What an Incredible 2023 Gala!

Dear Tarleton Family,

What an incredible 2023 gala! So much purple, so much excitement, so much momentum.

Three years ago, I publicly announced our largest-ever comprehensive capital fundraising campaign – Forward, Together: Investing in Today’s Students for Future Success. Last year, I shared that we had eclipsed that $100 million goal two years ahead of schedule and set a new target – $125 million – to coincide with our 125th anniversary in September 2024.

This year, the news is even more unprecedented. Thanks to the remarkable generosity of our benefactors, we’ve shattered our $125 million goal 18 months early, creating greater impact, access and opportunity. I am Texan proud.

Tarleton’s philanthropic visionaries ensure our ability to uplift students, turning a dream school into an alma mater and potential into reality. They know that when we rise, our students, communities and region absolutely do, too.

Tonight’s historic announcement proves that the spirit of John Tarleton, who gave his life savings to create our institution, is alive and well.

In addition to financial assistance and innovative research, successful completion of Forward, Together will enhance our academic experience, strengthen our athletic prowess, fortify university infrastructure and firmly establish our place among America’s great public universities.

I’m also excited – more news – that Tarleton alumnus Sam Pack will receive an honorary doctorate of humane letters at our May commencement. Our University Honorary Degrees Committee unanimously supports his nomination, and The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents approves.

An extremely successful entrepreneur, owner and operator of six Five Star dealerships (Pack Automotive Group) in the Dallas-Fort Worth market, Sam is one of our most enthusiastic and dedicated supporters. Although an illness forced a change of plans after he started classes at Tarleton in 1956, it never diminished his belief in the power of education or his desire to make life better for others.

He supports more than 300 nonprofits, service organizations and community events through the charitable arm of Pack Automotive – Sam Pack Cares. And he has given liberally to Tarleton, donating to our food pantry, the President’s Circle and the Dr. James and Kindall Hurley Scholarship Endowment. Then there’s the Tarleton State University Pack Automotive Group Intern Program, providing Texans with learning opportunities that inspire career success.

Thank you, all of you. Together, we’re topping the accomplishments of many universities nationwide.

Now is not the time to slow down. Challenges around the globe and in our own backyard demand we power on – and we will. Because of your tenacity, your shared dreams for the future, we’re proving that anything is possible.