Two Central Texas institutions, each with more than a century of service to the local community, are teaming up.
As the Texas State Bobcat Marching Band performs on Jim Wacker Field at Bobcat Stadium, Ascension Seton was named the “Official Health Care Sponsor of Bobcat Athletics” at a special Aug. 13 ceremony in the Texas State Football Complex at the south end of the stadium. (See photos of the event.)
Texas State University President Denise M. Trauth and Athletic Director Larry Teis made the announcement along with Chris Hartle, president of Ascension Seton’s South Group of hospitals in Hays, Caldwell, Bastrop and southern Travis counties, and Gerald Hill, Ascension Seton Hays Foundation executive director and former Texas State vice president of university advancement.
Texas State and Ascension Seton share a long history of serving the region. Texas State’s first building, the red-roofed, castle-like landmark called Old Main, was completed in 1903 – just one year after the first Ascension Seton hospital was dedicated on 26th Street between Nueces and Rio Grande streets in 1902 in Austin.
Today, Texas State’s student population has grown from 303 in 1903 to more than 34,000 in 2013. It offers 96 bachelor’s, 87 master’s and 12 doctoral degree programs. The university also operates a campus in Round Rock.
Trauth noted that Texas State has partnered for 40 years with Ascension Seton, helping to educate and train students in several clinical specialty programs. She noted, “As a result, there are hundreds of Texas State students and graduates who are better prepared for the myriad of health care occupations.”
“We are very excited to expand on our relationship with the Ascension Seton family,” said Teis. “With the new hospital close to campus, this gives us a great opportunity to develop not only a marketing relationship but to partner with them in terms of creating educational opportunities for our student-athletes and staff. The past few years, the Ascension Seton family doctors have assisted our athletics department and we look forward to expanding on this in the future.”
Its original 26th Street hospital site is now covered with University of Texas at Austin student housing, but today Ascension Seton operates more than 90 clinical facilities, including four medical centers, two Level 1 trauma centers and a world class pediatric medical center.
One of the major facilities is Ascension Seton Medical Center Hays in Kyle, which is adjacent to a medical office building for physicians and other medical services. The new Warm Springs Rehabilitation of Kyle, a partnership between Ascension Seton and Post Acute Medical, is being built across the street. There also are two Ascension Seton Family of Doctors’ offices in Kyle, as well as offices for Ascension Seton Heart Institute, Ascension Seton Orthopedic & Sports Medicine and Kyle/Parkway Obstetrics/Gynecology.
Hartle, who earned his master’s degree in healthcare administration at Texas State, noted Ascension Seton Hays is the county’s largest hospital. He said, “Like Texas State, Ascension Seton has grown to meet the increasing and changing needs of Central Texans. Like Texas State, Ascension Seton is dedicated to improving the lives of those who count on us. Like Texas State, we are proud to call Hays County ‘home’.”
“As Central Texas’ leading provider of comprehensive, advanced health care, Ascension Seton is proud to partner with Texas State and its exceptional athletic programs. With the Daughters of Charity, an international community of Catholic women committed to serving ‘the poorest of the poor,’ Ascension Seton’s commitment to help care for and improve the health of all Central Texans – including college athletes and other students – dates back 111 years and will continue for years to come,” said Ascension Seton President and CEO Jesús Garza.
The Texas State-Ascension Seton partnership will be noted in various ways during the upcoming Bobcat football season and later at men’s and women’s basketball, men’s baseball, women’s softball and women’s volleyball games. The sponsorship also covers other Bobcat sports, including track and field, cross country, tennis, golf and soccer.
The partnership will extend until May 2018. The Sept. 28 Bobcat football game against Wyoming will be officially sponsored by Ascension Seton, as will be a men’s basketball and a men’s baseball game to be determined later.
Founded in 1899, Texas State is an Emerging Research University that has an enrollment of over 34,000 and is in its first year as a member of the Sun Belt Conference. Texas State sponsors 16 men’s and women’s sports and has won 39 conference championships and 20 conference tournaments since 2000, including three conference titles in 2012-13. In addition, 67 Bobcats were named to all-conference teams last season.
Texas State’s teams excelled in the classroom as 64 student-athletes earned their bachelor’s degree and 117 were named to academic all-conference teams in 2012-13. In addition, eight teams earned perfect 1,000 APR scores in 2011-12.
The Bobcats play their home football games in Bobcat Stadium (30,000 seating capacity) and their basketball and volleyball games in Strahan Coliseum (7,200). Texas State’s Bobcat Ballpark has been rated among the Top 38 baseball stadiums in the country and its softball complex (1,000) is also one of the finest collegiate facilities in Texas. In addition, the Texas State soccer complex features a full-sized field, grandstands and concessions. The Bobcat Tennis Complex includes eight outdoor courts, two indoor courts, and a championship court with seating for fans. The newest facility is a track and field stadium that includes a regulation track with a grandstand for 1,000 fans and locations for the horizontal and vertical jumps, pole vault and throwing events.