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Texas State University is a public research university located in San Marcos, Texas, United States. Established in 1899 as the Southwest Texas State Normal School, it opened in 1903 to 303 students. Since that time it has grown into the largest institution in the Texas State University System and the fifth-largest university in the state of Texas with an enrollment of over 38,000 students for the 2017 fall semester. It has 10 colleges and about 50 schools and departments.
Texas State is classified as a research university with higher research activity by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and an emerging research university by the State of Texas.The university is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). Faculty from the various college have consistently been given Fulbright Scholar grants resulting in Texas State being recognized as one of the top producing universities of Fulbright Scholars.The 36th President of the United States, Lyndon B. Johnson, graduated from the institution in 1930.
Texas State’s main campus consists of 245 buildings on 492 acres (1.99 km2) of hilly land along the San Marcos River. It also has a satellite campus that started as a multi-institution teaching center offering undergraduate and graduate programs at the Texas State University Round Rock Campus (RRC) in the greater north Austin area. The university operates the Science, Technology and Advanced Research (STAR) Park, a 58-acre technology commercialization and applied research facility.The Forensic Anthropology Center at Texas State is the largest forensics research facility in the world.
Texas State University’s intercollegiate sports teams, commonly known as the Bobcats, compete in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I and the Sun Belt Conference.
The Southwest Texas State Normal School was proposed in a March 3, 1899, bill by State Representative Fred Cocke. Cocke represented the citizens of Hays and surrounding counties where the school was to be located. While there was opposition to the bill, with the support of State Senator J.B. Dibrell, it was finally passed and signed into law on May 10, 1899, by Governor Joseph D. Sayers. The school’s purpose was to provide manual training and teach domestic sciences and agriculture. Any students earning a diploma and teaching certificate from the school would be authorized to teach in the state’s public schools. In October 1899, the San Marcos City Council voted to donate 11 acres (45,000 m2) of land at what was known as Chautauqua Hill for the school to be built on. Itwas not until 1901 that the Texas legislature accepted this donation and approved $25,000 to be used for construction of buildings on the site. The building now known as Old Main was completed and the school opened its doors to its first enrollment of 303 students in September 1903.
In 1912, the San Marcos School Board began a partnership with the school to allow Southwest Texas State Normal School students to instruct local school children as part of their training to become teachers. The San Marcos East End Ward School, comprising the first eight grades of the school district, was moved onto the Southwest Texas State campus in 1917. In 1935, a formal contract between Southwest Texas State Teachers College, as it was known then, and the San Marcos school district for the “Public Schools [to become] the laboratory school for said Teachers College.” The school would be under the control and supervision of the city of San Marcos but Southwest Texas State was responsible for providing and maintaining buildings and equipment for the city’s elementary and junior high schools.:15–18
The college enrolled its first African American students in 1963, following a federal lawsuit brought by Dana Smith, who became one of the first five African Americans at the institution when a district court judge ruled that they could not be denied admission based on race.
On November 8, 1965, the school’s most famous alumnus, United States President Lyndon B. Johnson, returned to his alma mater to sign the Higher Education Act of 1965, which was part of his Great Society. In a speech, held in Strahan Coliseum on the school’s campus, prior to signing the bill, he recounted his own difficulties affording to go to college: having to shower and shave in the school’s gymnasium, living above a faculty member’s garage, and working multiple jobs.
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