Tarleton State President Honored with Congressional Patriot Award

STEPHENVILLE, Texas — Tarleton State University President Dr. James Hurley received the Congressional Patriot Award in a surprise announcement this past Saturday evening at the 2024 Gala.

Hurley 2024 Congressional Patriot Award

Congressional Patriot Awards are a prestigious, meaningful recognition of the men and women who give selflessly of their time and talent to make their communities a better place for all.

Honorees are selected by a sitting member of Congress. Less than one-thousandth of one percent of all Americans have received the distinguished award. Congressman Pat Fallon (District 4) surprised President Hurley with the honor for his unwavering dedication to education, excellence, leadership, and service to others.

“This award belongs to Tarleton State University. It belongs to our incredible faculty, staff, students, alumni, and everyone who bleeds purple,” said a surprised Dr. Hurley. “As a first-generation student, I never thought I would have received something like this. It is an honor to get to serve the Texan family. I am extremely humbled and honored.”

The Congressional Patriot award honors Americans who believe in things greater than themselves and demonstrate it through excellence, leadership, volunteerism, and selflessness–virtues, without which our republic cannot thrive.

“There are more Super Bowl rings in the world than there are recipients of this particular award,” Congressman Fallon said. “I couldn’t think of a better person to give this to than somebody who believes in others and somebody that has the ‘it factor’ that is inspiring to those he leads.”

Dr. Hurley was unanimously appointed the 16th President of Tarleton State University in August 2019 by The Texas A&M System Board of Regents. Under his leadership, Tarleton State has become one of the country’s fastest growing comprehensive public universities in enrollment, research, and national prominence.

In 2023, he was elected to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges Board of Trustees, which is the accrediting body for degree-granting higher education institutions in the southern United States. That same year, Fort Worth Inc. Magazine honored him as one of the 400 most influential North Texans. In 2022, the North Texas Commission honored him with its prestigious Education Leadership Award, recognizing his lasting impact on the region.

A founding member of The Texas A&M System, Tarleton State is breaking records — in enrollment, research, scholarship, athletics, philanthropy and engagement — while transforming the lives of nearly 17,000 students in Stephenville, Fort Worth, Waco, Bryan and online. True to Tarleton’s values of excellence, integrity and respect, academic programs emphasize real world learning and address regional, state and national needs.