Tarleton State is coming off a record year on the playing fields and courts, winning Lone Star Conference championships in football, men's basketball, baseball and golf while claiming an individual national title in track and field.
Athletic director Lonn Reisman says it's no coincidence such success comes in what was also a record-breaking year for the Texan Club.
"As the Texan Club grows, our success grows. The two have gone hand-in-hand for more than two decades now, and it will continue to go hand-in-hand," Reisman said. "You see it up and down the ladder at all levels of college sports - where the booster organizations are successful, so are the teams, and vice versa. At Tarleton we feel like we really do have a Division I-type support organization in the Texan Club and that gives us a big advantage."
Now, Reisman, his athletics staff and the Texan Club Board of Directors are out to ensure the relationship between fundraising success and athletic success continues.
"It's that time of year when we ask everyone who was in the Texan Club to join us again, and that if you know of any businesses in town, around the Cross Timbers area or even out of the area or state that would like to be involved in the Tarleton family, that you bring them to our attention and help us to reach out and include them in this great endeavor."
The Texan Club has various levels of business and individual memberships, all geared toward raising funds for the general athletic scholarship fund first and foremost, as well as for everything from student-athlete enhancement to equipment and gear for the university's 13 varsity sports teams.
"Funds provided by the Texan Club provide scholarships, which is the most important thing, and they provide money for tutors so that the student-athletes have the opportunity to keep up with their studies and graduate while representing our university athletically," Reisman said. "The Texan Club helps to directly provide equipment enhancement for our teams and to provide support not only financially but also physically and spiritually for these young men and women throughout their college careers.
"It's an investment in the future," Reisman added. "When you invest in the young men and women we will soon count on as business and community leaders, you are investing in the future, and I can't think of anything more worthy than that."
While the Texan Club is always looking to increase its ever-growing corporate membership, there is a recently renewed focus on growing its number of individual members as well. A big part of this push is through both the Championship Club, which was established last year, and the T-Club for former student athletes.
The Championship Club, also known as the "Purple Blazer Club" includes individuals who donate $2,500 or more. In addition to being presented a purple blazer and enjoying an exclusive dinner with Tarleton President Dr. F. Dominic Dottavio and head coaches, members receive quite the list of perks: Texan Club lapel pin, two reserved tickets for home football games with reserved parking as well as four sideline passes for one home football game, a Tarleton athletic cap, two tickets to the annual all-sports awards ceremony, a two-person pass for home men's and women's basketball and volleyball games, a Texan Club polo shirt, a Tarleton athletic jacket and the chance to sit on the bench as an honorary coach at a men's or women's basketball game.
The T-Club had 96 members last year and has steadily grown. Reisman and Casey Hogan, Tarleton's assistant athletic director for development and major gifts, expect to breeze past the 100-member plateau this year.
"The T-Club is a great way for student-athletes to stay involved and give back to the university," said Hogan. "The Championship Club had six members in its initial year and personally I expect us to have at least 10 this year."
And just as the Texan Club continues to grow, Reisman expects the success to follow the same path, a path that saw the TexAnn golf team win its seventh super-regional in eight years and place third in the country this spring, a path followed by the TexAnn basketball team to five straight NCAA regionals and by the Texan cagers to 11 regionals in 13 seasons including a pair of Elite Eights and four Sweet 16s. It's the path Chase Rathke, just a sophomore, followed all the way to the national championship in the 1,500 meter run.
"We are winning and experiencing success like never before, and the community, our alumni and all our supporters get to enjoy that success right alongside us," Reisman said. "The Texan Club is your opportunity to take ownership in that success and to be a part of our Tarleton family."