Stephen Fuller Austin was born in 1793 to Moses and Maria (Brown) Austin. Austin attended school in Connecticut and then spent two years at Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky. He then went to work for his father's business in Missouri. After the failure of the Austin business in Missouri, he investigated opportunities for a new start in Arkansas and engaged in land speculation and mercantile activities. While Stephen worked as a circuit judge of the first judicial district of Arkansas, his father, Moses, traveled to San Antonio to apply for a land grant and for permission for 300 families to settle in Texas. After hearing of his father's death, Austin left for San Antonio and arrived in August of 1821. Governor Antonio María Martínez permitted Stephen F. Austin to carry on the colonization enterprise under his father's grant, and the first colonists began to arrive in Texas by land and sea in December 1821. 
The school was founded in 1923 and named Stephen F. Austin Teachers College after Stephen F. Austin, the father of Texas. In 1969, it received university status and changed its name to Stephen F. Austin State University. The idea to erect a larger than life of Stephen F. Austin occurred during the Texas Sesquicentennial. [1 & 2]
The Stephen F. Austin statue is in the Stephen F. Austin State University campus's Sesquicentennial Plaza, in front of the Ralph W. Steen Library. Richard MacDonald sculpted the bronze and pink Texas granite statue, and it was dedicated in 1986.