Purple Lumberjacks in Nacogdoches!

Dorm 17

Nacogdoches, founded in 1779, is considered to be the oldest town in Texas. Don Antonio Gil Y’Barbo is known as the founder of the town, but the earliest settlers were the Caddo Native Americans. They lived in the area well before the Spanish ever arrived. A Caddo tribe Called Nacogdoches came to East Texas around 800 A.D. Unbelievably, the Caddo continued to have a settlement in the area until 1716.


But, this is not why there are purple Lumberjacks in Nacogdoches!


Around this time, the Spanish started building missions in the area because they wanted to maintain ownership of East Texas. The French also arrived at the same time to begin an exploration of East Texas. As time moved on, more and more people arrived in Texas and conflicts were beginning to be frequent. The Spanish lost ownership of Texas and Mexico in 1821 following the Mexican Revolution. Disagreements about colonization laws and land titles among other problems were the beginning of a downward spiral in the tenuous relationship between Mexico and Texas. Their first major clash was the Battle of Nacogdoches in 1832. The Texas Revolution lasted until the Battle of San Jacinto in 1836. Texas became a republic in 1836 and a state in 1845.


But, this is not why there are purple Lumberjacks in Nacogdoches!


SFA fountain

By the 1880s, Nacogdoches was a fast growing town and the railroad lines were on the way. As the new century came along, the citizens of Nacogdoches decided to ask the state to open a teacher’s college in the town. The college, known as Stephen F. Austin Teachers College, opened in 1923. The college continued to grow and offered increasing course offerings beyond the education of teachers. Thus, Stephen F. Austin State College was born. As the student population grew by leaps and bounds, the college achieved university status in 1969. After attaining this status, Stephen F. Austin State University began the rise to educational excellence.


This is the reason why there are purple Lumberjacks in Nacogdoches!


The Lumberjacks became the school mascot and the school colors became purple with white. Stephen F. Austin (known as SFA) offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. There are 120 areas of study including a nationally recognized School of Forestry…thus The Lumberjacks mascot name! SFA athletic teams compete in Division I for all varsity sports. The football team competes in the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision. The Lumberjacks basketball team has made four appearances in the NCAA Division I Tournament, with two upset first-round wins in 2014 and 2016. SFA currently ranks #25 in the 2017 U.S. News report of Top Public Colleges and Universities (Regional Universities-West).


This is the real reason why there are purple Lumberjacks in Nacogdoches!


SFA cheerleaders and flags


Nacogdoches is an important place to me because I graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University! My college experience was the best possible because of my outstanding experiences in the Journalism/Communications department, the opportunity for a newspaper internship, the incredibly friendly students and the wonderful location. Just a few hours from Dallas/Fort Worth and Houston, SFA has a small town atmosphere with the city not too far away!


SFA is often called the most beautiful university campus in Texas. The campus is like walking through a continuously changing park…tulips, azaleas and dogwoods are literally everywhere in the Spring. With the incredibly tall East Texas pine trees, walking across the over 400 acres is like walking under a tree canopy! I still have a warm, happy feeling when I see those wonderful trees!


And that is the totally real reason why there are purple Lumberjacks in Nacogdoches! I am proud to be one of them!





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