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SWT Name Change Approved

Woai.com (06/19/2003)
by Jim Forsyth

— With one stroke of the pen, Governor Perry today wiped Southwest Texas State University off the map.

The Governor signed the bill which will change the name of the college to Texas State University--San Marcos, effective September First.

“ Now we have a lot of work to do,” University spokesman Mark Hendricks told 1200 WOAI following the bill signing. “A Name Change Communication Team is in place and will supervise the transition.

Former president Jerome Supple and current president Denise Trauth have pushed for the name change, saying the so called ‘double directional’ adjective ‘Southwest’ sounded like the name of a small, regional institution, and not the university of 25,000 students and an international scope that Southwest Texas has become.

“ There will be a lot of challenges,” Hendricks said. “Most notably will be the need to repaint our water tower. It’s got a huge “SWT” on it and it’s viable all over town.”

Signs, busses, university sports jerseys, even official stationery will all have to be changed to reflect the new name, although Hendricks said that won’t happen overnight.

“ We don’t necessarily want the identity of Southwest Texas State University to just disappear from the face of the earth immediately,” he said.

The estimated cost of the name change is $350,000, and will be funded through private donations.

Southwest Texas is no stranger to name changes. It was founded in 1903 as Southwest Texas State Normal College, became Southwest Texas State Teachers College in 1923 and was so named when a young man named Lyndon Johnson was a student there, then became Southwest Texas State College in 1959, and Southwest Texas State University in 1969.

While some alumni say they dislike the change, many feel that it more properly reflects the role the university plays in the world, pointing out that it is more akin to Iowa State or Arizona State than to regional universities like Southwest Missouri State University.