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Texas State University–San Marcos
Motto “The noblest search is the search for excellence.”
Established 1899
Type State university
Endowment $80.8 million[1]
President Denise Trauth, Ph.D.
Provost Perry D. Moore, Ph.D.[2]
Faculty 1,272
Students 30,816 (Fall 2009)[3]
Undergraduates 26,618
Postgraduates 4,198
Location San Marcos, Texas, USA
Campus 457 acres (1.85 km2)
Former names Southwest Texas State Normal School (1903–1918)
Southwest Texas State Normal College (1918–1923)
Southwest Texas State Teachers College (1923–1959)
Southwest Texas State College (1959–1969)
Southwest Texas State University (1969–2003)
Nickname Bobcats
Colors Maroon and Old Gold
Mascot Bobcat
Affiliations Southland Conference
TXST Primary H 3Color.png

Texas State University–San Marcos, often referred to as Texas State University or Texas State (it discourages the use of TSU)[4] is a doctoral-granting university located in San Marcos, Texas. At the start of the Fall 2009 semester, the university had a record high enrollment of 30,816 students.[3] It is the largest institution in the Texas State University System, the fifth-largest university in Texas, and one of the 55 largest universities in the United States.[5] For the 2009-2010 year, Texas State University was considered a top producer of Fulbright Fellows when two students became beneficiaries of research grants under the Fulbright Program.[6] Texas State joined three other universities in its category to have all applicants receive fellowships.[7]

U.S. News & World Report lists Texas State as a Master's University for the abundance of Master's degrees offered; in U.S. News & World Report's Best Colleges 2010, Texas State ranked 12th Best Public University in the West and deemed a Tier One Master's institution.[8][9] Texas State is also the lead school of a multi-institution teaching center offering undergraduate and graduate programs at the Round Rock Higher Education Center (RRHEC) in the greater north Austin area.[5] Additionally, the main campus in San Marcos serves as the location of the fictional school TMU (Texas Methodist University) in the NBC TV series Friday Night Lights.[10] In addition, the University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and faces reaffirmation in 2010.[11]

Texas State University is the only university in the state to have a former President of the United States as an alumnus. President Lyndon B. Johnson graduated from what was then Southwest Texas State Teachers College in 1930 with a teaching certificate and a Bachelor of Science in history. In 1965, he returned to Southwest Texas State College, as the school was known then, to sign the Higher Education Act of 1965.[12]



Old Main in 1903

The Twenty-Third Legislature looked to establish another Normal School at the time when teachers, at the time, were required to study at Coronal Institute at San Marcos or North Texas Normal School at Denton. Six years later, Southwest Texas State Normal School was established in the Twenty-Sixth legislature and as a result, citizens of San Marcos allocated eleven acres at the site of Chautauqua Hill for the site of the college. Old Main was not constructed until the twenty seventh legislature rationed out $25,000 for the upbringing of a facility. Once completed, the school opened its doors with an enrollment of 303, a faculty of seventeen, and a principal on September 9, 1903.[13]

It took 15 years for the school to become an senior college; in response, the name of the School was changed to Southwest Texas State Normal College.[13] A similar name change, Southwest Texas State Teachers College, was observed in 1923 when the college was admitted into the American Association of Teachers Colleges.[13]

President John G. Flowers, in 1950, made a sizable step toward the university's overall goal which included a boost in curriculum and an addition of six new buildings. By this time, campus grounds grew from 11 acres to sixty five, faculty numbers were at a 105 all time high, a 3.5 million dollar property value, and an enrollment of 2,000.[13]

Higher Education Act signing plaque rests in front of the College of Music.

The school's next name change did not come until 1959 when it was changed to Southwest Texas State College and later, Southwest Texas State University, in 1969.[13] The next decade brought the school national recognition when Alumnus Lyndon B. Johnson claimed the presidency and the school's dance team, the Strutters, performed at his inauguration.[13] Johnson returned to Southwest Texas State Teachers College when he signed the Higher Education Act of 1965, part of the Great Society. During his 1965 remarks at Strahan Coliseum, Johnson described living in a compact room atop Dr. Evans' garage and working dozens of jobs.[14]

In 1996, Westwood High school, located in Williamson County, began hosting a number of the university's graduate night classes in Business Administration and Education.[13] Later, a 101 acre gift brought the program from a high school to the late constructed Round Rock Higher Education Center to occupy increasing popularity and employment.[13]

The most recent name change took effect in September 2003. Leaders from the university's Associated Student Government (ASG) went to Senator Jeff Wentworth to propose a bill and convince the Texas Legislature to change the university's name.[15]

Overall, the five name changes are:[5]

  • Southwest Texas State Normal School (1903–1918)
  • Southwest Texas State Normal College (1918–1923)
  • Southwest Texas State Teachers College (1923–1959)
  • Southwest Texas State College (1959–1969)
  • Southwest Texas State University (1969–2003)
  • Texas State University–San Marcos (2003—)


Campus from 2500 feet

The campus is located in San Marcos, a community of nearly 50,000 people about halfway between Austin and San Antonio on Interstate 35. Its location on the banks of the San Marcos River provides students with recreational and leisure activities, such as swimming and tubing, throughout the year. Texas State's campus today consists of a 457-acre (1.85 km2) main campus and 4,777 acres (19.33 km2) more in recreational, instructional, farm and ranch land.[5]

The university operates Sewell Park which is on the banks of the spring fed San Marcos River. The banks, part of land leased by the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries, were built up from the river bottom by university workers. Initially named Riverside Park, it was later renamed to Sewell Park in 1946 in honor of Dr. S.M. "Froggy" Sewell, a mathematics professor who helped form the park.[16]

Presidential hopeful Barack Obama on a campaign stop at Sewell Park[17]

On campus food services are provided by external company Chartwells who, in addition to five dining halls, also provides options to franchised chains Chick-fil-A, Panda Express, Pizza Hut, Starbucks, Einstein Bros. Bagels, and Freshens Smoothie Company. The on campus Chick-fil-A is the highest grossing location in the southwest United States.[18]

Texas State formed an agreement with Wells Fargo to allow students to pair university identification cards with their checking accounts. While this option is not required, it is made convenient through several Wells Fargo locations on and near campus.[19]


Old Main

Overlooking the campus and serving as a geographic landmark since 1903 is Old Main, a restored red-gabled Victorian Gothic building. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.[20] In more than a century of use the building has served many uses from being the university's administration building to an auditorium and chapel to now housing the offices for the School of Journalism and Mass Communication as well as the College of Fine Arts.[21] It is often seen as the trademark building for Texas State University, as it is the most highlighted and lit building on campus.[22]

Alkek Library

Alkek Library

The university's library was named, in 1991, for an alumnus who became an oilman, rancher, and philanthropist, Albert B. Alkek. The Albert B. Alkek Library serves as the main, central academic library supporting the Texas State University community. As a storehouse for United States and Texas government documents, the library receives a large number of government publications from the state and 60% of all federal publications. The mission of the library, as stated by University Officials, "is to help our patrons succeed by providing high quality library services and information in a variety of formats to support the university's teaching and research programs."[23]

Among the Library's seven floors, students encounter 1.4 million printed texts, over 500,000 microfilm & audio-visual materials, 155,000 electronic books, 300 databases, 97,000 electronic journals, University Archives, and curriculum materials approved by the Texas Education Agency for primary and secondary schools. In addition to the vast amount of resources, the Library encompasses niche collections which are rare to the University. These holdings include The Witliff Collection housed on the Library's seventh floor, the King of the Hill archives, major work of significant writers such as Cormac McCarthy and Sam Shepard, and the Lonesome Dove collection.[23]

Central campus

Just east of the library lies the Quad, a centrally located, tree-lined corridor which bears majority of Texas State's academic colleges.[24] While walking to class, one may grab a bite to eat from CEO's Grill N Go,[25] encounter a variety of student organization fundraisers, or attend campus activities including speeches and other various events.[26]

Residence life

The Department of Housing and Residential Life at Texas State University furnishes students with housing, including 21 on-campus residence halls and four off-campus apartments. As stated on their website, the department aids the university's overall goal to provide students with a well-rounded education by issuing support and sustainability through social and academic affairs.[27]

Residence Halls at Texas State University include Traditional, Suite, and Super-Suite Style options. Currently, the following options are given to students[28]:

  • Traditional Style Halls include community restrooms and students typically share a bedroom with another student. Traditional Halls do not come with a private living room.
  • Super-Suite Style Halls come with a shared bathroom between a select group of residents. These halls give residents, optionally, their own bedroom and the opportunity to share a living room and bathroom with at least one other resident.
  • University owned apartment complexes. Apartments in these complexes are like at independently owned apartment complex.


In addition to 111 undergraduate and 86 masters degrees offerings,[29] the University offers nine doctorate degrees in the areas of Aquatic Resources, Criminal Justice, Education, Geography, and Physical Therapy.[30][31] These programs are under the umbrella of the following nine colleges within the University:[32]

College of Applied Arts

The College of Applied Arts at Texas State University encompasses seven academic areas in which students can choose to study. Jaime Chahin manages the College as Dean.[33] The College's Child Development Center, accredited by the national Association for the Education of Young Children(NAEYC), carries the San Marcos Early Childhood Collaboration Project, one out of the three model programs for public child care in state of Texas.[34] Since graduating in 1979, George Strait has initiated an endowment to assist the college's Department of Agriculture giving it the largest scholarship endowment of any department at Texas State.[34] The fields of academic work housed within the College of Applied Arts are:

  • AeroSpace Studies (AFROTC)
  • Agriculture
  • Criminal Justice
  • Family and Consumer Sciences
  • Military Science
  • Occupational Education Program
  • School of Social Work

Emmett and Miriam McCoy College of Business Administration

McCoy Hall.

The McCoy College of Business Administration, founded in 1968, is an Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) accredited business program, headquartered in McCoy Hall located just west of Alkek Library on Texas State's campus.[35] Dr. Denise T. Smart heads McCoy College as Dean. While majority of business students take classes in San Marcos, students have the option of taking a select group of courses at The Round Rock Higher Education Center. To keep curriculum a balance between real world application and general education, McCoy College maintains a College Advisory Board. Members include Executive level employees ranging from Proprietors to Chief Executive Officers.[36]

McCoy Hall finished construction and was dedicated in 2006. Funding for the facility was achieved primarily through a generous $20 million dollar donation from Emmet and Miriam McCoy, thus coining the name for the college. The endowment, now administered by the McCoy College of Business Development Foundation, provides distinguished professorships, scholarships to both undergraduates and graduates, and program development.[37] Later, the McCoy's were awarded honorary doctorates, being the seventh and eighth individuals receiving such awards from Texas State University.[38]

The College contains five departments[39]:

  • Department of Accounting
  • Department of CIS & QMST
  • Department of Marketing
  • Department of Management
  • Department of Finance and Economics

College of Education

Texas State's College of Education exists to better prepare students entering careers within the Education Field. Dr. Rosalinda B. Barrera is the current Dean of the College.[40] Like the McCoy College of Business Administration, students primarily attend classes at Texas State's main campus is San Marcos, though a growing number are taking them at the Round Rock Higher Education Center.[40] President Lyndon B. Johnson is rooted in the College of Education; he enrolled, what was then Southwest Texas State Teachers' College, in 1926 and graduated with a B. Ed in 1931.[41]

The three areas of study held within the College of Education are[42]:

  • Curriculum and Instruction (CI)
  • Educational Administration and Psychological Services (EAPS)
  • Health, Physical Education and Recreation (HPER)

College of Fine Arts and Communication

The College of Fine Arts and Communication at Texas State University, lead by Dean T. Richard Cheatham[43], comprises The School of Music and the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. When choosing an undergraduate degree, students have an option of pursuing a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts, or a Bachelor of Music, as well as a Master of Fine arts in: Theatre History, Dramaturgy, Directing, or Playwriting. To this day, Texas State remains the only University in the southwest United States to offer a baccalaureate degree in Sound Recording Technology. The College also claims 17% of the entire University enrollment, and is one of the top Colleges within the University to grant degrees to Hispanics.[44] Some of the College's more notable faculty include Kaitlin Hopkins and Lauren Lane.

The Sound Recording Technology program was founded to the School of Music by the university when Fire Station Studios was purchased 1992.[13]

Within the two schools lie three departments:

  • Art & Design
  • Communication Studies
  • Theatre & Dance

College of Health Professions

Conducted by Dean Ruth B. Welborn, Texas State University's College of Health Professions equips students with the knowledge needed for today's careers in the health care industry. Additionally, a central goal of the College is to help improve the overall perception of health care.[45] Through its nine departments and six undergraduate degree programs[46], the College offers technical, clinical, professional and academic programs. Construction of the St. David's School of Nursing started in 2008 after St. David's Community Health Foundation announced a $6 million donation in November 2006[47].

Departments within the College include[48]:

  • Clinical Laboratory Science
  • Health Administration
  • Health Information Management
  • St. David's School of Nursing
  • Physical & Radiation Therapy
  • Respiratory Care
  • Texas Long Term Care Institute

College of Liberal Arts

The College of Liberal Arts is housed within the Evan's Liberal Arts building and made up of 5,114 students, taught by 28% of the University's faculty, who are pursuing degrees offered in the College's nine departments, eight inner-located programs, and four interdisciplinary centers.[49] The faculty within the College include many who have won prestigious, national awards. Included are eight Fulbright Scholars, eight Piper Professors, and 14 recipients of the National Council for Geographic Education's Distinguished Teaching Achievement Award.[50] While it is not a requirement, the Liberal Arts College encourages and offers several study abroad programs in locations such as Belize, England, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Spain, and Switzerland.[50]

The Association of American Geographers and the Journal of Geography consistently rank Texas State's Department of Geography among the best in the nation.[51].

The College also claims a handful of the faculty within the Creative Writing program, of which include:

  • Tim O'Brien author and holder of the endowed chair in the MFA Creative Writing program[52]
  • Roger Jones poet and professor in the MFA Creative Writing program
  • Kathleen Peirce poet and professor in the MFA Creative Writing program
  • Cyrus Cassells poet and professor in the MFA Creative Writing program

College of Science

The College of Science is led by Dean Stephen Seidman, consists of 185 faculty and claims roughly 11% of the student body.[53] In 2003, the Ingram School of Engineering was established while funding for the program was later achieved primarily through a 5 million dollar donation from Bruce and Gloria Ingram.[53] According to Dr. Stephen Seidman, dean of the college, the college is unique in that it encourages students to get involved with faculty research. Along with the Ingram School of Engineering, the College of Science houses the following departments[53] :

  • Biology
  • Chemistry & Biochemistry
  • Computer Science
  • Engineering Technology
  • Mathematics
  • Physics

University College

Graduate College


Texas State University admits roughly 74 percent of applicants.[54] For admission at Texas State, prospective students must, along with an application, submit required essays and SAT or ACT scores. Class rank may also determine one's acceptance.[54]


LBJ Student Center

Texas State had a total student enrollment of 30,816 at the start of the 2009 Fall semester; 26,011 of them were undergraduate-level students.[3] Texas State had an average freshman retention rate of 75.2% from 2003 to 2006, placing the school in the top half of Western schools surveyed by US News and World Report.[55] The university has been recognized for having a higher graduating rate of Hispanic students compared to similar schools[56] where Hispanic students made up 23% of the student population as of 2007.[57]

Texas State has more than 250 student organizations within the categories of Academic, Chartered, Greek, Honors, Multicultural, Political, Professional, Recreational, Religious, Residence Halls, Service, Special Interest and Sports Clubs. The Greek community at Texas State includes a variety of service, traditions, and leadership. There are 31 organizations and more than 1,300 students who are members. Campus student-politics include the school's Associated Student Government, headed by the ASG President and Vice President. Along with the Executive Branch the ASG Senate, a Supreme Court, and the Graduate House of Representatives also make up the Associated Student Government.

Students have the option of utilizing the Student Recreation Center (SRC) at Texas State. A newly renovated extension, completed and dedicated in early 2009, added a rock wall, a natatorium with many indoor pools, additional cardio machines, a designated free weights room, workout studios, new locker rooms, a small scale computer lab, and a chartwells cafe.[58]

Texas State has an active Greek System which encompasses the Panhellenic Council, the National Multicultural Greek Council, the National Pan-Hellenic Council and the Order of Omega with over 30 different fraternities and sororities. Active chapters include:

Interfraternity Council[59] National Pan-Hellenic Council[60] Pan-Hellenic Council[61]

Student media

Located in Old Main, Texas State's FM radio station, KTSW, broadcasts at 89.9 MHz and provides sports coverage of Texas State athletics and indie/independent music. The KTSW website provides live-streaming broadcasts, and the Texas State television channel employs KTSW broadcasts as background music. KTSW's Morning Show, "Orange Juice and Biscuits," gained recognition in 2007 for being a finalist in Collegiate Broadcasters Inc.'s "Best Regularly Scheduled Program" award and again in October 2008, as it was among's top ten rated morning radio shows.[62]

Along with a radio station, The University Star is a student-run newspaper, published three days a week in print and online.

Spirit and traditions

Texas State Strutters

The Soap Box Derby has been an annual event since 1967 and is currently hosted by the Order of Omega. During homecoming week, participants race derby cars down Bobcat Trail. Participents are divided into three brackets: Student Organizations, Greeks and Residence Halls.[63]

Following each Fall and Spring semester, there is a ring ceremony that seniors are invited to, along with their friends and families. During the ceremony, the senior is presented with their school ring. The student then dips the ring in a fountain containing the waters of the San Marcos River.[64]

Created in 1960, the Texas State Strutters are the second oldest dance team in any major Texas university. They are internationally recognized, and have performed in 22 countries in four continents. They have also performed in various sports venues throughout Texas and the United States as well as two presidential inaugurations and five feature films. The group has over 3,000 alumnae.[65]


Bobcat Football

Teams at Texas State University compete in Division I athletics.[66] The university's football team currently competes in Division I-FCS and contests in the Southland Conference.[67] A number of championships have been won including two NCAA Division II football championships, in 1981 and 1982, an NCAA Division II men's golf championship in 1983, and two Southland Conference championships in 2005 and 2008.[68]

In 1920, Texas State adopted its first official mascot, the Bobcat, at the urging of Oscar Strahan, who became the school's athletic director in 1919. Strahan suggested the Bobcat because the cat is native to central Texas and is known for its fierceness. The Bobcat didn't get a name until 1964. At that time, Beth Greenless won the "Name the Bobcat" contest with the name Boko the Bobcat.[69]

In 2003, the Bobcat logo was thought out and designed by a Texas State student.[70] In August 2009, Texas State administrators refined it's athletic mark by changing the font and placement of the SuperCat.[71]

With the intentions to increase fans and numbers at games, Texas State University formed rivalries with various schools including The University of Texas at San Antonio and Nicholls State University. Texas State and The University of Texas at San Antonio originally started this rivalry competing in basketball with hopes of bringing attention to central Texas sports along the I-35 corridor. In the 2007-2008 season, the series was expanded to an "all sport competition." [72]

Bobcat Stadium Expansion

Annually, Bobcats and the Colonels face off in the Battle for the Paddle Rivalry game. While preparing for a football game against the Nicholls State University Colonels, a flood struck San Marcos soaking the Bobcat Stadium field. Together, Athletic Directors and coaches chose to continue the game, thus, the name "Battle for the Paddle" was coined.[citation needed]

With the continuing support for Texas State Athletics, there is an ongoing effort to promote the football team to Division I-FBS competition, the Football Bowl Subdivision. This referendum was proposed on November 2007 and approved by the student body on April 2008. Currently, this moved has been called The Drive and has led to the renovation of athletic facilities, including construction of new baseball and softball stadiums and expansion of Bobcat Stadium. The university expects to move to Division 1-A football by 2012. Texas State's first 2009 season football game against Angelo State University opened "The Jerry D. and Linda Gregg Fields Bobcat Stadium West Side Complex" encompassing Club and Luxury level seating.[73] The Athletics Director stated that the next phase in renovating Bobcat Stadium cannot begin until the stadium's track is relocated. Recent athletic fee raises are expected to help fund the remaining sections.


Lyndon B. Johnson, B.S. '30

The Texas State Alumni Association is currently housed at the Alumni House, located on the corner of LBJ and University Drive. The Victorian style house is one of the oldest buildings on campus. It was a residence for students until the San Marcos Urban Renewal Agency recommended the house be used for the Alumni Association. Inside, visitors can find a variety of items used by LBJ while he was a student and the desk LBJ sat in while signing the Higher Education Act in 1965.[74]

Currently, plans exist to build a new Alumni Center consisting of meeting and ball rooms.[75]

Texas State carries a long list of notable alumni to their name. U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson enrolled at Southwest Texas State Teachers' College in 1926.[76] Johnson did not graduate until 1930, when he took a year off before returning.[77] The 2008-2009 Common Experience, Texas State's yearly initiative made to cultivate students in intellectual conversation, celebrated the Legacy of LBJ as it was the 100 year anniversary of his birth.[78]

Grammy Award-winning American country music singer George Strait is another highly notable Alumnus who graduated from Texas State. Strait, who graduated in 1979 with a Bachelor of Science in agriculture, is commemorated on campus by a bar/pool hall in the student center, called George's.[79] Additionally, many know him for setting up Freeman Ranch and an agriculture endowment fund providing scholarships for future bobcats.[34] In 2006, Strait received an honorary doctorate degree from the university for his "extraordinary levels of achievement" and loyalty to the university.[80]

Additional alumni include J.D. Fields & Co. founder, chairman and chief executive officer Jerry Fields who donated a record setting $6 million dollars to Texas State's Athletic program which help fund the West Side Expansion at Bobcat Stadium[81], ATP Oil and Gas Chairman and Chief Executive Officer T. Paul Bulmahn who also made a generous donation to the school[82], Actor Powers Boothe[83], and Writer Tomás Rivera[84].


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External links

Coordinates: 29°53′21″N 97°56′20″W / 29.88917°N 97.93889°W / 29.88917; -97.93889


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