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READ Posters

Since 2010, the Tarleton State University Libraries have celebrated National Library Week with the release of READ Posters. These posters feature notable individuals or groups from the Tarleton community posing with their favorite books. The honorees are chosen because they embody one or more of Tarleton's Core Values of Civility, Tradition, Excellence, Integrity, Leadership, and Service The posters are displayed in the Library Learning Commons.

The American Library Association began producing READ posters in 1980. Designed to encourage reading, these posters feature celebrities posing with books of their choosing. Tarleton Libraries are proud to continue this tradition with our own campus celebrities.

Read Poster Honorees

Texan Cheerleading

Texan cheerleading squad embodies the tradition of promoting school spirit, encouraging student body engagement, and cheering athletic teams to victory. Texan Cheer performs at all of Tarleton’s home football, basketball, and volleyball games, as well as traveling to many away games. They also perform at Tarleton Rally, Midnight Madness, pep rallies, many homecoming activities, and special events. In recent years, the cheer squads have established themselves as strong contenders in National Cheerleading Association competitions. Cheer squad members earn two credit hours for physical education and can qualify for scholarships.

TREAT Riding

The TaRleton Equine Assisted Therapeutic (TREAT) Riding program began in 1995 and is a Premier Accredited Center with PATH, Intl. The program incorporates horseback riding to facilitate physical, emotional, and recreational therapy.

Personnel work with community groups and individuals, provide riding time for veterans and their families, and research the effects of therapeutic riding. They also host events like the Special Kids Rodeo that boost the participants’ self-confidence, self-awareness, and discipline.

TREAT Riding helps train college students pursuing careers in equine assisted therapy and those involving special needs children.


University Police

Tarleton police officers are licensed by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education. Ensuring a safe and secure learning, living, and working university environment is the mission of Tarleton police officers. As certified peace officers, they respond to calls for service, provide crime prevention initiatives, enforce traffic rules, facilitate campus awareness, and make arrests. Officers offer educational programs about personal and online safety, self-defense, and responding to volatile situations. They provide on-campus motorist assistance, after dark escorts, and event security.

Department of Student Publications

To give students experience in journalism, graphic design, photography, video production, management, and sales, Student Publications staff produce two campus publications that act as historical records of university and student activities. The Grassburr has served as the student yearbook since 1916. It features information about and photos of the school, students, faculty, and organizations. JTAC News provide updates about campus events, programs, schedules, and news. It began as a literary journal, The John Tarleton, in 1901 and changed to a weekly news sheet, the Tarletonite, in 1904. It was renamed The J-TAC in 1919 and JTAC News in 2013.


Tarleton Gay-Straight Alliance

Since being founded in 2012, the Tarleton Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) has dedicated its efforts to raising awareness of LGBTQ+ community topics and fostering inclusion.

The GSA offers a campus support network, collaborates with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, distributes information, and sponsors special events. Events include Allies program presentations, Anti-bullying resources, NOH8 Awareness Week, Second Chance Prom, Tarleton Pride and Transgender Day of Remembrance. GSA membership is open to all students.

Horticulture Club

Making the world more beautiful through fellowship and service has been the Horticulture Club’s goal since being founded in the 1979-1980 school year.

The club sponsors and participates in service projects and events that foster appreciation for and awareness of the art and science of growing plants. They help with plant propagation, floral displays, and pollinator-friendly landscaping initiatives on campus on campus, participate in recruiting events and Horticulture Center tours, hold seasonal and specialty plant sales, help with the Tarleton Round-Up, and participate in the Texas Nursery & Landscape Association Expo Tarleton students of all majors are welcome to join.


Bass Club

Started in 2007 by a group of bass fishing enthusiasts, Tarleton’s Bass Club pursues excellence as members compete in many regional and national tournaments. For example, the club sends three teams to compete in the BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship each year.

Representing various majors, members are committed to service and giving back to the community. Each year, they sponsor a fishing excursion for the local Foster’s Home for Children. They also hosted a fish fry for Pups in the Park, an animal education event, and often assist with area fishing tournaments.

Tarleton Transition Mentors (TTMs)

With their service and leadership, Tarleton Transition Mentors (TTM) are instrumental in helping new students adjust to college life and embrace their new community.

TTM members assist the Transition and Family Relations staff with three programs. First, during Texan Orientations, members guide new students as they learn about university resources, meet academic advisors, and register for fall classes. Second, they introduce students to Tarleton traditions and help them form peer connections during Duck Camps. Third, their leadership roles continue through Texan Transition Week activities.


Tarleton Aeronautical Team

Initiated in 2011 by a nucleus of motivated engineering/physics students and enthused math faculty, the Tarleton Aeronautical Team pursues and attains lofty goals.

The team placed 6th out of 41 teams in NASA’s 2011-2012 CanSat competition, with only one U.S. team ranking higher. In 2013, the team placed 3rd out of 36 teams in NASA’s University Student Launch Initiative (USLI). They were also named Rookie Team of the Year and won the Science Mission Directorate Payload and Best Team Spirit awards.

Members also dedicate their expertise and time to educational outreach for middle school science and mathematics students.

Collegiate FFA

Tarleton’s Collegiate FFA emphasizes leadership, professional development, and service to the university, as well as community service and service to youth involved in agriculture. 

Members are active in campus events, state meetings, promotional programs, chapter education, and the Texas and National Collegiate FFA Conventions, which provide leadership opportunities, career/leadership development events (CDE/LDE), workshops, and career fairs.

Also, members are instrumental in the success of the Tarleton-hosted area and state contests that bring almost 20,000 FFA visitors to campus each year.


The Sound & The Fury

Organized in 1919, Tarleton’s original marching band had only nine members. Through the years, the band has grown in talent and size due to the members’ dedication and strong leadership.

The Sound & The Fury marching band is one of the finest marching ensembles in the state, as well as one of the largest and most spirited campus groups. Open to all students, the band includes wind and percussion musicians and a color guard unit. When performing at university events, band members’ spirit, pride and talents are always highlights.

Tarleton Rodeo

In 1947, a group of students formed the campus Rodeo Association with the hopes of encouraging participation in rodeo activities. They were successful.

By 1964, rodeo memberships exceeded those of any other campus group. That same year, Tarleton joined the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (NIRA) and members began competing in officially sanctioned rodeo events.

Tarleton has one of the largest rodeo associations in the nation. Members are skilled competitors: As of 2013, teams had won 6 national championships and individuals had won 19 national championships.


The Texan Rider

In 1961, a Student Council referendum showed that students wanted to change the athletics’ team name from Plowboys to Tarleton Texans. The women’s athletic teams later adopted the name TexAnns.

Changing the team name prompted the adoption of the Texan Rider, represented by a horse and rider icon, as Tarleton’s mascot.

The Texan Rider is elected by the student body and embodies the spirit and pride of Tarleton, attends athletic events to boost support, and represents the University at official campus events.

Tarleton Plowboys

In 1925, Tarleton’s athletic teams were officially named Plowboys; they kept that name during the time Tarleton was a junior college. After Tarleton became a 4-year college, the students voted in 1961 to change the teams’ name to Tarleton Texans.

Dr. Barry B. Thompson, 13th President of Tarleton, and several students revived the Plowboys name in 1983 when they established a new spirit organization and chose to call themselves Plowboys.

To show their support for Tarleton, the Plowboys attend most athletic events and official campus events. They also sponsor community service projects


Tarleton State University U.S. Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC)

Known as the Texan Battalion, the Tarleton Army ROTC program dates back to 1917 and ranks in the top 10% of the 272 universities offering ROTC.

The program commissions second lieutenants for the active U.S. Army, Reserves, and National Guard.

It instills dedication to excellence and the seven Army values: loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service honor, integrity and personal courage.

Tarleton Players

In 1928, the Tarleton Players made their debut in the Grassburr, which states they represent the best dramatic talent — a statement that holds true more than 80 years later.

The Players promote interest and experience in the theatrical arts, as well as encourage campus and community involvement.

Members also participate in campus productions and provide support to the Cross Timbers Fine Arts Council. Membership is open to all Tarleton students.


Purple Poo

The Purple Poo spirit organization evolved from the original spirit groups, Ten Tarleton Peppers (TTP) and Ten Tarleton Sisters (TTS). They actively promote school spirit by attending all university events and by posting signs on campus.

Members conceal their identities with costumes until they “unmask” themselves at the annual Leadership and ServiceAwards Ceremony or in their Grassburr pictures. Graduating members give the university president a purple pig as they receive their diplomas.

Dr. Dominic Dottavio, President of Tarleton State University

Dr. F. Dominic Dottavio is the 15th President of Tarleton State University. According to his official biography:

President Dottavio provide strategic direction and mission-focused leadership for a university with a reputation for quality teaching, research that benefits all citizens, and a caring campus community. Well-known by students for being engaged and accessible, Dr. Dottavio resides on campus in the historic Trogdon House; the first Tarleton president to do so since the home’s namesake, President W.O. Trogdon.

He encourages all campus community members to pursue the 4 Es: Excel in scholarship, teaching & learning, Expand our horizons, Encourage leadership, service& student success, and Extend our reach.