Alumnus funds Statue of Lawrence Sullivan Ross
Thanks to the generosity of a Sul Ross State University graduate, a life-size sculpture of the university’s namesake will adorn the campus.
A $95,000 gift from Sul Ross alumna Charlie Nichols and his wife, Arlene, Fort Worth, will provide funding for a bronze sculpture of Lawrence Sullivan Ross.
“My motivation is simple,” said Nichols, a 1959 graduate. “Sul Ross is a good place. It’s a good place for a number of reasons. It’s friendly; the people of Alpine are friendly; and I received a couple of kindnesses while I was a student that helped me with my education.
“I received an affordable education that supported me in what I did in life, and over the years I have realized the value of that education and the value of Sul Ross for me,” he said. “This is my way of saying ‘thank you, Sul Ross, for what you did for me.’”
A campaign to raise funds for the statue’s base will be undertaken by the Sul Ross Alumni Association and President Ricardo Maestas. Maestas appointed a committee, co-chaired by Alumni Association President Don Sugarek, Beeville, and Jim Clouse, Associate Vice President for Facilities. The committee will include representatives from all factions of the campus community. The committee will study regulations and guidelines for erecting a statue on campus, as well as determine the depiction of Sul Ross and the statue’s location. Final approval is required by the Board of Regents.
“We are extremely grateful to Charlie and Arlene for an attractive and most fitting addition to our campus,” said Sul Ross President Ricardo Maestas. “Lawrence Sullivan Ross was indeed a champion of public education and for nearly 100 years, this university has strived to promote and maintain the ideals he espoused.”
Fund-raising for the project is a joint effort undertaken by President Maestas and the Alumni Association.
Lawrence Sullivan “Sul” Ross (1838-1898) was a Texas Ranger, soldier, statesman and university president. He served two terms as governor of Texas (1888-91) and was a champion of public education. Following his governorship, he became president of the troubled Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas (now Texas A&M University). Under his direction, enrollment increased, many new buildings were constructed and the institution’s reputation was restored.
Sul Ross State University was created by an act of the 35th Legislature in 1917 as a state normal college to train teachers. Construction was delayed due to America’s entry into World War I, and the college opened for classes in the summer of 1920, under the name of Sul Ross State Normal College. Subsequent name changes were Sul Ross State Teachers College (1923); Sul Ross State College (1949); and Sul Ross State University (1969).
To make a donation to assist with the funding of the base, contact Karen Brown, Alumni Association, (432) 837.8443 or at email@example.com.