SAN MARCOS — Texas Gov. Rick Perry has signed into law a bill that will change the name of Southwest Texas State University to Texas State University-San Marcos.
Perry signed the bill Wednesday, June 18, and it will take effect Sept. 1.
SWT President Denise Trauth said, “Our new name is a reflection of what we have become by building upon a foundation of excellence and hard work. Our reputation as a first-rate educational institution is longstanding. But that reputation has broadened in scope and strengthened over the years.”
SWT currently has an enrollment of more than 25,000 students and offers programs through the doctoral level.
Trauth said the name change would present some logistical challenges, and she announced the appointment of a 23-member Name Change Communication Team that will oversee the physical changes that need to be made as well as suggest a timetable for change.
“ Changing the name of such a large and well-known institution will take some time, and we are in no particular hurry,” she said. “As we ease into our new name, we want to lovingly acknowledge our former names and assure that all our constituencies realize that Texas State is the same quality institution that once bore the name Southwest Texas.”
The name change has been a widely debated topic in the SWT community for the past two years, and Trauth said those debates illustrate a fondness for the university by its students, faculty, staff and alumni.
“ Both those who supported our name change and those who were against it, took those positions out of a great affection for our university. I hope that affection will characterize the dialog we will undoubtedly have around this issue in the weeks to come,” said Trauth.
University administration has estimated that it will cost about $350,000 to complete the name change. An account funded by private donations has been established to underwrite those costs. No taxpayer money will be used to fund the name change.
Trauth said the university will celebrate its new name at a ceremony on Sept. 9, the 100th anniversary of the first day of classes at Southwest Texas State Normal School. Details of the celebration are pending.