STEPHENVILLE — Tarleton State University kicked off a semester-long celebration this morning marking the 100th birthday of the Trogdon House (the President’s House) as part of Family Weekend, two days of time-honored ceremonies, cultural performances, food and football.
Students and their families gathered in the backyard to unveil the structure’s centennial logo and enjoy breakfast with Tarleton State President James and First Lady Kindall Hurley. A public commemoration is set for 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 7, on the front lawn, and a campus lighting takes place in November.
The Mediterranean-inspired edifice, situated between the O.A. Grant Building, E.J. Howell Education Building and Dick Smith Library, was built in 1923 at a cost of $8,000. Local laborers and students earning 25-62.5 cents an hour crafted 18-inch-thick walls using massive slabs of local fieldstone. Originally a four-square, the house grew over the years to include a screened porch, breezeway and garages.
These days the Trogdon House is the “front porch” of the Stephenville campus. Its 4,500 square feet are a setting not only for the President and his wife to raise their family but to host university friends and alumni, and for Tarleton Texans to gather for Sundaes on Sundays to launch the fall semester, and for Late Night Study Breaks during finals.
Dinners for graduating seniors, a Christmas tree lighting and a holiday reception for faculty and staff are just a few of the events the Hurleys host on behalf of the university.
“From the moment we stepped inside, we knew the Trogdon House was a very special place,” Dr. Hurley said. “It reflects the timeless vitality of this amazing institution. So many great people have walked through these doors. Outstanding Tarleton Presidents and their families have called it home. It is an honor to be counted among them.”
First Lady Kindall Hurley: “Nothing is more important to us than getting to know our students and their families. We’re in the center of everything — academics, arts, athletics — and that makes connecting with them so easy. We want them to know that they’re part of our family, the Tarleton family, and the Trogdon House is their home.”
The Texas Historical Commission recognizes the Trogdon House as a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark.