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The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Five Texas State traditions to anticipate


Brooke Adams jumping into the San Marcos River with her sister Courtney Adams and their father Doug Adams after the May 2019 commencement ceremony. Photo credit: Photo Courtesy of Brooke Adams

At Texas State, traditions provide students with a sense of belonging within the community and encourage individuals to become involved on campus while demonstrating school pride. As the academic year ramps up, here are some annual events worth awaiting.

1. Bobcat Build

Each spring semester, student volunteers unite for one day to complete various service projects throughout San Marcos and surrounding communities. Projects vary from landscaping and painting to neighborhood clean-ups.
Bobcat Build began 18 years ago as a way to thank the San Marcos community. The event started with 700 volunteers and 50 job sites. There are now over 300 job sites and nearly 4,500 student volunteers, making Bobcat Build the second-largest service project in Texas.

2. Homecoming

One of the earliest Texas State traditions is homecoming. Several events occur during homecoming week, including Soap Box Derby, the Homecoming Step Show and the Galliardian Awards Presentations.
The Galliardian Award was introduced in 1925 by the editors of Texas State’s yearbook, The Pedagog. During halftime of the homecoming football game, 12 influential students receive the award.
Cody Huffman, Texas State alumnus, was awarded 2017 Homecoming Gallardian his junior year and was crowned 2018 Homecoming King his senior year. Huffman said receiving both awards was equally memorable and important.
“Receiving the Gallardian Award showed me I was doing something meaningful across Texas State, and winning Homecoming King was the cherry on top of all four years,” Huffman said.
Huffman said the recognition made him realize how thankful he is for the opportunities Texas State has offered and the amazing people he has met along the way.

3. Ring Celebration

Each semester, proud Bobcats, family and friends come together to celebrate the achievement of receiving the official Texas State ring. On the day of the ceremony, students wear maroon and gold to represent their Bobcat pride.
It is a tradition for ring recipients to plunge their ring into a fountain of water from the San Marcos River during the ceremony.
The top of the Texas State ring features the Texas lone star set on top of an oak and laurel wreath. The words “Texas State University” and the founding year, 1899, circle the crown of the ring.
Old Main, Texas State’s original building, is featured on the left side of the ring along with tubes floating on the San Marcos River. The Bobcat athletic logo is placed on the right side of the ring. Engraved on the inside is the school flower, the gaillardia.
Students are to wear their rings with the words “Texas State University” facing them to serve as a reminder of their graduation goal. During the commencement ceremony, students are asked to turn their rings outwards to declare their achievement and display their Bobcat pride.

4. Cat Camp

Cat Camp began in 2009 as an optional extended orientation program for transfer and freshmen students. At Cat Camp, incoming students learn about Texas State’s history and traditions.
Campers can expect to engage with fellow students and participate in activities like the Maroon and Gold Olympics and a mock ring ceremony. Camp counselors perform skits to teach campers about Texas State’s history and traditions such as the alma mater, fight song, hand signs and more.

5. River Jump

One of Texas State’s most popular traditions is jumping in the San Marcos River after graduation. Students can be seen making the jump in their cap and gowns as a way to celebrate their time as a Bobcat.
Julissa Perry, Texas State alumna, graduated in May 2019 with a degree in electronic media. Perry said jumping in the river after graduation was a bittersweet moment.
“I know a lot of us spend time at the river, but jumping in right after you graduate feels different,” Perry said. “You feel completely done and it’s great.”
Perry said participating in traditions like the river jump allowed her to connect with fellow students and the campus.
Brooke Adams, Texas State alumna, graduated in May 2019 with a marketing degree. Adams said jumping in the river was a special experience because she took the plunge with her dad and sister, who are Southwest Texas and Texas State alumni.
“Being able to jump in the river is super unique and something you can only do at Texas State,” Adams said.
Adams’ father, Doug Adams, graduated from Southwest Texas in 1986 and her sister, Courtney Adams, graduated from Texas State in 2016.
Campus traditions serve as a reminder for what Texas State represents and participating in traditions is a way for students to be in tune with the university’s history.
For more information on Texas State’s legacy and pride, visit Texas State’s history and traditions website.

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