University description (as per official university website)
Angelo State University was established in 1928 as San Angelo College. The name of the college was changed to Angelo State College 1958. It gained university status in May of 1969 and settled on its current name at that time. Though it has been a part of the Texas State University System since 1975, the university became a member of the Texas Tech University System in 2007. ASU sits on more than 260 acres in San Angelo, Texas. Presently, the university offers around 100 undergraduate programs and more than 20 graduate programs and is organized into the following colleges:
College of Business
College of Education
College of Graduate Studies
College of Liberal and Fine Arts
College of Nursing and Allied Health
College of Sciences
History and Traditions
After an unsuccessful 1923 bid to be selected as the home of Texas Technological College, the citizens of San Angelo decided they would create their own college, even if they had to pay for it themselves. Funded by local contributions and a self-imposed city tax rate, San Angelo Junior College opened its doors in 1928 on North Oakes Street near downtown San Angelo.
When classes began, 112 students enrolled with city students paying $75 tuition and out-of-town students $115. In May 1929, six students walked across the stage in the institution’s first commencement exercise. Today, ASU has more than 27,000 alumni around the globe.
Barely had the college opened its doors than the Stock Market collapsed in 1929 and plunged the country into the Great Depression throughout the 1930s. But the college held its own, even dropping “Junior” from its name to become San Angelo College, or SAC, as it would be known until it became Angelo State University in 1965.
SAC survived the downturn of the Depression and the World War II years with an eye toward the future. Having outgrown its downtown campus, the college looked to move to its current location, though tax monies were inadequate to make the change to a new campus. The residents of San Angelo stepped in and raised $300,000 to help make the transition. The university broke ground on the Administration Building in 1947.
By the 1950s, SAC was growing on its new campus on West Avenue N, thanks to the G.I. Bill and a growing emphasis on education. In 1957, the institution won the first of its three team national championships, taking the national title in basketball for the National Junior College Athletic Association.
During the 1950s, SAC was a pioneer in racial relations, admitting its first black students a year before Brown vs. Board of Education and in 1955 graduating its first black student, Mary Frances Simpson, the outstanding graduate that year. SAC also broke the color barrier in Texas intercollegiate football in 1953 when Ben Kelly, who later that academic year would be named class favorite, started for the Rams. Two years later, he would be drafted by the San Francisco Forty-Niners.
The 1960s were a time of change as San Angelo College evolved into a four-year, state-supported university, fulfilling the dreams of local residents all the way back to the 1920s. Gov. John Connally in 1963 signed legislation making SAC a state institution and a part of what became the Texas State University System. With state support, the campus expanded, taking on much of its current look and character with a huge building boom.
During the 1970s, the ASU campus flourished as the Baby Boomers arrived in full force. Intercollegiate athletics for women began in 1975. In 1978 the Rams earned the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics National Championship in football.
Upon his death in 1978, long-time ASU supporter Robert G. Carr established a foundation funded by his mineral and royalty interests from oil-producing properties in 16 West Texas counties. His wife, Nona Carr, would add her interest in those properties to the foundation upon her death nine years later. The Robert G. and Nona K. Carr Foundation, established to provide scholarships for “needy and worthy” students, would have a profound impact on Angelo State. The first scholarships were awarded in 1981. By 2007 the fund was valued at more than $65 million and provided scholarships for one in every six ASU students annually.
By 1991, ASU was receiving national attention, being recognized by U.S. News and World Report as one of the nation’s up-and-coming universities. In the decade between 1996 and 2006, ASU enjoyed its second-biggest building boom, leaving the university with one of the most modern campuses in the state. In 2004, the ASU softball team captured the school’s third national title, winning the NCAA Division II Championship.
In 2007, the university’s history came full circle as local citizens, excited about similar West Texas outlooks and possible synergies, petitioned legislators to move Angelo State University from the Texas State University System to the Texas Tech University System. With legislative approval and the governor’s signature, that move became effective Sept. 1, 2007, three months to the day after Dr. Joseph C. Rallo assumed his duties as the fourth president of ASU and the institution’s ninth since its founding in 1928.
Points of Pride
The ASU Physics Department has been designated by Physics Today as one of the top 21 undergraduate programs nationally.
ASU was the first university in Texas to offer a degree in computer science. As home to the State of Texas Data Center, ASU houses one of the most sophisticated computers in the state and through a contract with IBM provides backup and storage for many of the electronic records of the State of Texas.
The ASU Agriculture Department's Undergraduate Meat and Food Science Quiz Bowl Team won the 2006 National Championship and finished second to Texas Tech University in 2007. ASU is the smallest school ever to claim the national title in the contest.
Research by ASU graduate students in Dr. Shirley Eoff's modern American history class was cited in the acknowledgements of David Oshinsky's Polio: An American Story, which won the 2006 Pulitzer Prize in History.
The ASU Planetarium is the fourth-largest among the nation's colleges and universities.
Located six miles north of San Angelo and adjacent to O.C. Fisher Lake, ASU's Management, Instruction and Research (MIR) Center comprises 6,000 acres of range and farm land that serves as a "laboratory" for agriculture students. The research and classroom facilities at the site include the Food Safety and Product Development Laboratory.
The ASU Natural History Collections maintained by the Biology Department contain 2,100 bird species, 13,000 mammal specimens, 14,000 amphibian and reptile specimens and 55,000 plant specimens from Texas and around the world, including the Galapagos Islands, the archipelago which contributed significantly to Charles Darwin's theories on natural selection as first published in his Origin of the Species in 1859.
ASU's Detachment 847 is one of the largest and most honored Air Force ROTC detachments at colleges and universities nationally.
The university has international studies programs in Germany, Italy, Greece, China, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Russia, France, Scotland, Costa Rica and Mexico.
In 1936, when ASU was known as San Angelo College, it was one of the few junior colleges accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).
More than half of ASU's graduates each semester are first-generation college students.
Of 3,000 universities nationally, Angelo State University ranked 85th in endowment per student and 407th in the market value of endowment assets, according to the National Association of College and University Business Officers.
ASU's Carr Academic Scholarship Program provides scholarships for one in every six ASU students. The average Carr Scholarship award for entering freshmen is $3,300.
All graduates of ASU's young Honors Program who have applied to graduate programs or professional schools, including medicine, have been accepted.
Since 1998, ASU students have maintained a 100 percent passing rate on the Texas Examination of Educator Standards (TExES) teacher certification test for secondary mathematics. From then through spring 2009, all 128 of the ASU students who have taken the exam after completing the mathematics program have passed.
Adree Lakey's 2007 NCAA Division II National Championship in the women's hammer throw was ASU's 40th track and field national title in men's and women's individual or relay competitions.
Only a handful of schools have ever sent both their softball and baseball teams to the College World Series in the same year. ASU accomplished this feat in 2007. The Rambelles won the NCAA Division II National Championship in softball in 2004.