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SFA launches centennial celebration

NACOGDOCHES — From being administered through a small shack on Washington Square to educating nearly 12,000 students a year on its beautiful, 421-acre main campus, Stephen F. Austin State University has come a long way in 100 years. Students, faculty, staff, alumni and the Nacogdoches community have big plans to mark the university’s first century throughout 2023.


“SFA’s history is filled with incredible people and events,” said Dr. Steve Westbrook, SFA’s interim president. “Our campus and community have been looking forward to celebrating them.”


Launching at the SFA Gala tomorrow, the university’s centennial celebration features concerts and commemorations to remember those who have kept the Lumberjack spirit alive through challenges and successes over the last 100 years.


Events will culminate in a weekend of festivities leading up to Sept. 18, a century after SFA opened its doors on the 53rd birthday of its first president, Alton W. Birdwell.


“This year, Sept. 18 falls on a Monday, so the centennial committee is busy planning a full weekend of events and activities including concerts, a luncheon, dedications and a big birthday party,” said John Branch, chair of SFA’s centennial committee. “There will be more details as we get closer to the date.”


The university also has exciting changes in store this year as legislation enabling the university to become a member of The University of Texas System is considered. In addition, the search for SFA’s next president is underway.


“SFA has more than 115,000 alumni who contribute to the economic and cultural vitality of Texas and beyond,” Westbrook said. “That number will continue to grow as we offer students a strong return on their higher education investment.”


For more information on SFA’s history as well as centennial events and memorabilia, visit


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