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Spirit and Tradition

At Tarleton, there's no shortage of spirit or deep-rooted traditions. We encourage you to immerse yourself and learn to truly Bleed Purple.

Purple Book

To learn more about our founder, John Tarleton, the early days of Tarleton State University and many other traditions, check out the Purple Book.

L. V. Risinger Memorial Bonfire

A tradition started during the 1920's, the burning of the L.V. Risinger Memorial Bonfire takes place on Friday evening of Homecoming week. The bonfire has been dedicated to the late L.V. Risinger, acclaimed defender of the bonfire during the air raid of 1939. Help us keep the flame burning bright!

Tarleton Rodeo

The Rodeo Team, a Tarleton tradition since 1947, has won 7 National Championship titles and 24 individual national championships.

Visit the Rodeo Website for more information!

The Grassburr

For over 100 years, The Grassburr has recorded and documented Tarleton history as it unfolds. The Grassburr is available at no charge for all undergraduate students on the Stephenville campus, so be sure to stop by The Source (Thompson Student Center, 201J) to pick up your copy.

We've got spirit, yes we do!

Purple Poo

Tarleton is home to a number of spirit groups.

The Purple Poo was founded in 1921 and 1923 making them the oldest spirit group in the state of Texas. This secret organization is charged with maintaining the spirit of Oscar P across campus.

Donate now to help sustain the spirit of John Tarleton and Oscar P!

Texan Cheer

Texan Cheer can be seen on the sidelines of all athletic games cheering on the Texans and TexAnns. Additionally, the Tarleton State Cheerleaders perform for those in attendance at the Tarleton Rally, Midnight Madness, pep rallies and many of the homecoming activities.

Texan Rider

The Texan Rider, Tarleton’s official mascot, can be found on the sideline of athletic games and many Tarleton events. Read about how the Texan Rider became Tarleton's mascot.


Plowboys at Football Game
in 1984, Dr. Barry B. Thompson and a select group of interested students established a spirit organization and readopted the name Plowboys. The current Plowboys attend all athletic events along with other campus and community activities. They bring life to the crowd with spirit, energy, and their own special brand of cheers and chants. In addition to this support, they are known for their community service and the numerous social events they sponsor throughout the year.

Texan Stars

For over 40 years, the Texan Stars have been an integral part of Tarleton State University. Formed in the spring of 1974, the Stars are a part of Tarleton's longstanding traditions. They perform at football and basketball halftime shows, Homecoming events and Midnight Madness. The Texan Stars were team champions for five consecutive years at the American Dance Drill Team Collegiate Championship Competition, from 2008 - 2012.


PANKUS members promoting Tarleton team spirit

PANKUS, People Against Not Knowing University Spirit, is unified by their love of Tarleton. Like many other spirit groups, they can be found cheering on the Texans and TexAnns at every game.