Barbara Tidwell was presented the Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1996 to recognize her role in founding the Strutters, the Texas State dance team, in 1960.
Tidwell created the first precision dance team at a four-year university in the United States.
In the last 50 years, the Strutters have performed in two presidential inaugural parades, at numerous NFL and NBA games, in the nationally televised Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, on MTV’s Total Request Live and in a national television commercial for Coca-Cola. The team also advanced to the semifinals on NBC’s America’s Got Talent.
The team was the first of its kind to perform in the People’s Republic of China as well.
In 2012, a Strutters gallery will open on the new north side addition to Bobcat Stadium. It will honor the organization’s accomplishments and dedication to the university.
Tidwell served as the director and choreographer of the Strutters for 37 years. She was succeeded by Susan Angell-Gonzalez, the current director.
Tidwell received her master’s degree from Texas State in 1962.