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Newswest 9 | Midland, Texas | newswest9.com

Sul Ross State University celebrates college anniversary

On Jun. 14, 1920, Sul Ross State University opened its doors to 67 students for their journey for success.
Credit: Sul Ross State University

ALPINE, Texas — Named after Lawrence Sullivan Ross, the governor of Texas from 1887 to 1891, Sul Ross State University opened its doors to 67 students on Jun. 14, 1920.

The university, which helped the first students find their way to success in their dreams, taught education and liberal arts, which led to teaching certificates and junior college diplomas.

With much success during the school's early years, the first baccalaureate degree was awarded in the summer of 1925. 

In the following years graduate-level course work was initiated, with the first master's degree being awarded in 1933. 

The institution had finally seen true success after being named a university in 1969, by the Texas Legislature.

After the name change, the following years brought new degree programs, such as criminal justice, business administration, and geology.

The university also saw the development of an offsite campus established on the campus of Southwest Texas Junior College.

Success continued to follow the university with over 10,000 bachelor's degrees and over 4,000 master's degrees being awarded by the 1980s.

In the 100 year history of the university, it has grown to promote scientific research in biology, geology, and range animal science. 

Sul Ross State University is also involved in cooperative projects with the private non-profit Chihuahuan Desert Research Institute. 

Along with the projects of the Chihuahuan Desert Research Institute, the university has become a founding member of the non-scholarship American Southwest Conference as well as being known as the birthplace of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association.

In 1985, the off-site campus became known as the Rio Grande College, with Sul Ross State University continuing to push its students towards their future of rising success.