Sul Ross State University

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Sul Ross State University
Sul Ross State University seal.png
Established 1917
Type State university
Endowment $9.7 million
President Quint C. Thurman (Interim)
Students 2047
Location Alpine, Texas, USA
Campus Rural, 647 acres
Colors Scarlet and gray

Sul Ross State University (SRSU) is a public university in Alpine, Texas, United States. Named for former Texas governor, Civil War general Lawrence Sullivan Ross, it was founded in 1917 as Sul Ross Normal College and was made a university in 1969.

Sul Ross State University offers certificate programs and associate, bachelor's and master's degrees. The main campus is situated in the unique environment of the Big Bend region and is the primary institution of higher education serving a 19-county area in far West Texas. SRSU has Rio Grande College branch campuses in Uvalde, Del Rio and Eagle Pass.

The university is governed by the Board of Regents of the Texas State University System, which guides seven universities in the state.

Academic statistics[edit]

  • Average Undergraduate Class Size: 20
  • Student to Faculty Ratio: 12:1
  • Undergraduate Degree Programs: 41
  • Graduate Degree Programs: 27

Facilities and projects of interest[edit]

View of Sul Ross State University
Lawrence Hall, Sul Ross State University

University memberships[edit]

  • American Association of State Colleges and Universities
  • American Library Association
  • Association of Texas Graduate Schools
  • Conference of Southern Graduate Schools
  • Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities
  • National Association of Foreign Student Affairs
  • The Texas Library Association
  • National Collegiate Athletic Association
  • Texas Interscholastic Athletic Association


Named for Lawrence Sullivan Ross, governor of Texas from 1887 to 1891 and president of Texas A&M College from 1891 to 1898, the institution was the successor to Alpine Summer Normal School.

April 14, 1914, Governor James E. Ferguson signed the bill selecting Alpine as the site for a normal school provided that the residents of the town would provide land, water and utilities for the college and housing for the students. This condition was met swiftly, and following a delay occasioned by World War I, the Legislature in 1919 appropriated $200,000 for buildings and equipment.

Construction proceeded, and under the presidency of Thomas J. Fletcher, Sul Ross State Normal College began operations in the present Dolph Briscoe Jr. Administration Building on June 14, 1920.

The First Sul Ross Students[edit]

Seventy-seven students enrolled in the summer of 1920. They studied education and liberal arts subjects leading to teaching certificates and junior college diplomas. In 1923, the Legislature changed the name of the institution to Sul Ross State Teachers College, and advanced courses leading to baccalaureate degrees were added.

The first baccalaureate degree was awarded in the summer of 1925. In 1930, course work at the graduate level was initiated, and the first master's degrees were awarded in 1933.

Early in its history, Sul Ross became the cultural and educational center for the mountainous, remote Big Bend region. The state-supported Museum of the Big Bend was established in the 1930s as a depository for materials which depict the multicultural society and history of the Big Bend region, and in 1976, the Archives of the Big Bend in the Bryan Wildenthal Memorial Library was organized to provide a permanent depository and research facility for regional manuscript collections.

Under the leadership of President Horace W. Morelock from 1923 to 1945, the curriculum was expanded, additional academic buildings and dormitories were constructed, the college was admitted into membership in the Southern Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools and enrollment increased to approximately 500 students. A decline in enrollment during World War II threatened the continued operation of the college but was offset by the establishment of a successful U.S. Navy pilot training program and a Women's Army Corps Training School on campus, bringing more than 1,500 military trainees and officers to Sul Ross.

Post-War Expansion[edit]

Following the war, the return of veterans increased the annual enrollments and prompted the expansion of the curriculum. Richard M. Hawkins became president in 1945, and the college was reorganized into divisions of Fine Arts, Language Arts, Science, Social Science, Teacher Education and Vocations. Then in 1949, in recognition of the broadened mission of the institution to prepare students for a variety of careers and occupations, the name was changed to Sul Ross State College.

The enrollment grew to more than 1,000 in 1960 and to over 2,000 in 1970. During the presidencies of Bryan Wildenthal and Norman L. McNeil between 1952 and 1974, the academic programs continued to be strengthened; new fine arts, physical education, science and range animal science buildings and a new library were constructed; and several new degree programs were begun.

Sul Ross becomes a University[edit]

In 1969, the Legislature again changed the name of the institution, this time signifying full state university status by the name—Sul Ross State University. The 1970s were years of stable or declining enrollments caused by the opening of several new colleges in West Texas. The general education requirements were revised; new degree programs were added in criminal justice, business administration, and geology; an off-campus study center was established on the campus of Southwest Texas Junior College in Uvalde to provide opportunities for residents of the Uvalde, Del Rio, and Eagle Pass areas to pursue upper-level and graduate work in teacher education and business administration; the Legislature appropriated more than $10,000,000 to renovate and modernize the academic buildings; and personnel changes brought to the university a new generation of faculty, consisting, in 1985, of approximately 100 persons of whom 74 percent held a doctorate. By 1985, 10,925 bachelor's degrees and 4,862 master's degrees had been conferred.


The school athletic teams are called the Lobos.[1] They compete in the NCAA's Division III.

Sul Ross State University's Department of Athletics sponsors Men's Intercollegiate Baseball, Basketball, Cross Country, Football, Tennis and Track along with Women's Intercollegiate Softball, Cross Country, Tennis, Track and Volleyball.

In 1970 and 1971, the women's volleyball team won the first two intercollegiate women's volleyball national championships ever held, conducted by the forerunner of the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women. Sul Ross State defeated UCLA and Long Beach State, respectively, in the championship matches.

In 2007, it was announced that 59-year-old Mike Flynt would be joining the Sul Ross football team. He had played college football when he was originally enrolled in college and his athletic eligibility had not expired.[1].

Some notable SRSU athletes are: Matthew Barnett (baseball) Currently an algebra teacher at Baytown Junior School in Baytown, Texas. Scott Kubosh (baseball) All-American Shortstop 1996-1999, Pittsburgh Pirates organization 1999-2002.

Student housing[edit]

Student housing is located at Lobo Village. Lobo Village 1 (LV1) and Lobo Village 2 (LV2) are the permanent resident halls for students. Students under the age of 21 who have not lived on campus for four fall or spring semesters are required to live in these halls, unless they get exceptions from the Residential Living office. Fletcher Hall is a temporary overflow facility when all space at LV1 and LV2 is occupied. Students at Fletcher Hall are required to move to LV1 or LV2 when space becomes available in those areas.[2]

Fletcher Hall is said to be haunted by the ghost of a young woman named Beverly who was the RA of Fletcher Hall that died under unusual circumstances. She has been said to have a hatred for men and will turn the lights TVs and other electronic things on around 3am in the morning.

Single students may live in the Lobo Village efficiency apartments in Lobo Village 3 and Lobo Village 4. In order to live in these apartments, students are required to be 21 or older. Family housing, for couples and students with dependent children, is located in Lobo Village 5, Lobo Village 6, and Lobo Village 7.[2] Residents of the family housing are zoned to the Alpine Independent School District, and are zoned to Alpine Elementary School, Alpine Middle School, and Alpine High School.

Rio Grande College of Uvalde, Del Rio and Eagle Pass[edit]

Sul Ross State University operates Rio Grande College on the campuses of Southwest Texas Junior College in Uvalde, Del Rio and Eagle Pass. Rio Grande College offers a limited number of both undergraduate and graduate programs.

Sul Ross Law Enforcement Academy[edit]

The academy provides training to rural and small-town law enforcement agencies.[3]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ Athletics
  2. ^ a b "Residential Living Facilities and Services." Sul Ross State University. Retrieved on April 22, 2012.
  3. ^ Official web site,, accessed on 17 April 2013

External links[edit]