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On November 11, 1978, the Tarleton State University Development Foundation was established by the Tarleton Alumni Association Board of Directors for the purpose of promoting the continued growth, development and excellence of the University through private financial support and encouragement. The President of the Alumni Association, Mr. Jim Chambers, announced the appointment of nine members to the board of trustees of the Foundation. The trustees were: C. H. Maguire, Jr. of Stephenville, Mr. Clyde H. Wells of Granbury, Mr. Reuben Friou of Dallas, Mr. Mike Myers of Dallas, Mr. W. Henry Todd of Wichita Falls, Judge Mike Moncrief of Fort Worth, Mr. Joseph Chandler of Stephenville, Dr. Vance Terrell of Stephenville and Mr. Hugh Wolfe of Stephenville. Mr. C.H. Maguire was appointed as chairman.

The first meeting of the trustees was held in Stephenville on December 12, 1978, where a discussion of the Foundation's organization, purposes, and goals were outlined. It was announced by the University President, Dr. W. O. Trogdon, that the Foundation would be administered through the Office of Development with Mr. J. Louis Evans acting as Executive Director.

On September 5, 1989 the Tarleton State University Development Foundation was granted non-profit corporation status, and changed its name to the Tarleton State University Foundation, Inc.

Currently, the Foundation is managed by a 11 member volunteer board with a broad range of expertise in business, professional, financial, and academic areas. The Board of Directors has a defined committee structure and an established investment policy to assist in governing its activities and endowment investments. In order to conduct business and to discuss current development projects, the Board meets semi-annually. An annual report is sent to endowment holders in December.

An audit of the Foundation's complete financial statements is conducted on an annual basis by an independent firm of certified public accountants that are members of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.