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

2017
Spring I
Dear Friends,

The new year is upon us and for Texas State University, 2017 promises exciting new achievements. We ended 2016 on a high note with our commencement ceremonies. More than 3,200 graduates took part in six different commencement exercises. We were honored to have the Honorable U.S. District Court Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos, a Distinguished Alumna of Texas State, as the keynote speaker at one of those ceremonies. 

U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos was a keynote speaker during one of six commencement exercises in December.

Our Texas State Strutters dance team has been chosen to perform at the 2017 presidential inaugural parade on January 20 in Washington, D.C. The process to take part in this parade began a year ago, and the team received the official invitation during the winter break. While in our nation’s capital, the dance team will perform at several other venues. The Strutters have performed in two previous inaugural parades, including those of Presidents John F. Kennedy and Texas State Distinguished Alumnus
Lyndon B. Johnson. We are proud that the Strutters will represent Texas and the university at this historic event.

The Texas State Strutters will perform in the 2017 presidential inaugural parade, their third appearance at this event.

This spring will mark our third Cats Caravan tour, bringing Bobcat pride to Austin, Dallas, San Antonio, and Houston. These events allow donors, alumni, friends, and prospective students to learn more about the exciting developments at Texas State. This year, student teams from a wide range of disciplines will demonstrate their research projects and explain how their corporate partners are helping to take their new ideas to the marketplace. I encourage you to attend these events and connect with your fellow Bobcats.
 
These bold student innovators also will be showcased at the Texas State University Innovation Lab at the South by Southwest Interactive Festival in Austin on March 12, 2017. Our student researchers are hard at work perfecting the presentations, which will range from a recyclable fabric to an app that helps children with obesity challenges.

There is a great deal to celebrate at the Wittliff Collections as it marks its 30th Anniversary. Widely recognized as one of the finest special collections in the country, the Wittliff is a true treasure and defining landmark for the university’s research holdings. We are pleased to announce that Drs. Sally and Bill Wittliff have given $2 million to establish the Wittliff Collections Acquisitions Endowment. The earnings from the endowment will be used to support acquisitions of artistic, historical, literary, musical, photographic, or ephemeral materials to be included in the Wittliff Collections.

Wittliff Collections co-founder Dr. Bill Wittliff (right) and his brother, Dr. Jim Wittliff, at the dedication of the Collections’ Laura Walser Reading Room.

In December, Dr. Bill Wittliff and his brother, medical scientist Dr. Jim Wittliff, dedicated the Laura Walser Reading Room at the Wittliff Collections in honor of their mother,
Laura Sachtleben Walser. The reading room serves as a significant portal for research where students and scholars can access our outstanding collections. Reid Wittliff, son of Sally and Bill Wittliff, shared some inspiring memories about his grandmother at the dedication. Read his remarks here.
 
The Wittliff will host a yearlong exhibition of The North American Indian by photographer Edward S. Curtis beginning January 17. The Wittliff recently acquired a majority of the Curtis collection, a transformative and significant addition to its already impressive Southwestern & Mexican Photography Collection. Produced between 1907 and 1930, the photographs in Curtis’ landmark publication are bound in 20 volumes of text, supplemented with 20 portfolios, all richly illustrated with his remarkable photographs. The Wittliff is committed to acquiring the remaining materials and constructing a gallery to showcase his photographic and historic career.

Our fundraising efforts are also showing great promise, particularly in the critical area of endowments. We have added 10 new endowments since September 1, 2016, raising a record $2,333,970 and an additional $66,030 in pledges. We also distributed our 2016 Endowment Annual Report to the largest number of donors in our history. These figures represent critical growth and support for our students, research, and facilities. 

The Austin Chamber of Commerce honored Texas State's efforts with the Austin Human Capital Award.

Finally, it was a tremendous honor to receive the Austin Human Capital Award last November from the Austin Chamber of Commerce. The chamber recognized the great things happening at Texas State and the impact we have on the college readiness, enrollment, and success of our students. I share this award with our phenomenal faculty and staff, whose efforts make student achievement and our growing research profile possible.
 
I promise to keep you posted on our accomplishments throughout the year.

Sincerely,

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