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News Service collection on Lee H. Smith

Identifier: 12.3004

Content Description

This collection contains materials compiled on University President Lee H. Smith by the University News Service. The materials collected were used by the offices to produce, manage, and disseminate information internally and externally about the president and the university. It contains copies of biographical notes, speeches, press releases, clippings, photographs, negatives, as well as reel to reel tape recordings of administration reports and presumably interviews for KCNY radio. It contains information on Smith's trip to China. There is also a small amount of meeting notes and planning documents related to the Texas 1986 Sesquicentennial celebration; Pat Murdock was on the San Marcos Sesquicentennial committee. Collection is arranged according to original order, loose materials were placed into folders and labeled accordingly to topic.


  • 1974-1986


Conditions Governing Access

Open to researchers without restriction.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright held by Texas State University. Educational reproduction is allowed without permission. Authorization to publish must be obtained from the Special Collections and Archives.

Archives and Records Request Form

University News Service and Pat Murdock

The University News Service at Texas State University was established in the early 1940s to communicate information about the University to the public and to promote the achievements of its faculty, staff, and students. The predecessor to the University News Service, the Department of Public Services, was established in 1939 under Director Patrick Henry (Pat) Norwood. At that time, the University was focused on teacher education and was named Southwest Texas State Teachers College. Although the Department of Public Services was responsible for communicating with the public, it initially directed its attention to the education and employment of teachers. The Department’s Placement Bureau worked to place graduates of the College in teaching positions and its Extension Division offered courses to off-campus students through direct instruction and correspondence courses. The News Service was formally established as a unit within the Department of Public Services at least by 1943. Beyond representing the College to the public, it was also responsible for producing college publications, including the student-run newspaper, The College Star. Journalism students also assisted the News Service working as reporters and photographers. They helped create press releases for publication in local newspapers and radio broadcasts that occasionally aired on local radio stations. The News Service maintained a long term relationship with the Department of Journalism and its students.

In 1961, Bruce Roche, an instructor in the Department of Journalism, was appointed Director of the College News Service. Pat Norwood served as the Director of the Department of Public Services until his promotion to the Director of the Administrator’s Intern Program in 1965. At that time, the Department of Public Services was disbanded and the Office of Placement and Extension Services was created to aid in student education and employment. The College News Service and other general services were placed under the direction of the Vice President for College Affairs (later the Vice President for University Affairs).

The University News Service saw its greatest development under the direction of Patricia (Pat) Murdock. Murdock served as Director of the University News Service from 1970 through 1993. In that time, she grew the department from herself, a shared secretary, and a half-time sports information director to a staff of seven full-time employees. Additionally, it was during her tenure that advisement of The University Star (formerly The College Star) was transferred to the Department of Journalism. Although the News Service continued to employ students, its focus became communicating with the public, creating University publications, and publicizing the University and its events. During this time period, the News Service was also known as the News and Information Service. Since 1980, the News Service has been organized under the office of the Vice President of University Advancement and its predecessors, the offices of the Vice President for Institutional Advancement and Vice President of Student and Institutional Relations. Additionally, although the office has officially gone through at least two name changes since 1994, including the Office of Media Relations and Publications and the Office of Media Relations, the title University News Service continues to be used by the office especially in press releases.

Sources: Undergraduate Catalogs, Faculty Handbooks, Staff Handbooks, University News Service morgue files, Pedagogs

Lee H. Smith

Lee H. Smith was born 1935 January 7 in Ector, Texas. Smith grew up in north Texas and attended Texas A&M University on academic and basketball scholarships, where he earned a degree in mathematics in 1957. After his graduation, Smith worked in the aerospace and electrical industries while also earning a master degree from Southern Methodist University in 1962 in engineering administration and the first Ph.H. in statistics awarded from Texas A&M in 1964. He then went on to his career in academia, serving a professor and administrator at several Texas universities before arriving at Southwest Texas State University in 1974 as the university’s sixth president. Smith’s academic experiences persuaded him that growth was incongruous with old-fashioned administrative processes. Adopting new policies, procedures, and data-driven expectations, Smith impacted the culture of the institution. He oversaw acquisition of the adjacent 78.5-acre San Marcos Baptist Academy for $11.25 million, making the largest single addition to main campus since 1903. It was named the Lee H. and Eva L. Smith West Campus in their honor in 2014. Enrollment grew from 11,804 to 15,400 and the university moved to NAIA athletics, which produced two Division II national champion football teams. Smith resigned in 1981 to become president of Travelhost, Inc.

Smith had a successful career in business serving as president at three companies. He was co-founder and chairman of the Sunset Foundation, Inc., an educational nonprofit whose aim was to raise funds for students. In 2001, Smith and his wife established the Eva L. & Lee H. Smith Endowed Scholarship fund in the Department of Statistics at Texas A&M. Smith was married Eva Lousie Landers Smith (1930-2015) and had two sons and one daughter. Smith passed away on 2018 September 19.


2.17 Linear Feet (2 record cartons)

Language of Materials



The collection was compiled by the University News and Information Service and the Office of Media Relations and Publications. It contains copies of biographical notes, speeches, press releases, clippings, photographs, negatives, as well as reel to reel tape recordings of administration reports and presumably interviews for KCNY radio.

Physical Location

Materials may be stored off-site. Advance notice may be required for use.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Transferred to the library’s holdings presumably by the University News Service on unknown date. The materials were formally accessioned in 2021.

News Service collection on Lee H. Smith
In Progress
Nicole Critchley
2021 March
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and Archives Repository

Alkek Library Room 580
601 University Drive
San Marcos Texas 78666 USA