News and Information
Tate Military Park dedicated
Tarleton State University
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, October 22, 2012
STEPHENVILLE, Texas—Faculty, staff, students and friends joined President F. Dominic Dottavio and other university officials Oct. 19 to dedicate the Col. Will L. Tate Military Park. The location of the new park includes the Military Memorial, which he spearheaded, and is adjacent to Heritage Park on the Stephenville campus.
“This area was specifically chosen because of Col. Tate’s backing of the military memorial and his devotion to keeping this monument a sacred place on campus,” Dottavio said. “Col. Tate visited the monument on a weekly basis and spent many moments sitting under these stately trees reflecting upon his life and his blessings.
“Of the many accomplishments he achieved in his lifetime, Col. Tate said that one of his most prestigious and greatest honors was his involvement in the development of the Tarleton Military Memorial which honors Tarleton men and women who have served in the military during times of peace and war,” Dottavio added.
Col. Will L. Tate, a distinguished Tarleton alumnus, donor and longtime passionate friend of the institution, passed away in Lubbock on March 14 at the age of 96.
He was a longtime member of the Tarleton Alumni Association, served on the board of directors for the Tarleton State University Foundation Inc. for years and as chairman in 1998-1999, was honored in 1988 as a Tarleton Distinguished Alumnus and was the first recipient, in 2002, of the Honorary Doctor of Letters degree awarded by Tarleton State University.
Generous with his time and his money, Tate also served on the Presidential Advisory Board, and made significant contributions to Tarleton’s $40 million Centennial Campaign for the Twenty-first Century. He was instrumental in Tarleton’s commitment to creating a culture of excellence for its students. A loyal member of the esteemed President’s Club and a charter member of the John Tarleton Society for philanthropy, he established the Will L. and Eve K. Tate Family Endowed Fund Scholarship, providing scholarships in the College of Education and the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.
Tate, an Erath County native born May 19, 1915, in the Bethel community, entered preparatory school and graduated from John Tarleton Agricultural College in 1935. While attending Tarleton, he played basketball under the legendary Coach W. J. Wisdom and was a member of the famous teams of 1934 and 1935, which won 40 consecutive games.
He went on to become captain of the 1939 Southwest Conference championship basketball team at the University of Texas at Austin, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in 1939. He later received a master’s of business administration from the Harvard School of Business in 1951.
A distinguished 30-year military career began in 1940 when Tate was one of the first to be selected to attend World War II officer candidate school. He commanded a company and battalion during operations in France, Holland and Germany. Commissioned into the United States Army in 1946, he served tours of duty in Germany, Korea and Okinawa.
Serving at the rank of colonel for over 10 years, Tate ended his military career in 1970. Beginning a new career in education, he chaired the Department of Business Administration at Galveston Community College and was appointed vice president for business and fiscal affairs at the college where he served until his second retirement in 1983.
Tarleton State University
A member of The Texas A&M University System