Dr. James L. Hurley will be inaugurated Friday, Feb. 28, as Tarleton State University’s 16th president.

The installation ceremony takes place at 10:30 a.m. in the Wisdom Gymnasium on the Stephenville campus. The public is invited. Guests are welcome to park in lots P17, P20, P26 and P27. 

In addition to Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp, speakers will include state Sen. Pat Fallon (District 106), state Reps. J.D. Sheffield (District 59) and DeWayne Burns (District 58), and Texas Higher Education Commissioner Keller Harrison. Delegates representing a range of colleges and universities will participate in a processional.

Hurley began his tenure in August 2019, providing vision for a comprehensive curriculum serving more than 13,000 students in Stephenville, Fort Worth, Waco, Midlothian, RELLIS-Bryan and online. Prior to Tarleton, he was president of Tusculum University in Greeneville, Tenn.

“With Dr. Hurley’s energy and drive Tarleton is destined to be known not only for its commitment to student success, but for innovative research and as an engine of economic and cultural development,” Sharp said. “In his first six months, he has already accomplished much.”

Hurley has partnered with area school districts to provide scholarships and guaranteed admission to qualifying seniors. He signed a new memorandum of understanding with Tarrant County College and celebrated the opening of a shared space on the fifth floor of TCC’s Trinity West Fork Building in downtown Fort Worth, and discussion is ongoing for the second building of Tarleton’s Fort Worth location along Chisholm Trail Parkway. 

Effective July 2020, the Tarleton Texans join the Western Athletic Conference and transition to NCAA Division I athletics. The move will raise the university’s profile and grow the value of a Tarleton degree.

“This is an important celebration in the university’s history,” said Dr. Kyle McGregor, vice president of the Division of Institutional Advancement and chair of the inauguration planning committee. “It is a time to again celebrate the dream of our founder to provide a high-quality, accessible education and only the 16th time in our 120-year history that we’ve installed a president. We hope that many Tarleton friends, alumni, students, faculty and staff will join us.”