Tarleton then and now


Courtesy of Brian Scoggins

An ariel view of Tarleton State University in 2005.

Dr. F. Dominic Dottavio, President of Tarleton State University

All around us, we see evidence of change in our university: from statues of John Tarleton and Earl Rudder standing watch over the campus to exciting new academic programs and facilities to support them.


But, what I love most about Tarleton State University is what has not changed.


Tarleton remains committed to access and student success. John Tarleton, a man without a formal education, believed that all young people should have an opportunity to go to college. Joining the Texas A&M University System in 1917 matched the founder’s vision with A&M’s land-grant roots to provide education to a broad segment of the population. We have remained a student-focused university from the first day to today.


Tarleton provides a values-driven educational experience. Our students commit to living the values of Tradition, Integrity, Civility, Leadership, Excellence and Service. We expect the same from our faculty and staff, and are proud that our graduates enter their careers and communities with these guideposts in mind.


Tarleton is a place of remarkable spirit, pride and loyalty. Students tell me again and again how much they love their university. They cheer their classmates’ victories.  They are compassionate and caring when someone is in need. They wear the purple and white with pride. And, for decades, when we raise our arms for the “Color Song,” we feel a special kinship with this place and its people, past and present.


Tarleton students respect tradition. From the bonfire to Silver Taps, students honor the past by celebrating our many colorful, varied and meaningful traditions. Some have been changed with the times and new traditions have emerged. But, the purple and white thread from our alumni to our newest students is strong because of our shared love for Tarleton’s history.


… and we still don’t walk on the grass.