Tarleton plans 3-day inauguration celebration of President James L. Hurley

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STEPHENVILLE, Texas — Dr. James L. Hurley will be installed Feb. 28, 2020, as Tarleton State University’s 16th president during a three-day inauguration celebration that begins with an event for students the evening before and culminates with a gala Feb. 29.

Hurley began his tenure in August, providing vision for a comprehensive curriculum serving more than 13,000 students in Stephenville, Fort Worth, Waco, Midlothian, Bryan and online. Prior to Tarleton, he was president of Tusculum University in Greeneville, Tenn.

“With Dr. Hurley’s energy and drive Tarleton is destined to be known not only for its commitment to student success, but for innovative research and as an engine of economic and cultural development,” said A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp. “In his first six months, he has already accomplished much.”

Hurley has partnered with area school districts to provide scholarships and guaranteed admission to qualifying seniors, and discussion is ongoing for the second building of Tarleton’s Fort Worth location along Chisholm Trail Parkway. Effective July 2020, the Tarleton Texans join the Western Athletic Conference and transition to NCAA Division I. The move will raise the university’s profile and grow the value of a Tarleton degree.

Dr. James L. Hurley

The installation ceremony takes place at 10:30 a.m. in the Wisdom Gymnasium on the Stephenville campus. The public is invited. In addition to Chancellor Sharp, speakers will include state and higher education leaders. Delegates representing a range of colleges and universities will participate in a processional.

“This is an important celebration in the university’s history,” said Dr. Kyle McGregor, vice president of the Division of Institutional Advancement and chair of the inauguration planning committee. “It is a time to again celebrate the dream of our founder and namesake to provide a high-quality, accessible education and only the 16th time in our 120-year history that we’ve installed a president. We hope that many Tarleton friends, alumni, students, faculty and staff will join us for this momentous occasion.”

Sponsorship opportunities for The Presidential Gala — An Evening in Purple — are available through the Office of Development at 254-968-9857. Gala tickets ($1,000 for a table of eight, or $150 per person) can be purchased online after the university’s winter break.

True to tradition, Tarleton Distinguished Alumni and President’s Legacy Award recipients will be honored at the gala.

McGregor said the inauguration committee is meeting weekly to finalize details. The committee is composed of Tarleton faculty and staff, who chair subcommittees handling everything from accommodations for out-of-town guests to inauguration programs and parking.

Visit www.tarleton.edu/inauguration for updates coming in January.

Inauguration planning committee members:

Byron Anderson, Athletics

Ashley Ayers, Staff Council President

Tauna Bertsch, President’s Office

Darrell Brown, Student Affairs

Dr. Denae Dorris, Academic Affairs

Jessica Evans, Institutional Advancement/Tarleton Alumni Association

Dr. Rusty Freed, Enrollment Management

Sabra Guerra, Institutional Advancement

Sara Hanson, Institutional Advancement

Alana Hefner, Enrollment Management

Janice Horak, Institutional Advancement

Cecilia Jacobs, Institutional Advancement

Perry Henderson, Finance and Administration

David Martin, Finance and Administration

Dr. Kim McCuistion, President’s Office

Kim Miller, Sodexo

Donna Savage, Academic Affairs

Dr. Jarrod Schenewark, Faculty Senate President

Tyler Schuster, Student Body President

Donna Strohmeyer, Student Affairs

Kent Styron, Finance and Administration

Dr. Diane Taylor, Academic Affairs

Lathes Towns, Student Affairs

Tarleton, founding member of The Texas A&M University System, provides a student-focused, value-driven education marked by academic innovation and a dedication to transform today’s scholars into tomorrow’s leaders. It offers degree programs to more than 13,000 students at Stephenville, Fort Worth, Waco, Midlothian, RELLIS Academic Alliance in Bryan, and online, emphasizing real-world learning experiences that address societal needs while maintaining its core values of tradition, integrity, civility, excellence, leadership and service.


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