Date of Release: 09/06/2006
SAN MARCOS — Officials at Texas State University-San Marcos will unveil a statue of the university’s most prominent alumnus – former U.S. President Lyndon Baines Johnson – during a ceremony at 11 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 14, on the Quad in front of Flowers Hall on the university campus.
The statue depicts a young LBJ as he may have appeared while a student at Texas State, then known as Southwest Texas State Teachers College. Johnson graduated from Texas State in 1930 with a permanent teaching certificate.
The sculpture was commissioned by the Associated Student Government at Texas State. The ASG submitted a proposal for the statue to the university administration during the 2004-05 academic year. The Student Service Fee Advisory Committee unanimously agreed to allocate funds for the statue from its reserve fund, and the Texas State University System Board of Regents authorized the project in August 2005.
The statue is the work of acclaimed sculptor Lawrence Ludtke of Houston. Ludtke is a fellow in the National Sculpture Society and a corresponding member of the Royal Academy of British Sculptors. His work appears at many prominent places across the United States, including the United States Air Force Academy, Johns Hopkins Medical School, Rice University, Texas A&M University, CIA Headquarters, the Portrait Gallery of the National Cowboy Hall of Fame, the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and the National Battlefield Park at Gettysburg.
Texas State remains the only university in Texas to have graduated a United States president or vice president. While Johnson’s memory remains alive on campus – the LBJ Memorial Student Center is named in his honor as is the university’s Lyndon Baines Johnson Distinguished Lecture Series – there has never been a statue of the former president placed on campus.
After his graduation, Johnson returned to the Texas State campus many times, both as president and in his retirement years. In 1965, he returned to his alma mater to sign the Higher Education Act, which opened the doors of higher education to many who could not previously afford it.