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History of Friends

The Friends of Fine Arts and Communication group has grown and changed over the past 40 years. In 1979, then Dean of the School of Creative Arts, Dr. Ralph Harrel and San Marcos resident Maude Ogle worked together to establish a local group of fine arts patrons who were committed in supporting the university's performing arts programs. Dr. Harrel served as the Dean from 1971 – 1985 and was instrumental in pursuing the vision of the original idea. Maude and her husband Bob Ogle, a retired faculty member from the University of Chicago, had recently moved to San Marcos from the Chicago area where she worked as a piano teacher. Maude loved the arts and worked hand in hand with Dean Harrel in establishing the link with then SWT and local community. The original group was at first called the "Dean's List," they each agreed to pay a basic fee of $15.00 to go towards an endowment placed in the Dean's discretionary fund. This fund was to be used for scholarships within the School of Fine Arts, for the benefit of worthy students. In 1980 the group officially became known as the "Friends" organization. This charter included 102 founding members. Their goal was to promote the arts both locally and at the university, and to build an endowment fund for university students. In 1985, Dr. T. Richard Cheatham was appointed as the Dean of the School of Fine Arts & Communication. The group "Friends" again took a new name, becoming the "SWT Friends of Fine Arts" and by 1987 Dean Cheatham established the first board of directors and by-laws. In 1989, "Communication" was added to the Friends title. In 1993, Dean Cheatham and the Friends group organized elections establishing the first state of independently elected officers. Bob Sappington was elected the first president of the newly reconstituted Friends group. Since then, both Bob Sappington and Dr. Peter Coulson have each served two terms as president. When the university officially changed its name to Texas State University, the "Friends" group officially dropped SWT from its name and became known simply as the Friends of Fine Arts & Communication. Today the Friends group has grown to just over 200 members with an endowment valued at over $350,000 and continues to provide scholarships for our students and faculty within the College of Fine Arts & Communication.


Friends of Fine Arts and Communication wish to thank the following founders:

  • Balsora Anderson

    Kay Banning

    James & Hazel Barton

    Dr. & Mrs. William Bechtol

    J. Fredric Bell

    James & Barbaranne Benjamin

    Caroline Benjamine

    Roger & Barbara Bennett

    Ron & Alberta Birk

    George & Shirley Boemerman

    Alice M. Bourque

    Chris Brasher

    Jim & Gerry Braden

    Lenore K. Brieger

    Irma L. Bruce

    Ada P. Burke

    Yvonne Carroll

    Mr. & Mrs. W. C. Carson

    Dr. & Mrs. Richard Cheatham

    Rex W. Cole

    Frances & Edith Coleman

    Mr. & Mrs. P. R. Connally

    Katherine Costley

    Dana Craft

    Nancy O. Croft

    Willis & Mary Cude

    Mr. & Mrs. W. H. Daniels

    Maurice J. Erickson

    Sheila Fling

    William L. Fly

    Mrs. Elinor Claire Frank

    Mr. & Mrs. John E. Garstka

    George & Bobbie Gilbert

    Diana Ginsburg

    Bob & Ann Glaves

    Dr. & Mrs. Joel Goldman

    Dr. & Mrs. Robert Gratz

    Nancy Grayson

    Carole Greer

    Susan R. Griffith

    Dr. & Mrs. John Guemple

    Virginia P. Hardin

    Mrs. Sue W. Harmon

    Ralph & Doris Harrel

    Douglas & Henrietta Harris

    Hays County Abstract Co. (Zeb H. Fitzgerald, President)

    Dr. & Mrs. Arlis Hiebert

    Ralph & Francys Houston

    Lee Hudman

    Dr. Charles Hundley

    Mary G. Hunter

    Herbert E. Johnson

    Betty Kissler

    Jean B. Laman

    James & Tonda Langabeer

    Paul A. Leche

    Dr. & Mrs. Ken Long

    Rebecca C. Lowman

    Ruth Manske

    Mrs. Edythe H. Margerison

    Mrs. George N. Martindale

    Don & Kathy Matlock

    Dr. & Mrs. Michael H. McBride

    Celia Morgan

    James Bert Neely

    Rollo & Sylvia Newsom

    Dr. Erik Nielsen