A Commitment to Diversity
Sul Ross State University in west Texas boasts a combination of small class sizes, an appreciation of both fine arts and the sciences, and popular professional programs in a relaxed, friendly environment.
Like its namesake, Lawrence Sullivan Ross—Civil War hero, Texas ranger, governor of Texas, and president of Texas A&M University—Sul Ross State University has provided distinguished leadership in serving the higher educational needs of west Texas for more than 80 years. Sul Ross was created in 1917 by act of the 35th Legislature in order to prepare teachers for the schools of west Texas and first opened for classes in 1920.
Sul Ross’s commitment to diversity has gained national recognition, including ranking among the top universities in production of Latino doctoral degree holders in science and engineering, according to a study conducted by a researcher from the American Association of Higher Education. For 13 straight years, Sul Ross has merited “Publisher’s Pick” status from The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education magazine as one of the top four-year colleges or universities for serving and graduating Hispanic students.
Developing Close Relationships
With enrollment topping 2,000 during the spring and fall semesters, students find they can establish close and sturdy relationships with other students and professional, responsive interactions with professors.
A Focus on Academics
Students choose their field of study from among more than 70 academic programs at the bachelor’s, master’s, associate, certificate, and pre-professional levels. Areas of study include agriculture, business, criminal justice, education, fine arts, industrial technology, liberal arts, pre-engineering, pre-law, pre-medicine, science, and vocational nursing. The student–teacher ratio is 16:1.
Sul Ross blends conventional academic facilities with the Big Bend environment for use as classrooms and laboratories. Students have access to the unique geology of the region, including the Davis Mountains, the Chihuahuan Desert, and the Rio Grande River. The Center for Big Bend Studies supports and promotes interdisciplinary scholarly activities relating to the cultural and historical development of the area.
Sul Ross prides itself on the outstanding visual and performing fine arts program it offers. The Department of Fine Arts and Communication was formed by combining several related academic disciplines into one administrative unit. The broad range of creative activities conducted in each department area includes art shows, concerts, audio and video productions, radio theater, and theatrical productions.
To meet the constancy of change, Sul Ross continues to integrate technological advances into all fibers of its operations. Distance-learning capabilities continue to expand, and the university maintains a growing relationship with nearby Mexico for the exchange of academic offerings and cultural opportunities. A recent agreement with Midland College will give students an opportunity to earn a Bachelor of Science degree at Sul Ross via distance learning.
A Small Size, but Plenty to Do
One of the concerns of many incoming students is Alpine’s location in relation to anywhere else. The questions “What is there to do?” or “What is there to get involved in?” are common and understandable. The answers are simple, and with motivation of the individual easy to act on.
The answer for both questions is the same. There are many student and community projects and organizations to help any student become more involved. Numerous clubs and organizations serve the diverse interests of the student body. Sul Ross also offers a wide range of intramural athletic and recreational opportunities. The university competes at the NCAA Division III level in intercollegiate athletics, fielding men’s and women’s basketball, tennis, and track teams; baseball and football teams for men; and cross-country, softball, and volleyball teams for women. Sul Ross also competes in the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association with both men’s and women’s rodeo teams.
Students interested in art can easily be drawn into the “Orale’ Way” project, a student-run art gallery. It hosts art shows and small parties to which members of the Sul Ross and Alpine community are invited.
Several university organizations run frequent fund-raisers for trips to conferences or events around the state and nation. Many departments sponsor student organizations related to their fields of study. The anthropology organization on campus participates frequently in on-site excavations in the Big Bend Region.
What draws students to Sul Ross State University? The answer is not in the university itself but in the staff, the faculty, and, most importantly, the student body. Community is the draw to SRSU. Whether your interests are sports, computer science, or natural range management, you’ll fine a group of people with like ideas and goals to work toward.