Stephen F. Austin State University
Seal of Stephen F. Austin State University
Established1921 (classes began in 1923)
TypeState university, public, semi-for profit
Endowment$18.2 million[1]
PresidentDr. Baker Pattillo
ProvostDr. Richard Berry
Students12,999 [1]
LocationNacogdoches, Texas, USA
CampusUrban, 406 acres (Main Campus)
ColorsPurple, White and Red
NicknameLumberjacks and Ladyjacks
AffiliationsSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Southland Conference
File:SFA Texas Logo.png

Stephen F. Austin State University (commonly SFA) is a public university located in Nacogdoches, Texas, United States. Founded as a teachers' college in 1923, the university was named after one of Texas' founding fathers, Stephen F. Austin. Its campus resides on part of the homestead of another Texas founding father, Thomas Jefferson Rusk. Stephen F. Austin is one of four independent public universities in Texas (i.e., those not affiliated with one of Texas' six university systems). 31°37′17″N 94°38′57″W / 31.62139, -94.64917


Stephen F. Austin offers more than 120 areas of study, including more than 80 undergraduate majors, nearly 60 graduate degrees, and three doctoral programs. Stephen F. Austin offers classes through six colleges, and houses one of only two schools of forestry in the State of Texas (and the only forestry college in the timber-producing East Texas region).

During the 2007-08 academic year, there were 1,732 degrees awarded. Of those degrees, 1,416 (82%) were undergraduate, 301 were post-graduate (17%), and 15 (1%) were doctoral.

In addition to the main campus which is located on 430 acres, the university maintains a Script error agricultural research center for beef, poultry, and swine production and an equine center; an observatory for astronomy research, an 1,072-hectare (approximately 2,649-acre) experimental forest in southwestern Nacogdoches County and a Script error forestry field station on the Sam Rayburn Reservoir.

Since 2007, Stephen F. Austin has served as the headquarters of the Association for Business Communication. It is also the home of the National Center for Pharmaceutical Crops, which in 2011 discovered a potential cancer-fighting agent from the extract of giant salvinia, one of the world's most notorious invasive species.[1]

Stephen F. Austin ranked #71 in the 2011 U.S. News & World Report edition of Best Colleges (Regional Universities - West).[2]


  • Alton W. Birdwell (1923–1941), for whom Birdwell Plaza is named
  • Paul Boynton (1942–1958), for whom the Communications Building is named
  • Ralph W. Steen (1958–1976), for whom the on-campus library is named
  • William R. Johnson (1976–1990), for whom the SFA Coliseum is named
  • Donald Bowen (1990–1991)
  • William J. Brophy (1991–1992) (interim)
  • Dan Angel (1992–1999)
  • Roland Smith (1999–2001) (interim)
  • Tito Guerrero (2001–2006)
  • Baker Pattillo (2006–present), for whom the SFA Student Center is named


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File:Homer Bryce Stadium in Nacogdoches, TX IMG 3325.JPG
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Stephen F. Austin's color is Purple, with red sometimes used as an accent color. In tribute to the forestry industry, which is a major component of the area's economy, the men's athletic teams are called Lumberjacks, and women's teams are known as Ladyjacks. All of SFA's athletic teams participate in the Southland Conference which hosts teams from the states of Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Oklahoma.

Men's NCAA Sports:

  • Baseball
  • Basketball — The men's basketball team reached its first NCAA tournament in 2009 after winning the Southland Conference regular season and tournament.[1] They would go on to lose to the Syracuse University Orange by a score of 59-44.
  • Cross Country
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Track

Women's NCAA Sports

  • The Stephen F. Austin Large Coed Cheerleading Squad is a nine-time National Cheerleading Association Collegiate National Champion, to go along with 5 straight National Titles. The Large Coed team competes in the NCA Collegiate National Championship in Daytona Beach, Florida every April.
  • The Stephen F. Austin Small Coed Cheerleading Squad was founded in 2006. In July 2007, SFA Small Coed won a partial paid bid to the NCA Collegiate National Championships. In their first year, SFA Small placed 9th among other D1 Small Coed teams including University of Louisville, Oklahoma State University, Southern Methodist University and Florida International University. The Small Coed team competed in the 2008 NCA Collegiate National Championship in Florida.


Stephen F. Austin sports teams participate in NCAA Division I (Football Championship Subdivision) for football in the Southland Conference. SFA's football team earned a berth into the FCS playoffs in 2009, which was the first for the university since 1995. The team also earned a playoff berth in 2010, marking the first time in the program's history that the team had reached the playoffs in consecutive seasons. The 2010 season also marked the first time that the school had won an outright conference championship since 1989. Stephen F. Austin's only bowl appearance was the 1973 Poultry Bowl, in which the team defeated Gardner-Webb 31-10 in Gainesville, FL.


File:William R. Johnson Coliseum, SFA, Nacogdoches IMG 3317.JPG
  • At home football games, large signs and banners representing campus fraternities, sororities, and student organizations adorn the grassy hills that surround Homer Bryce Stadium.
  • The annual Parents Day is now in its 32nd year. This is one of the largest student run programs on the campus of SFA. Parents, friends and family members of students visit the campus every fall for a day of activities and school spirit. Parents Day is sponsored by the Residence Hall Association in conjunction with the Housing and Residence Life Departments.
  • The University's main rivals are Sam Houston State University, Texas State University–San Marcos and Northwestern State University.
  • The Stephen F. Austin State and Sam Houston State rivalry matchup is called the Battle of the Piney Woods. In 2010, the two universities agreed to move the annual football matchups to Houston, Texas in Reliant Stadium. Stephen F. Austin defeated Sam Houston in 2010 but fell to the Bearkats in 2011, making them 1-1 in the Reliant Stadium Series.
  • SFA Rugby Fest is a popular event that takes place every year. Many schools in the region show up to play in this tournament.
  • In 1960, a seven-foot, six-inch statue of an Indian named "Chief Caddo" was carved as a trophy between SFA and Northwestern State University (both schools are located in towns named for a branch of the Caddo tribe). The winner of the football game between these two schools maintains possession of the statue. Chief Caddo is the largest trophy in college football. SFA currently has possession of Chief Caddo, after defeating Northwestern State in November 2011. Chief Caddo has been at SFA since the Lumberjacks won the annual grudge match with Northwestern State in 2009. In the spring of 2010, SFA paid to have Chief Caddo totally restored and re-painted.
  • Every year at Homecoming a bonfire is lit by members of the organization that has the most points earned in a series of competitions leading up to the Homecoming celebration. The bonfire is built by the members of Alpha Phi Omega(national service fraternity). Preceding the lighting of the bonfire, a "Torchlight Parade" is held, where students walk through campus with lights to the Homecoming Pep Rally.
  • The Student Activities Association distributes Homecoming Shirts by allowing students to trade in other university-affiliated garments. Participants get new SFA shirts, and the used trade-ins are burned in the Homecoming bonfire.
  • The Sawyers were created in 1927 as the first men's social organization. In November 1960, the Sawyers adapted Delta Sigma Phi fraternity. They were the first group to have a reserved section in the stands at football games, which was requested by Homer Bryce, for whom the stadium is named. The Sawyers began the tradition of bringing axe handles to the football games and using them as noise makers/spirit sticks. The Purple Haze Inc. copied the idea and tradition of the axe handle in 2002.
  • Purple Haze: The student fan section. The Purple Haze Section is 1 of 2 university clubs that has a section reserved (The Delta Sig Sawyers are the other). The bleachers have been painted and stenciled for the group by the Athletic Department of SFA.
  • Many SFA students decorate axe handles to take to the football games.
  • When the football team wins a home game, the purple beacons located on top of the Steen dorms are turned on to light up the night
  • The "Axe 'Em, Jacks" slogan has existed since the creation of the Lumberjacks mascot. But the now-popular hand signal utilized by SFA fans was introduced and made popular by the 1979-1980 Lumberjack cheerleaders. During Spring Break 1978 on South Padre Island, a group of Alpha Chi Omega sorority girls noticed that other Texas colleges has hand signals specific to their schools ("Gig 'Em Aggies" at Texas A&M University, "Hook'em Horns at University of Texas for instance.) As a response, freshman student 'Marcia' suggested the two-fingered salute to a male cheerleader, 'Monty.'
  • Other recent common slogans at SFA include "Kiss my Axe", and "Bite my shiny metal Axe!".
  • The Student Government Association host its annual Watermelon Bash each summer. Watermelons are iced in the fountain around the statue of Stephen F. Austin in the center of campus, and the university president, deans and other administrators help distribute watermelons slices to students and other members of the campus community.
  • It is considered "bad luck" for an undergraduate student to walk through the Old Stone Fort. Rumor has it that if a student does, he/she will not graduate. This rumor, however, has been proven false.
  • At home baseball games, the students in the outfield throw back opposing teams' home runs.

Notable alumniEdit

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Notable individuals who either attended or graduated from SFASU:

Points of interest and notable campus buildingsEdit


External linksEdit

de:Stephen F. Austin State University
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