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Texas State University

Center for Student Retention

The Center for Student Retention (formerly the Alumni House) is one of the oldest buildings on the Texas State campus.  The Victorian-style home was built in 1896 by German craftsman Charles Sinz for the Beverly Hutchison family.

In the 1920s, R.E. Lola Miller, then owner of the house, rented rooms to Texas State students. Among these students was future U.S. President Lyndon Baines Johnson, who lived in the house for about two semesters.

The Center for Student Retention house.

The home was relocated from its original location in San Marcos to the Texas State campus sometime in the 1940s-50s.

The San Marcos Urban Renewal Agency recommended the building be used by the Texas State Alumni Association in 1966. Two years later, the Alumni House was formally dedicated by then President Johnson.

Now, the house features a display of Johnson memorabilia and furnishings from his student days at Texas State. Additions to the house furnishings are the actual desk and chair used by President Johnson to sign the Higher Education Act in 1965.

The house has received the President's Ranch Medallion and the Texas Historical Medallion. The house received a Texas Historic Landmark designation in 1968 and was entered in the National Register of Historic Places in 1983. The Alumni House is part of the scenic Texas Hill Country Tour.

Restoration of the interior of the house began in 1981 by Dr. Mary L. Spence, granddaughter of Beverly Hutchison, the original owner of the house. The wood floors were refinished, and plantation shutters, oriental rugs and period-style wallpaper were added.

The exterior was restored and painted in 2004. Upon its completion, the house was awarded the Heritage Association of San Marcos' Landmarks Award.