SAN MARCOS — Jerome Supple, whose tenure as president of Southwest Texas State University was marked by increased admission standards and the creation of the school’s first doctoral program, has died. He was 67.
Supple died Friday at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston after a long battle with cancer.
Supple stepped down in 2002 as the eighth president of the school that is now Texas State University-San Marcos.
During his tenure, which began in 1989, the freshman retention rate grew from 57 percent to 75 percent, annual research funding went from $5 million to $32 million, and the university endowment grew from $15 million to $53 million.
" It’s hard to identify any part of this institution and not see Jerry Supple," current president Denise Trauth said.
In his 2001 State of the University address, Supple said it would be hard to leave the school.
" It will be like swinging the best dance partner ever into the arms of another, a heart-wrenching experience," he said.
Supple spent most of his career with the State University of New York System, where he rose from the chemistry faculty to acting president at the Plattsburgh State University campus.
The science building at Texas State University was renamed the Jerome H. and Catherine E. Supple Science Building in his honor in December.
Along with his wife, Supple is survived by three sons and one grandson.
His funeral was set for Friday in Melrose, Mass., and he will be buried in Hampstead, N.H.