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LBJ Distinguished Lecture Series

LBJ in the U.S. Senate

LBJ 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

Spring 2017
Dr. Samantha Nutt
Founder and executive director of War Child in North America
» Bio and event details

Fall 2016
William H. McRaven
University of Texas System Chancellor and retired U.S. Navy four-star admiral
» Bio and event details

2015
Robert Rodriguez
Film director, screenwriter and producer

2013
Patrick J. Kennedy
Former U.S. representative and co-founder of One Mind for Research

2011
Soledad O'Brien
Award-winning journalist and CNN anchor

2009
Lynda Johnson Robb and Luci Baines Johnson
Moderated by Harry Middleton

2007
Isabel Allende
Author
Erin Brockovich-Ellis
Environmental activist

2005
Maya Angelou
Poet, author and activist
Arnold Mitchem
President of the Council for Opportunity in Education

2004
John Seigenthaler
Founder, First Amendment Center
Tibor P. Nagy Jr.
Former ambassador to Ethiopia and Guinea

2003
Parker J. Palmer
Writer, teacher
Robert Krueger
Former U.S. representative, senator and ambassador

2002
Morris Dees
Co-founder and chief counsel, Southern Poverty Law Center

2001
David Shribman
Washington bureau chief, Boston Globe

2000
Ida Castro
Chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
George Christian and Harry Middleton
Former press secretary to LBJ; director of the LBJ Library

1998
Rita Dove
Past poet laureate of the U.S.

1997
Jim Lehrer
PBS news anchor, author
Jack Valenti
CEO, Motion Picture Association of America

1996
Helen Thomas
White House UPI bureau chief

1995
Richard W. Riley
Secretary of Education

1994
Jake Pickle
U.S. representative

1992
Liz Carpenter
Author, columnist

1991
Larry L. King
Playwright, author

1990
Lukas Foss
Composer, conductor

1989
William S. Sessions
Director, FBI
James Farmer
Civil rights leader

1987
The Next Amendment
Play celebrating 200th anniversary of the Constitution

1986
Keith Best
Member of British Parliament

1985
James “Red” Duke
Physician, TV personality
William D. Ford
U.S. representative

1984
Bobby Ray Inman
Former director, National Security Agency, and deputy director, CIA
Jim Wright
House Majority Leader

1983
Gerald Ford
Former President of the United States
C. Warren Hollister
Historian, with one of four extant copies of the Magna Carta

1982
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