An update from President Denise M. Trauth of Texas State University

2016
Fall II
Dear Friends,

The academic year is just underway and already Texas State has reached some significant milestones that I would like to share with you.

This fall, we reported a record headcount of 38,849 students, which is an increase of roughly 2.3 percent from a year ago. It marks the 19th consecutive year of record enrollment, but a deeper dive into that figure reveals more noteworthy progress.

The number of new graduate students enrolled at Texas State rose 6.3 percent from a year ago, and our largest academic unit is now the College of Science and Engineering, which experienced an enrollment increase of 6.4 percent. Nearly 52 percent of incoming Texas State freshmen ranked in the top quartile of their high school graduating class, a quality metric important to the university’s goal of becoming a top-tier research university. Finally, Texas State is becoming even more diverse, as ethnic minorities for the first time now account for more than half of our overall student body. In 2015, ethnic minorities comprised 48 percent of the overall enrollment.

These figures are strong indicators of our growing research activities, our expanded graduate academic programming, and the fact that we are producing more high-quality, diverse graduates for Texas’ growing high-skilled job market.

We closed out our fiscal year, which ended August 31, on a high note as we logged our most successful fundraising year ever. We raised $26,446,929 in fiscal 2016, which was an increase of 8 percent from the year before – our previous high-water mark.

Among the major gifts we received over the summer was a $200,000 grant from the Albert and Margaret Alkek Foundation to help us build an archives and research center at STAR Park. Additionally, the gift is eligible for a 50 percent matching grant under the Texas Research Incentive Program. The archives and research center, scheduled for completion in summer 2017, will be used to store research materials and books from the Alkek Library, which in turn will help us repurpose library space for a Learning Commons and other specialized areas to support students. The updated areas will offer a variety of applications, such as geographic information systems, virtual and augmented reality, 3D visualization and printing, video editing, and gaming.

An innovative Learning Commons is taking shape at the Alkek Library.

We hope for more fundraising successes this year, and we have a very worthy occasion right around the corner. On September 21st and 22nd, Texas State will sponsor its inaugural “Step Up for State” campaign. The online effort seeks to raise funds for 26 projects across 15 colleges, research institutes, and university divisions. The fundraiser, which will run for 1,899 minutes -- a figure that corresponds to the year Texas State was founded -- begins at 8 a.m. on September 21st and runs until 3:39 p.m. on September 22nd. To participate in this event, please visit the Step Up for State website.

On September 27, Texas State University will be recognized as I receive the Ohtli Award, one of the Mexican government’s highest honors given to "distinguished community and opinion leaders" who have demonstrated a commitment to advancing the standard of living of Mexicans who reside in other countries. “Ohtli” is a word in the Aztec language of Náhuatl that means “path.” In 2011, Texas State became a federal Hispanic-Serving Institution, and Hispanics currently make up 34.7 percent of the student body.

For those of you who have fond memories of dining on campus from as far back as the mid-1960s, you may recall the Jones Dining Center, which reopened this fall after a major renovation. The update features beautiful accents and multi-level outdoor seating with a view of downtown. Jones remains a highly popular dining option for students. On the first day of the fall semester, it served 5,000 meals, about 2,000 more than it served on an average day before the renovation.

And speaking of renovations, the Bobcat football locker room recently got an update, and will get its first Game Day use this Saturday when Texas State hosts nationally-ranked University of Houston. We hope you can make it to Bobcat Stadium. The game will be televised on ESPNU beginning at 6 p.m.

The Bobcat football locker room was renovated for the 2016 season.

I look forward to the rest of the academic year and to keeping you updated about Texas State.

Sincerely,

Denise M. Trauth
Office of University Advancement
601 University ​Dr. • San Marcos, ​TX ​78666
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