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Trauth announces $2 million gift during annual fall speech

Posted by Jayme Blaschke
University News Service
August 25, 2009

Convocation video available online for viewing

Bruce and Gloria Ingram

Bruce and Gloria Ingram have presented a $2 million gift to Texas State University-San Marcos, University President Denise M. Trauth said Tuesday.

Delivering her annual “State of the University” address during the Faculty-Staff Fall Convocation Tuesday, Trauth announced the gift, which will support scholarships for students in the Ingram School of Engineering.

In the summer of 2006, the Ingrams gave Texas State $5 million to establish a school of engineering at Texas State.

“Bruce and Gloria have our everlasting gratitude and affection,” Trauth said. “They have been extremely generous with their time and financial support. The Ingram name is on our School of Engineering as a tribute to their philanthropy.”

Trauth also said Texas State navigated the economic uncertainty of 2008-09 successfully and is well-positioned to deal with challenges that arise during the coming year. She outlined the impact the national recession had on Texas State and spoke optimistically about what the future holds for the university.

Because of enrollment growth at Texas State, the university received a 5 percent increase in general revenue appropriations for the next two fiscal years. Along with tuition funds, this allowed for the appropriation of money for merit awards for faculty and staff and allowed for an increase in the number of faculty and staff.

“Overall – considering the economic climate of the country – I think we came out pretty well. In spite of our stretched resources, I believe Texas State does an amazing job with the resources we have.” Trauth said. “But, we will prepare for a budget cut in the next biennium and rejoice if it doesn’t occur.”

Trauth highlighted enrollment gains as measures of progress:

  • Record enrollment is expected for the fall semester.
  • Last year, Texas State was the fifth largest university in Texas – behind the University of Texas, Texas A&M University, the University of Houston, and North Texas. Texas State is now larger than Texas Tech University and UT-San Antonio.
  • The freshman retention rate last year was among the highest in the state at 77.6 percent.
  • Texas State’s graduation rate is the fifth-highest among public universities in the state.
  • The percentage of freshmen ranked in the top quarter of their high school classes is 52 percent, fourth highest among the 10 largest public institutions in the state.
  • Texas State is fourth in the proportion of first-time minority freshmen in the top quarter of their classes.
Because the legislature did not authorize new Tuition Revenue Bonds for existing universities, Texas State was forced to re-evaluate plans to fund the recital hall and theatre center in San Marcos, the first Health Professions Building in Round Rock and other projects. Most of those projects will be deferred, but as the recital hall and theatre center is a priority, the Derrick Hall renovation has been deferred to free up HEAF funds for the work. This money, plus $8 million from donor Patti Harrison, will allow construction of the recital hall and theatre center to proceed.

Trauth cited several other highlights of the year, including:

  • The Common Experience program, “Civic Responsibility and the Legacy of LBJ,” honored the 100th anniversary of the birth of Texas State’s most famous alumnus. The year-long event concluded with the LBJ Distinguished Lecture given by the president’s daughters, Lynda Robb and Luci Johnson, moderated by Harry Middleton and broadcast by C-SPAN.
  • Texas State continues to make progress toward becoming an Emerging Research University, but the number of Ph.D. graduates and research expenditures must continue to increase.
  • Research expenditures increased from $10 million to $19 million in one year.
  • Texas State received a $4 million Emerging Technology Fund grant which will propel the university into a leadership role in the developing field of multifunctional materials.
  • The university added 26 net new faculty positions last year. The fulltime faculty has increased by 42 percent since 2003.
  • The state legislature did not adopt new tuition regulation, but the Texas State University System did, limiting tuition increases to no more than 5 percent a year and fees to no more than 2.5 percent a year.
  • The Campus Master Plan saw the opening of the expanded Student Recreation Center as well as the new bus loop, campus entrance off North LBJ and the realigned Tomas Rivera Drive in front of the student center.
  • The baseball and softball teams celebrated the openings of their new stadiums by winning conference titles—only the third time in Southland Conference history a school has won both titles in the same season. The volleyball, soccer and football teams also won conference championships in the fall, the first time in Southland history that a university has won all three.
  • Athletics received a million-dollar private gift from Jerry and Linda Fields, co-chairs of the Pride in Action campaign. This is the second consecutive such gift, following Darren Casey’s gift the previous year.

The first phase of construction to bring Bobcat Stadium up to Football Bowl Subdivision standards–which includes new stadium lights, elevators, private suites and club seating–is nearly complete and will be unveiled Sept. 5.