Over the last two decades, the facility had deteriorated to the point that a decision had to be made to either renovate or demolish. But, even the mere thought of tearing down one of the oldest and most significant landmarks on campus was unthinkable to many." property="og:description"/>
Over the last two decades, the facility had deteriorated to the point that a decision had to be made to either renovate or demolish. But, even the mere thought of tearing down one of the oldest and most significant landmarks on campus was unthinkable to many." />
Over the last two decades, the facility had deteriorated to the point that a decision had to be made to either renovate or demolish. But, even the mere thought of tearing down one of the oldest and most significant landmarks on campus was unthinkable to many." name="twitter:description"/> Skip to page content
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Trogdon House once again a vibrant campus venue
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Construction dust around Trogdon House has settled and the historic home is once again a vibrant part of the Tarleton campus. Since reopening in September, 2010, it is estimated that more than 1,000 students, faculty, staff, alumni, community members, parents and friends have passed through its doors, during one of its many open houses.

Recent visitors have seen a beautifully restored home, much accomplished through the efforts of Tarleton's own construction crews. "The house is a fitting centerpiece for the campus and will serve as an elegant setting for cultivating and building connections and friendships between the Tarleton family, the Stephenville community, the state of Texas, and the nation," said Dr. Jane Dennis, director of Academic Advising Services at Tarleton.

Over the last two decades, the facility had deteriorated to the point that a decision had to be made to either renovate or demolish. But, even the mere thought of tearing down one of the oldest and most significant landmarks on campus was unthinkable to many.

According to Col. Will Tate, class of 1935, who led the renovation fundraising campaign along with Ben and Nellie Baty, "the Trogdon House is somewhat of a spiritual place. It links the past of Tarleton with its future, and I was honored to play a role in the preservation of this wonderful place."

Nancy Allen earned degrees from Tarleton in 1976 and 1980, and she and her husband Brad, class of 1974, made a gift in support of the project. When asked why, Nancy commented, "the Trogdon House is an important, historic landmark on the Tarleton campus. Brad and I have fond memories of walking by it on our way to class when we were students. We realized that a complete renovation was necessary in order to return the home to its former glory and preserve it for generations to come. We know, particularly in these economic times, that private donations are essential in such projects. We have been long time supporters of the University and continue to make donations to scholarships and other Tarleton programs, but we knew we needed to participate in this project as well."

There were others who believed in the critical importance of restoring the once magnificent facility. Tarleton President Dominic Dottavio believed so much in the project, that he chose to direct his housing allowance, set by the Texas A&M System Board of Regents, to the Trogdon House restoration. He could have used the amount to buy a personal residence. Instead, the funds are being used to retire the A&M System Revenue Bond issue, which financed a portion of the project.

When asked why he and his wife Lisette chose not to use the funds for their personal benefit, Dr. Dottavio explained "there were several reasons. Applying our housing allowance to the renovation allowed the university to accomplish an important restoration and preserve a valuable asset. Trogdon House is of great historic importance to many alumni and community members. We have heard so many stories about the important role the house played in significant university and community events. It is part of the collective memory of many in the Tarleton family. I hope that faculty, staff, students, alumni and community friends feel a stronger tie to the university and to one another as we welcome them into the Trogdon House. The fact that Lisette and I now live in the home is an important and visible demonstration of our commitment to the University's strategic goals of enriching the student experience and encouraging student success. We have many informal opportunities for interaction with the people of Tarleton in our daily lives. And, we anticipate many events in the House that bring us together. We have found that the middle of campus is a lively and interesting place to live."

Students, as well, like the idea of "Dr. D" living on campus. "The students of Tarleton are truly one body and one family. Our bond is unlike any other school or major university. It is our tradition, spirit and pride that unites the hearts of everyone," said Deriek Iglesias, a junior nursing major and cadet captain in the Texan Battalion Army ROTC. "The president, who has expressed such love for this campus and its traditions, is now present and living at the heart of his students. We are proud to be his students, and we are proud to call him our president."

Alycia Pruitt, student body president, recently conducted a meeting of the Student Government Association at the home. "I strongly feel that the restoration of the Trogdon House has positively impacted the student body," she said. "The restoration has brought back to life a piece of the Tarleton tradition and history that has been lost for several years. The Trogdon House now serves not only as a home to our President and his family, but more importantly serves as a living piece of our history."

James Reed, vice president, echoed her sentiment. "It's great having the Dottavio's right in the heart of campus," he said. "It gives Tarleton more of a home environment, and makes us all feel like family."

During his recent visit to campus Dr. Michael D. McKinney, chancellor of the Texas A&M University System, remarked that "the Trogdon House has an important place in the history of Tarleton State University, and it is exciting to see it fully restored and once again serving as host to numerous campus and community functions and the home of the university president."

Others who made important contributions to the project include the Tarleton State University Foundation, Inc., Merit Roofing Systems, Alpha Building Corporation, Darren Carpenter and Scott's Flowers, Fred Parker and Parker and Associates, Sodexo, Inc., Green Creek Nursery, IMC, Erath Plumbing, Dura-Mar of Granbury, Kenneth Wyatt, Robi Rhea and James Lehr.

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