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LBJ Distinguished Lecture Series

Lyndon Baines Johnson Distinguished Lecture Series

The Lyndon Baines Johnson Distinguished Lecture Series fulfills a promise made at Texas State University by its most distinguished alumnus, President Lyndon Baines Johnson, in 1973. The series brings to reality President Johnson's desire to invite some of the finest minds in the country to the campus to speak.

On his last visit to San Marcos in 1973, President Johnson brought along his former economic advisor, Walter Heller, as the first lecturer of many he wanted to bring to his alma mater. His death came less than a week later, before any plans could be implemented.

President Johnson completed his undergraduate work at Texas State in 1930, receiving a bachelor of science degree with permanent teacher certification. In 1959, while he was still a United States senator, the college named him its first Distinguished Alumnus. In 1962 he received the university's first honorary doctorate. As he moved up in national leadership, President Johnson never lost touch with the university. The Lyndon Baines Johnson Distinguished Lecture Series, initiated in 1982, recognizes the importance of education to the continuing prosperity of the nation, a recurring theme during LBJ's years of government service. He returned to the campus in 1965 as president of the United States to sign the historic Higher Education Act.

Through the series, Texas State hopes to perpetuate the president's high educational ideals by bringing outstanding individuals to campus to meet with students and faculty and to present public lectures.

In recent years, speakers and topics have often been aligned with Common Experience themes.

Past Speakers

Bryan Stevenson
Attorney, author, founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative
» Bio and event details

Dr. Samantha Nutt
Founder and executive director of War Child in North America

William H. McRaven
The University of Texas System Chancellor and retired U.S. Navy four-star admiral

Robert Rodriguez
Film director, screenwriter and producer

Patrick J. Kennedy
Former U.S. representative and co-founder of One Mind for Research

Soledad O'Brien
Award-winning journalist and CNN anchor

Lynda Johnson Robb and Luci Baines Johnson
Moderated by Harry Middleton

Isabel Allende
Erin Brockovich-Ellis
Environmental activist

Maya Angelou
Poet, author and activist
Arnold Mitchem
President of the Council for Opportunity in Education

John Seigenthaler
Founder, First Amendment Center
Tibor P. Nagy Jr.
Former ambassador to Ethiopia and Guinea

Parker J. Palmer
Writer, teacher
Robert Krueger
Former U.S. representative, senator and ambassador

Morris Dees
Co-founder and chief counsel, Southern Poverty Law Center

David Shribman
Washington bureau chief, Boston Globe

Ida Castro
Chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
George Christian and Harry Middleton
Former press secretary to LBJ; director of the LBJ Library

Rita Dove
Past poet laureate of the United States

Jim Lehrer
PBS news anchor, author
Jack Valenti
CEO, Motion Picture Association of America

Helen Thomas
White House UPI bureau chief

Richard W. Riley
Secretary of Education

Jake Pickle
U.S. representative

Liz Carpenter
Author, columnist

Larry L. King
Playwright, author

Lukas Foss
Composer, conductor

William S. Sessions
Director, FBI
James Farmer
Civil rights leader

The Next Amendment
Play celebrating 200th anniversary of the Constitution

Keith Best
Member of British Parliament

Dr. James “Red” Duke
Physician, TV personality
William D. Ford
U.S. representative

Bobby Ray Inman
Former director, National Security Agency, and deputy director, CIA
Jim Wright
House Majority Leader

Gerald Ford
Former President of the United States
C. Warren Hollister
Historian, with one of four extant copies of the Magna Carta

W. Thomas Johnson
Publisher, Los Angeles Times, former secretary to LBJ
Barbara Jordan
Former U.S. representative, attorney

LBJ / Common Experience Distinguished Lecture Series Committee (VPUA): Roster