SWTSU: The Party's Over

Known in the 1980s as "the party school," SWTSU has grown up. Last year, the university was listed number 25 in Money magazine's list of "best buys" and was labeled a "hot spot" in Newsweek's annual college issue. Here are just a few of SWTSU's recent accomplishments:

* In 1997, Roy and Joann Mitte pledged the largest gift SWTSU ever received - $12.5 million for scholarships. The Austin couple gave another $5 million to establish five endowed chairs.

* The Center for the Study of the Southwest was awarded a $450,000 challenge grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

* Under the direction of president Jerome Supple, SWT has raised more than $59 million for its Centennial Campaign.

* Rated 15th in the nation for its number of Hispanic graduates, SWTSU has a diverse student body (25% are ethnic minorities).

* The material physics program at SWTSU was named one of the most innovative in the nation.

* The geography department, rated the best undergraduate program in the nation for the past 15 years, will soon be graduating SWTSU's first doctoral students.

* The Wetlands Restoration Project, an effort to return Aquarena Springs - formerly an amusement park on the river - to its natural state, is underway with plans for the construction of an educational center and nature walk. -R.B.

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