“Happy Hour” with Hurley and family

By: Kaley Dowell

Multimedia Journalist

Happy Hour started Thursday, April 16, with the Director of Alumni Engagement, Jessica Evans, hosting the event. Evans asked Tarleton State University President James Hurley and his wife, Kindall Hurley, some of the questions students have been wondering about since Hurley began his reign as president.

The first question Evans asked was how the Hurley’s Tarleton journey has been to date. Both Hurley and Kindall Hurley talked about the highlights and hurdles they have faced so far becoming the faces of the university. 

“At the beginning of the transition it was exciting, but at the same time a little scary because we were moving so far away… everyone has been so welcoming, so friendly, it’s been really good,” Kindall Hurley said.

One of the things the couple originally struggled with was getting help with the kids. They went from having family and friends close by to not knowing anyone. They are very thankful for everyone who has helped them since then in that department.

With the Coronavirus, everyone has probably been wondering how the Hurley family is dealing with quarantine and how they are doing health-wise. Hurley said that everyone is healthy, however, they are missing the students a lot, especially during their walks around campus.

Hurley and Kindall Hurley during “Happy Hour”
Photo by Kaley Dowell

According to Hurley, little Blayklee has been asking where all the students are. Their answer to her has been that the students are still on spring break.

Hurley also touched on what the move to a Division I school will look like from here.

“We hit it at a great time… for the next four years [the NCAA executive council] will not allow any other institutions to go Division I outside of those that are already in the transition… Had we waited a year, we would have had to wait another four to five years, so it was great timing,” Hurley said.

Next, Hurley talked about how he believes the coronavirus would impact enrollment for the next year.

“What we’re seeing now is that more students are going to attend a regional institution. We’re having a lot of students that have applied in the last 15 to 20 days… They were going either out of state or somewhere more distant from their families and now they are really focused on staying closer to home… They want to be close enough to retreat if they have to,” Hurley said.

Tarleton is trimming the freshman class down about 7% from what they were projected to have.

“We were projected to have a record enrollment… We had the highest number of applications, the highest number of accepted students,” Hurley said.

He also mentioned that classes next semester may be more of a hybrid education moving forward.

“60% to 70% of the curriculum will be face-to-face and then the other 20% to 30% will be in forms like we’re practicing today. It would be online assignments etcetera,” Hurley said.

Hurley is very optimistic about the 2020 fall semester. As of now, the plan is that the semester will start as usual unless the governor or the president of the United States says differently.

As for football, “The only general thought is the football season could be moved one month later. We would start one month late and extend into December,” Hurley said.

Lastly, both Hurley and Kindall Hurley talked about the legacies they want to leave at Tarleton.

Hurley and his family during “Happy Hour”
Photo by Kaley Dowell

“My legacy is simply that I left it better than I found it. Just like the 15 presidents before me. They all left it better then they found it,” Hurley said.

“I hope to leave kindness and connection through relationships. I hope that people remember that we were fair and kind and that we were always here for them no matter what the scenario,” Kindall Hurley said.

Happy Hour will be back next week with more guests.

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