Texas State University was founded in 1899 and opened in 1903 as the Southwest Texas State Normal School. It remained officially a teacher’s college until 1959, at which point it had diversified enough to christen itself Southwest Texas State College. Two more re-brandings, which reflected increases in size and ambition, brought it to its fifth, current, and final name. It is now the flagship of the Texas State University System and one of the 75 largest institutions in the nation.
Old Main is the most recognizable building on this 457-acre campus (the school also has over 5,000 acres of multi-use land). For over one hundred years old, this red-roofed estate has been the cornerstone of the school. The San Marcos River is functional as well as picturesque: students often float down it, with or without inner-tubes, on pleasant days.
Sewell Park is definitely the best hangout spot. Whether you're going out there to swim, read a book, soak up the sun for a little while, or even play some ultimate Frisbee with "Frisbee Dan," it provides a wonderful environment for everyone. Another popular place to play Frisbee or any other game is a huge sunk-in grassy valley behind west campus. It's also a perfect location to picnic or to just get away from reality.
The LBJ Student Center patio and the ASB Breezeway are two of the best on-campus hangouts. Both are nice shady spots to eat, study, or just take a break in between classes.
There is also a cool hangout spot in the library on the 1st floor to eat snacks, study, relax, or use the Internet. Not too many people know about this place, but it has to be one of the best study lounges. And, of course, the Quad is probably considered one of the best hangouts because hundreds of people congregate there to promote their group or organization. It's good for people watching.
San Marcos, TX is a mellow, developing community of nearly 50,000 people roughly halfway between San Antonio and Austin and named for the river that runs through campus. Students make up a majority of the town’s population. Downtown San Marcos is right around the corner from the University and consists of several historic buildings as well as the well-known Prime Outlet Mall, which was ranked by ABC’s “The View” as the 3rd best place to shop in the world.
Floating down the San Marcos River on campus.
Rubbing the statue of two fighting stallions in the Quad before a test is said to give students good luck.
Visiting the ancient and possibly haunted "Pike House" used to be an important rite of passage. Unfortunately, it was set on fire by vandals in 2007 and then demolished.
Charles Austin (1990) is an Olympic Gold Medalist.
G.W. Bailey (1994) is a TV actor.
Powers Boothe (1970) is an Emmy-award winning actor.
Heloise (Ponce Cruse) (1974) is a syndicated columnist.
Lyndon Baines Johnson (1930) was the 36th President of the United States.
Tomás Rivera (1958) is an author and the former chancellor of the University of California, Riverside.
George Strait (1979) is a Grammy-award winning musician.
Texas State is Division I for all of its fourteen teams except football, which participates in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision and will move to the FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision) in the next five years. Tennis, golf, volleyball, and women’s basketball are all strong, and since games are free, Bobcats fans frequently turn out to cheer. Athletic facilities are good and intramurals are popular among students, who also take advantage of the location and weather to pursue individual outdoor sports.
Texas State University is on its sixth name.
LBJ graduated from Texas State, making it the only public school in Texas to count a U.S. President among its alumni.
Appropriately enough, given its background as a teacher’s college, Texas State still certifies the highest number of teachers of any school in the state.
Twenty one dorms at Texas State serve the freshmen and sophomore populations. The vast majority of these are either traditional or communal style with doubles and shared bathrooms and co-ed with the exception of Sterry, Laurel, and sometimes Burleson Hall (women only) and Hornsby (male only). Some freshmen end up in the major dorms in “the Valley,” close to the bottom of the hill near central campus. These concrete dorms probably date back to the 60s and will soon be renovated or torn down. The parking situation in the Valley is notoriously bad.
Other freshmen live in Northwest-Central campus, closest to the Student Center. Although the location is great, the dorms are also old and somewhat decrepit. Some offer students a savings of $2000 if they elect to live without air conditioning—an impressive feat in Texas.
Closer to campus are a few, suite-style sophomore dorms, College Inn, San Jacinto, and San Marcos hall. They are fairly new and much nicer, and they offer a more private living environment. Blanco, the largest dorm on campus with 800 residents, is a private-style dorm: two to three roommates share each bathroom. It is the dorm farthest away from central campus, but the parking situation seems to be somewhat better than in the Valley and a new parking garage is scheduled to go up soon.