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Enjoying a moment before Saturday's tour are, from left, Heather Demere, co-chair, Bronwyn Sergi, co-chair, Eric Willis of La Cima, and Debbie Austin. association president. La Cima is one of this year's major sponsors of the 46th Annual Tour.
Photo by Carl Deal

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Left, from left, are Heritage Association President Debbie Austin, Gary Germer, a major sponsor of the tour, and Bronwyn Sergi, tour co-chair. Right, Old Main.
Photos by Heritage Association

Heritage Tour kicks off with variety of events

Friday, May 19, 2023

The Heritage Association of San Marcos Historic Spring Tour is Saturday.

This year marks the 46th anniversary of the Heritage Association's Spring Tour, a landmark event. This year Texas State University is partnering with the association for the tour and is providing the opportunity to the public to see the campus' historic and innovative architecture, sculpture and art.

In addition, the association will host a Welcome To & Welcome Home Party for GJ Kinne & David Bailiff after the tour.

This year the tour is 'Town and Gown: The Art and Architecture of Texas State University,' and features the elements of the campus that many take for granted.

The tour includes two historic homes that are part of the campus.

The tour on Saturday, May 20, includes live music all day long and complimentary cocktails or mimosas.

Check out the Maker-Space at the Gloria and Bruce Ingram Building or at the Alkek Library. Explore the Wittliff Collections and the Texas Monthly Exhibit.

Rest and relax in the shade of the gardens of the Richard A. Castro Undergraduate Admissions Center while enjoying complimentary mimosas by Palmers or cocktails by Cody’s as you listen l to SMART Orchestra Siren Strings Trio from 10 a.m. to noon.

The Texas State Bobcat Country Band will play at the Undergraduate Admissions Center Arch from noon to 2 p.m.

Finally, the band Kelany and the All-nighter’s will play at the Richard A. Castro Undergraduate Admissions Center from 2 to 5 p.m.

MakerSpaces at both the Alkek Library and the Bruce and Gloria Ingram Hall will be open for tours which will run every 30 minutes. One may sign up for either of these tours at the heritage website. Registration is highly recommended as tours are limited to 15 people per tour slot.

Join the throng for the “Welcome To and Welcome Home Party for GJ Kinne and David Bailiff” after the tour which will be at the Dan and Cindee Diepenhorst Champions Club from 5:30 to 9 p.m. The evening includes complimentary margaritas, wine and beer, hors d’oeuvres, and music by Texas State Jazz Trio. There will be a silent auction with some great items. Hurry to buy tickets as the event is limited to 300 and already over half of the tickets are sold. Tickets are $45 per person. Buy tickets now for either the tour or the After Party or both at heritagesanmarcos. org.

According to university officials, surging enrollment and expanding academic accolades have burnished Texas State University’s profile as an institution of the future. But today’s students only need to turn their heads up for a reminder of its deep-rooted history of excellence.

Rising above campus at the top of Chautauqua Hill, the iconic Old Main building has been an educational anchor since it debuted in 1903 as the home of the Southwest Texas State Normal School.

Though much has changed in 12 decades– including the institution’s growth from one building into a 507-acre main campus– the Victorian Gothic, three-story structure with a distinctive red roof remains a focal point of the TXST community.

“Many buildings on this campus have come and gone since 1903, but Old Main remains as a unique symbol that anyone who has ever been on campus can recognize and appreciate,” said Margaret A. Vaverek, librarian for the College of Liberal Arts at Alkek Library and an unofficial TXST historian who studied history at TXST in the 1980s. “Old Main is amazing, and it provided the foundation upon which this now-massive university is built.”

The university has renovated Old Main multiple times over the years while maintaining its historical character.

The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983. These days, Old Main is home to the College of Fine Arts and Communication and the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Inside, you’ll find both nods to the past–such as the grand bifurcated staircase–and windows to the future, such as the Media Innovation Lab.

“Old Main is steeped in history,” said Dr. John Fleming, dean of the College of Fine Arts and Communication. “Not only did LBJ take classes in it as a student, but I have met a number of alums who tell me stories of having met Pres. Johnson in what is now my office. And while not historical, due to its distinctive architecture, I have also had a variety of people affectionately refer to it as Hogwarts.”

Across campus from Old Main, the Undergraduate Academic Center reflects TXST’s evolution into a full-service university offering 99 bachelor’s, 92 master’s and 14 doctoral programs. The $47.7 million, 130,000-square-foot building opened in 2013 as a base for freshman support services, including First Year Advising. The UAC also houses the departments of Psychology, Political Science, and Sociology.

The UAC’s distinctive arch, which separates the building’s east and west sides, provides a popular photo opportunity. It frames a view of downtown San Marcos and is inscribed with the Latin “Auctoritas + Gravitas + Humanitas + Veritas” meaning “Authority, Gravity, Humanity, Truth.”Another of TXST’s modern additions is the Emmett and Miriam McCoy Hall, which opened in 2006 as the new home of the Mc-Coy College of Business.

The educational features of the 126,000-squarefoot building include a research and trading lab and the Center for Professional Sales. The Heritage Association of San Marcos’ Historic Spring Tour covers some 20 iconic sites across the TXST campus, from its oldest building–the 1903 Old Main building–to one of its newest–the 2018 Bruce and Gloria Ingram Hall. Tour highlights include historic houses such as the Thornton International House and the Richard A. Castro Undergraduate Admissions Center; as well as a range of academic buildings that have evolved over the years, including the Comal Building, Centennial Hall, Flowers Hall, Taylor-Murphy History Building, Alkek Library, Emmett and Miriam McCoy Hall, and the Undergraduate Academic Center. The tour also features artworks including The Wittliff Collections, LBJ Statue, Bobcat Statue, Vaquero Statue, Memorial Garden, and Buck Winn’s “History of Ranching” and Flowers Hall murals. Go to for tickets, MakerSpace registration, parking information, check-in locations, and tour maps. For any questions or sponsorship interest please call Bronwyn Sergi, tour chair, on 512-7570730.

San Marcos Record

(512) 392-2458
P.O. Box 1109, San Marcos, TX 78666