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TXST's University Camp was to be sold, no longer on upcoming TSUS agenda

Thursday, November 9, 2023

Texas State University’s University Camp appears to be up for sale.

The Texas State University System, which encompasses seven institutions including Texas State University, had an agenda item for the Board of Regents Nov. 16-17 meeting that represented what some in San Marcos and Wimberley, especially, thought might mean a major loss for the entire Texas State community.

The board was set to discuss the possible sale of University Camp, an approximately 126-acre oasis in Wimberley for use by Texas State students, alumni and staff. Donated to the university in the 1950s by Sallie Beretta, the acreage has hiking trails and sweeping views of the Blanco River, in addition to the various water recreational activities available at the site. 

The camp-related item has since been removed from the agenda, according to Texas State University System Vice Chancellor for Marketing & Communications Mike Wintemute. The Daily Record has not received a reason for the item’s removal nor confirmation as to whether or not the potential sale was still under consideration. As of time of press, Texas State University officials had not returned comment on the camp.

According to the previously published agenda, the university was set to possibly sell 125.73 acres of land and mineral interests to Needmore River Ranch, LLC, the owner of the property across the river from the camp. The purchaser had obtained an appraisal from a licensed appraiser for $4,626,225, which would have been paid in addition to $4,373,775 that would have been placed in escrow. The $4 million in escrow would have been considered an unrestricted donation to the university and was to have been paid in three equal installments over a three-year period if a sale were completed under these terms. 

As word began to leak out on Thursday about the potential sale, members of the Texas State and Wimberley communities discussed what the camp means to students and others.

“It is a tremendous recreational asset to the community of Wimberley as well as university folks,” Lori Olson, a Wimberley resident, said. “It’s one of our very few places that we have to access the river in this area and certainly provides a wealth of opportunities … for different student groups and alumni groups … It would be a travesty to lose it to private ownership.”

Andrew Weber lives near the camp. While he said he is on the board of the Trinity Edwards Spring Protection Association and is the President of Friends of Wimberley Parks [formerly known as Friends of Blue Hole], he made it clear that on this matter he was speaking for himself and not his organizations.

“Land with water rights and water pumping access, obviously, is of importance to the broader community, given the water situation in the [Wimberley] Valley,” Weber said. “It is my understanding that, yes, it has multiple karst areas where the aquifer is recharged.”

Olson said she was shocked to hear that the sale would have been going through the board of regents and was certain others in the Texas State community would be as well.

“It seems like this process has happened out of the public eye without any opportunity for public input,” Olson said Thursday before the discussion of a camp sale item had been pulled from the TSUS Board of Regents meeting agenda. “I would hope the board of regents would put the brakes on this and allow for that public input. I think that if they understood the importance of this property to the community and to the university–the people who attend the university, who have attended the university, who work for the university–that hopefully they would change course and keep it as a park.”

Weber said he was also concerned with the process the university went through to put the camp up for sale. 

“What I would like the public to know, which is what I would like to know [is] were there other entities or governmental bodies that were allowed an opportunity to purchase this property?” Weber asked. “Was there an RFP [Request for Proposals] process where the university sought bids on the property? How did we get to the point where this is an agenda item when no one that I've been able to find in the last 15 hours seems to have known anything about this?”

The TSUS Board of Regents is scheduled to meet in Beaumont on Nov. 16-17. Comments may be submitted to the Director of Board Operations Malú González. The email is and the phone number is (512) 463-1411.


San Marcos Record

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