San Marcos is a textbook college town.
The community of nearly 50,000 revolves around Texas State University, a thriving campus of more than 28,000 students. Halfway between Austin and San Antonio, the university attracts students from nearby cities and beyond. In fact, 30 percent of the university’s students are ethnic minorities. Dr. Sherri Benn, Texas State’s director of Multicultural Student Affairs, started the university’s Hip-Hop Congress chapter, one of the first in the southern United States.
In just a few years, HHC has become one of the school’s best-known organizations. “Hip-Hop Congress is one of the most diverse organizations on campus,” Benn says. “It spreads a positive message through a sometimes-controversial medium, and that gets people’s attention.” The culturally rich university offers 110 bachelor’s, 88 master’s and eight doctoral programs, many of which have received national recognition. U.S. News & World Report ranked Texas State in the top 50 Western U.S. master’s universities for the third consecutive year – the only public university in the state to be included on the list.
“I’ve always wanted to attend Texas State because I heard it had the No. 1 teacher education program in Texas,” says Audrey Estupinan, education major and winner of the prestigious Rockefeller Brothers Fund’s 2008 Fellowships for Aspiring Teachers of Color.
Texas State is home to a distinguished faculty, including acclaimed author Tim O’Brien, who holds the university’s endowed chair in the creative writing program every other year. A long list of celebrated alumni also attended Texas State University-San Marcos, including actor Powers Boothe, musician George Strait and President Lyndon Baines Johnson.
“Texas State is really an amazing school,” junior Gloria Rios says. “It is big enough to give you the college experience you are looking for, but it’s small enough that you get personal interaction with professors.”