Mission and History

Mission of the Setzer Student Center

The Setzer Student Center provides programs that enhance personal, social, and leadership development to complement the educational growth of Lamar University students. The Setzer Student Center also serves as the center of campus life and provides a shared home for the University, welcoming students, faculty, alumni, staff, parents, and guests.

History of the Setzer Student Center

For decades, the Setzer Student Center served as the center of campus life at Lamar University, providing a home for clubs and organizations, student government, the campus newspaper, and more.

The first Student Union was built in 1942 for what was then known as the Lamar State College of Technology. A new Student Union was completed in 1953 for the rapidly expanding campus. After renovations and additions began in 1969, the building was rededicated as the Setzer Student Center.

Plans for a large-scale SSC renovation project began when students recognized the need for major improvements to our aging Student Center. The university conducted many focus groups and meetings to get feedback from the students to ensure that the new design will meet the diverse needs of the entire university population.

During the Spring 2012 semester, the Student Government Association, led by then-president Andrew Greenberg, passed a student-wide referendum to finance renovation and remodeling the Setzer Student Center. The vote was passed with 81% approval. The Setzer Center closed for major renovations in October 2016 and re-opened April 12, 2018.

About Dr. Setzer

The Setzer Student Center is named after Dr. Richard W. Setzer, the fifth President of Lamar University.

Setzer, a professor of economics, came to Lamar in 1951 to serve as the first dean of the LU College of Business. In 1961, he was named Vice President of Academic Affairs.

In 1967. Dr. Setzer was promoted to the presidency of Lamar University after the death of former President F.L. McDonald.

A lover of sports, well-known for his mastery of golf, he was also a leader in civic and business affairs. He died suddenly in 1969 during a photo session after playing in a faculty-staff basketball game in McDonald Gymnasium. After his untimely death, the board of regents voted to rename the student union the Richard W. Setzer Student Center in his memory.

Richard Setzer