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Dr. Hurley makes big announcement as community celebrates Tarleton State University at annual gala.

It was a night full of glitz and celebration Saturday when Tarleton held its annual gala. Pictured from left: Kim Johnson, Tracie Thurman, Jennifer Jones, Sara Vanden Berge, Nicole Baskett and Kari Haile.


After eclipsing its initial $100 million goal two years ahead of schedule, Tarleton State University has announced a revised target of $125 million for its largest-ever comprehensive capital campaign to commemorate its 125th anniversary in September 2024.

The announcement was made at the annual gala, An Evening in Purple, recognizing distinguished alumni and supporters who bring distinction to Tarleton and exhibit the university’s core values of excellence, integrity and respect.

“I am Texan proud and profoundly thankful for the deep belief our family, friends and partners have in the power of a transformative education,” said Tarleton President James Hurley. “Their remarkable generosity continues the legacy of our first donor, John Tarleton, who gave his life savings to create our institution. Tonight’s historic announcement proves that his spirit of giving is alive and well.”

Dr. Hurley publicly announced the comprehensive campaign — Forward, Together: Investing in Today’s Students for Future Success — at his inaugural gala in 2020.

Since then, Tarleton has followed a bold blueprint to become the premier comprehensive, regional university in the nation, highlighted by a fresh 10-year accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and earning the elevated designation of Doctoral Universities: High Research by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education — one of only 132 universities across the country assessed R2.

A move to NCAA Division I as a member of the Western Athletic Conference, a second building on the Fort Worth campus to address access to quality healthcare and education (set to open in 2024), and new degrees inspired by regional market expansion have positioned Tarleton as a front runner for anyone seeking a university degree.

Donations from more than 11,000 benefactors powered Tarleton beyond $100 million.

“We are blessed to have such visionary supporters,” Dr. Hurley said. “But more impressive than the dollars is the impact. I am excited to take the next steps as we build on this momentum.”

In addition to financial assistance and innovative research, Forward, Together will strengthen

Tarleton’s student excellence, enhance its academic experience, fortify university infrastructure and elevate the school’s profile as a top-tier institution for exceptionally bright minds.

Proceeds from An Evening in Purple benefit the Tarleton Promise created by President Hurley in 2021 to extend funding beyond state and federal financial aid for high-performing students with extreme hardship.

To learn more about Forward, Together and the opportunities to invest, visit


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