In 1916, on the campus of John Tarleton Agricultural College, the official yearbook for what is now Tarleton State University was born. It was named Grassburr by editor Roy Mefford. The reason he selected that particular title has been lost to history, although speculation has been made that it was for the grass burrs plagued the landscape of the early Tarleton campus. Written recollections by Dean J. Thomas Davis indicate that when he arrived on campus in 1919 he "found a few run-down buildings and a 40-acre campus knee-high in grass burrs."

Numerous attempts have been made over the years to change the name. Yearbook staffers wanted to change the name in the 1920s, but President James Franklin Cox suggested it was "as good a name as any." The Student Council in 1936 was stirred with ideas of a full-scale change on campus. Yet, the name of the yearbook survived.

The Grassburr serves as a record keeper of Tarleton history and remembers organizations like the Janitor's Club, the Silver Keys, and the Lords and Commoners. These organizations are not present on the Tarleton campus today but are the forerunners for the present sororities and fraternities. It shows how Tarleton has developed since its birth in 1899. Grassburr staff wrote in 1923, "I was a tiny burr at first, but I have been tenderly nourished and carefully tended, and my growth has astonished even those who officiated at my christening."

In the 2000s, the Grassburr was in danger of being eliminated due to financial restraints. In the fall of 2006, the students of Tarleton were brought a referendum vote to decide whether to keep the Grassburr or to eliminate the program and use the student fee money toward other campus needs. The vote was found in favor of keeping the Grassburr tradition alive. With the vote came a new funding structure which provides a yearbook to every undergraduate student on the Stephenville campus.

At a Glance