harris stores were later purchased by Foley's of Houston in 1987, and that company was eventually acquired by Macy's in 2005.

Several former and current El Centro College employees have unique ties to Sanger-Harris. For example, now retired El Centro College Executive Vice President Dr. Michael Jackson served as an elevator operator at Sanger Bros while he was still attending high school. Jackson was manning the elevators at the downtown Dallas store when John F. Kennedy was assassinated only a few blocks away in nearby Dealy Plaza.

El Centro College Food & Hospitality Institute Director Steve DeShazo’s first job as a teenager was working as a temporary stock clerk during the department store’s annual inventory.

Marilyn Sullivan, who founded El Centro’s fashion marketing program, worked at the Akard and Pacific headquarters building as an apparel buyer before becoming a faculty member and program coordinator.

“I got absolutely my best training in retail at Sanger Harris,” Sullivan said. “The management was outstanding. They took so much time training and re-training their employees. Sangers was truly ahead of its time. We still teach many of their guiding customer service and sales principles to our fashion marketing students today.”

The Sanger-Harris reunion at El Centro College will be catered by students from the school’s renowned Food & Hospitality program. Admission to the Sanger-Harris reunion is free and open to the public, but reservations through the Eventbrite site are strongly encouraged. The exhibit, “Before El Centro: Sanger-Harris,” presented by El Centro College, Vintage Martini, and the Dallas Public Library, opens Monday, October 10, and runs through Friday, November 4, at the H. Paxton Moore Fine Art Gallery.

To RSVP for the free Sanger-Harris reunion on Thursday, October 20, at 7 p.m., visit the Eventbrite reservation system at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sanger-harris-reunion-registration-27897269484

About El Centro College
Now celebrating its 50th anniversary, El Centro College (http://www.elcentrocollege.edu/) is a vibrant, urban community college located in downtown Dallas that is fully committed to a seamless educational process and life-long learning.

The H. Paxton Moore Fine Art Gallery seeks to showcase local, regional and national artists working in a variety of media as well as host exhibits traveling nationally.

For more information, please call 214-860-2115.

About Vintage Martini
Vintage Martini (www.VintageMartini.com) provides the best in fashion from yesterday and today.  Located in Dallas on Henderson Avenue, Vintage Martini is a consignment store specializing in historic clothing that sells hundreds of dresses, shoes, jewelry, and other accessories to fashion enthusiasts around the world.

About the Dallas Public Library Archives
The Sanger-Harris Collection is part of the Dallas History & Archives, one of the largest of its kind in the nation with holdings that span many aspects of the diverse history of not only Dallas and the surrounding area, but the entire state of Texas. The department collects, preserves, and makes available to patrons information in text, graphic, audio, and video formats. The Dallas History & Archives Division is part of the Special Collections department, which also houses the Fine Books Division.