Tarleton’s presidential inauguration

Kaley Dowell

Multimedia Journalist

History was made this weekend when Dr. James Hurley was inaugurated as the 16th president of Tarleton State University.

Hurley’s first day on the job was in August 2019. Since then, he has shown the community how much he cares for the students by attending as many events on and around campus as possible.

Hurley giving his inauguration speech
Photo by Kaley Dowell

Feb. 27 Tarleton held a student celebration in the parking lot behind the science building to celebrate the inauguration of Hurley.

Students were able to participate in a variety of games including corn hole, ladder ball and life-size cup-pong. There were also food trucks, performances by DJ Quan and Bart Crow, as well as a firework show for students and faculty to enjoy.

Noah Winters, a sophomore Agricultural Education major said, “I’m loving it so far! I’ve got all my friends out here, a lot of great food and good music. Overall just having a really great time.”

The entire night Hurley could be found hanging out with students. He was constantly running around playing corn hole with people, taking pictures with students and conversing with everyone.

Hurley playing corn hole with students
Photo by Kaley Dowell

The student body has definitely noticed how much Hurley is around and how much he strives to be involved in their lives.

“He’s just a cool president. He loves the students and he loves to hang out,” Caleb English, a residential leader at Integrity Hall, said.

Texan News caught up with Hurley himself to see what he was most excited about for his inauguration weekend.

“I’m excited about [the celebration] for students first and foremost because we wanted to do something for the students, and it’s really important to Kindall and I,” Hurley said.

Bart Crow performing at the student celebration
Photo by Kaley Dowell

Classes were cancelled Friday morning until 1 p.m. to allow students to attend the inauguration.

Wisdom gym was full of students, faculty, staff and guests.

Speeches were given on behalf of the students, the Texas State Senate, Texas House of Representatives, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, faculty, staff and delegates.

Each speech had a testament to the character of Hurley and the kind of person he is.

“Based on what I’ve seen out of Dr. Hurley, it might not be bad of an idea for us to be a little bit like him,” DeWayne Burns, member of the Texas House of Representatives District 58, said.

Hurley has shown how much he cares and strives to make Tarleton a better place.

In Texan News interview with Hurley he said that he did not want the inauguration to be about himself, but that he wanted it to highlight the university. He emphasized that in his speech during the inauguration as well.

“I want this ceremony and weekend to be less about me and more about our institution, our legacy, our traditions, our present and our future,” Hurley said.

The Hurley family at the ceremony
Photo by Kaley Dowell

There is so much to look forward to with Hurley as president. From his plan to make college more affordable to becoming an NCAA Division I institution.

The gala on Feb. 29 was another step towards making college more affordable.

Hurley told Texan News that the gala is a way to raise money so that the university can offer more scholarships to students.

“The Tarleton family is committed to your leadership and looks forward to the benefits it will provide our students,” Dr. Kyle McGregor, Vice President for Institutional Advancement, said.

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