It was an “Evening in Purple” Saturday night as community members and Tarleton State University alumni gathered in the Wisdom Gym to honor the inauguration of 16th president Dr. James L. Hurley.

Speakers included Dr. Kyle McGregor, vice president for institutional advancement and Dr. Andrew Buzzelli, executive vice president for the college of health sciences.

Entertainment for the night included performances by Hadley Butler and the Texan Troubadours.

Awards were presented by the Tarleton Alumni Association to honor individuals and supporters who bring distinction to Tarleton State University through their career, community service or leadership. Honorees were nominated by their peers and selected by the Tarleton Alumni Association Board of Directors.

Mike Brown Auto Group was selected as distinguished friend; Dr. Dwayne Snider received distinguished staff; Dr. Steve Steed received distinguished faculty; and Austin Large, Dr. Stanley “Stan” Carpenter, Dan McCoy, M.D., Dr. Gary Moore and James E. Morgan received the distinguished young alumnus award.

Hurley presented the 2020 President’s Legacy Awards that recognizes individuals and supporters who exhibit Tarleton’s core values of leadership, service, integrity, civility, excellence and tradition. Recipients were selected by Hurley.

Dr. Lamar and Mrs. Marilynn Johanson received the core value of leadership; Judge Glen Whitley received service; retired Lt. Gen. Paul E. Funk received integrity; Doug Montgomery received civility; Truman T. Bell received excellence; and J.C. Terrell and Vance Terrell families received tradition.

“An Evening in Purple was the largest attended gala in Tarleton history. When we re-imagined the annual gala as a black-tie event for the Stephenville community and an opportunity to invest in our students, we had no idea of the overwhelming response,” said Jessica Evans, Tarleton’s director of Alumni Engagement. “Ticket-proceeds will help support the Tarleton Promise, a new scholarship program that extends funding beyond state and federal aid for high-performing students with great financial need. Thank you to everyone who attended and helped to make this momentous event such a remarkable success.”