The University Star


A historic photograph of Old Main

-Courtesy of The University Archives

Our History

The University Star, also called The Star, is the student-run news organization at Texas State University. The Star provides news and information on issues affecting the university, as well as the San Marcos community.

The Star prints 5,000 newspapers each Tuesday during the long semesters that are distributed at locations across campus and the city of San Marcos. The organization also has a website and weekly subscription e-newsletter, as well as a social media presence on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. The Star added an app in the fall of 2018 that can be downloaded for free in the app store.

Fred W Adams

Fred W Adams

The first issue of The Star was published in February 1911 by student Fred W. Adams, son of the founder of Adams Extract and Spice Company. At the time, Adams was milking cows, carrying wood for his room and board, and selling his father’s extracts to pay for an education at a small teacher’s college in the Texas Hill Country.

Adams, who was 20 years old at the time, made a proposal to the college president and assured him that Adams would absorb any printing costs that advertising didn’t cover. In exchange, the president allowed Adams to keep the profits.

With student body approval, the newspaper became the documentation tool of the institution’s history. The name of the paper, The Star, can also be traced to Adams who noted in his diary, “The Star rose again all right today.” And, it has been rising each day on the institution’s grounds ever since.

As one of the oldest student publications in Texas, The Star has published steadily from 1911 through the Great Depression, two world wars, as well as the Korean, Vietnam and Gulf Wars. Lyndon Johnson, the 36th president of the United States, served as the summer editor of The Star in 1930.


Our Alumni

The Fred W Adams Hall of Fame

Fred Adams visits the University Star in 1971.

The Fred W. Adams Hall of Fame was created in memory of the creator of the paper. Besides Adams, other inductees included Don Flores, former managing editor and editor in chief; Walter Richter, founder of the journalism department; Jeff Duffield, former sports editor; Edmond Komandosky, former adviser and editor in chief; Roy Willbern, former editor in chief and author of the White Star Story; Robert Huffaker, former member of the publication’s board; Lyndon Baines Johnson, former summer editor and president of the press club; Charles Barsotti, former cartoonist and Pat Murdock, former editor in chief.



The University Star is supported by a combination of student service fee funds, advertising revenue, merchandise sales and donations.

Our current annual budget is $210,319. Of that amount, $111,556 comes from the Student Service Fee, which is collected from Texas State students each term as part of student fees. This fee funds activities that involve or directly benefit students that are separate and apart from regularly scheduled academic functions. This includes student government, student cultural activities, artist & lecture series, The University Star, KTSW, and student programming (such as Career Services and the Counseling Center). The fee is $10 per semester credit hour (SCH) up to a maximum of $90 per semester. The total amount collected from students each academic year is around $6.9 million. The University Star’s portion of this is 1.6 percent.This past year, we collected just over $250 through our fall T-shirt sale.

The remaining $98,763 comes from our hard-working student advertising account representatives and businesses that see the value in advertising with local student-run media.

The student service fee funds are used to pay small stipends for editors and printing/delivery costs for the print product. The revenue account pays the salaries and benefits of our full-time staff and our maintenance and operational costs. There is no budgeted financial support from any campus department for The University Star.


Support Student Media

Journalism is an act of civic responsibility. We see our work as a public service that is necessary for any community to thrive because knowledge is empowering.

The University Star is editorially independent from Texas State University, meaning fellow students make all the decisions about what to cover and how. The university has no say in our content. Period. Our journalism is by students, for students. We are also venturing out into San Marcos to cover the issues that are important to the community that hosts our university. 

We feel a responsibility to do the best job we can for you, but we can’t do it without you. We receive minimal financial support from Texas State University. Most of our funding comes through advertising revenue, but that just isn’t enough to fund our growing media operation that includes a newspaper, newsletter, website, social media and an app. We are asking those who value the news, information and entertainment we provide to help us keep providing it and to grow. 

For as little as $5, you can support free student voices. Please take a minute to help us keep “Defending the First Amendment.

– Editors of The University Star

We have numerous projects that need your support this year.

Newspaper Racks

Many of our newspaper racks are old, damaged and/or have been defaced. We feel the state of these racks reflects badly on The Star, since this is our “storefront.” We would like to retire 15 old newspaper stands and buy 15 new metal outdoor stands to place outside buildings on campus. We anticipate the cost of this project to be around $8,000.


Website Support

We are now using off-site hosting to make our site more reliable. We also have created a Soundcloud account so our audience can listen to the audio from interviews and a MailChimp account to drive traffic to our website. These tools create additional costs of about $3,000 per year.

Please click on the link below to donate to The University Star. You may add a note if you would like your donation to go to a specific project.

Donate Today

Defending the First Amendment since 1911