SAN MARCOS, TEXAS — “I am star struck,” said Luci Baines Johnson at the formal dedication of the new student center, which bears her father’s name, at Southwest Texas State University.
The $24 million, 220,000-square-foot LBJ Student Center, deemed the “living room” of the campus by students, faculty and staff, was formally accepted by the Texas State University System Board of Regents during ceremonies held Thursday afternoon on the new facility.
“I dream big (but I never) conceived that there would be a facility like the one you are celebrating today,” Johnson said. “This is a place to call home.”
Johnson recalled the attachment and love LBJ had for his alma mater and the impact it had on him and his family.
“It is this institution that shaped the lives of the two Lyndons I Love, my father and son,” she said, referring to the late president and her son, Lyndon Nugent, a 1989 graduate of SWT, who was also present at the ceremony.
SWT President Jerome Supple spoke of LBJ’s lifelong commitment to students and education, a legacy that continues today.
“Lady Bird Johnson used to say of President Johnson, ‘I like to think of Lyndon not at rest, but still at work - in all of us.’ We like to think of him that way, too, still at work at Southwest Texas.”
The new facility includes an academic teaching theatre, meeting rooms, a ballroom, student organizations and activities, recreation areas, a pub, national fast food franchises, snack areas, the Lair, retail shops, staff offices and the new University Bookstore.
In addition, a student services floor houses the offices of the Dean of Students, Multicultural Student Affairs, the Counseling Center, Career Services, Disability Services, Alcohol and drug Education and Support Services.
“I believe Lyndon Johnson is smiling today,” said Lillian Dees, director of the new student center.