Happy New Year, Tarleton Family

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Happy New Year, Tarleton Family

(Better yet, Happy Purple Thursday!)

It’s great seeing all of you back on campus. We’re excited about the start of a fresh semester. It will be unlike any we have experienced — and it will be the best ever. 

Our primary focus remains the health and safety of our university community. It is paramount that we continue to do our part to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. We’ve proven that we can push forward in chaotic times to provide meaningful experiences. I am incredibly proud of you.  

In addition to completing a record-setting fall semester, we continue to celebrate milestones:

  • While many universities experience sharp enrollment declines, we’re shattering records and attracting the brightest minds in the state, the nation and the world. Last fall our enrollment increased 6.42% from fall 2019, and current numbers are up 6.45% over spring 2020. Both are all-time highs.
  • By the end of March we will have a 10-year plan that charts our course to become the premier comprehensive regional university in the nation. During these unprecedented days it is imperative for us to determine our path forward. This bold undertaking — Tarleton Forward 2030: Our Future-Focused Strategic Plan — will provide the map.
  • Alumni and friends of the university maintain their confidence in Tarleton’s vision through philanthropic support. In December we announced the third-largest cash donation in our history. Tarleton alumnus and retired Air Force Col. Charles Leigon graciously donated $1.5 million through a legacy estate gift to support nursing scholarships.
  • Our transition to NCAA Division I as a member of the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) is raising our national profile and advancing brand awareness. Vice President for Athletics Lonn Reisman and his staff officially have launched play. This spring promises to be action packed, with all sports and teams participating in NCAA Division I competition. Look for the addition of women’s soccer in fall 2022.
  • Our infrastructure development continues to keep pace. Construction of the Aquatics Center is underway, with a grand opening planned for early fall. Our national championship rodeo program has a new home that’s second to none, thanks to longtime supporters Brad and Nancy Allen. The Allens bought a portion of the former Downunder Ranch — just a stone’s throw from our Stephenville campus — and are leasing it to us as part of an intent-to-purchase agreement. Now we must raise the necessary funds and obtain approval from The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents for this dream to become a reality. And we sealed the deal to acquire the Bosque Crossing Apartments. These 350 beds increase our inventory to meet the growing demand for on-campus housing.
  • The addition of $18.1 million through the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act means we can help even more students financially impacted by COVID-19, providing access, opportunity and a more affordable Tarleton degree.

As we move into the new semester, we remain committed to rigorously managing the pandemic. Our approach is logistically challenging, labor intensive and expensive, but it’s the right thing to do for our students, who deserve the full college experience, and for our faculty and staff, who make it all possible. Unfortunately, this virus and its challenges are far from over. Now is not the time for us to let our guard down. Better days lie ahead.

Tarleton State University is thriving because of the unwavering support of our students, faculty, staff, alumni, donors and friends. My deepest appreciation to each of you for making this place so special.

I look forward to what 2021 and beyond holds for our university. Now on to a splendid semester!

Bleed Purple,

Dr. James Hurley
Tarleton State University
Box T-0001
Stephenville, Texas 76402

Office: 254-968-9100

University Homepage: www.tarleton.edu