“Pride, Pillars and the LBJ Legacy”
Fall Convocation Speech by President Denise M. Trauth
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
While it may not feel like it, the fall semester is upon us. Students are moving into their residence halls, the band is practicing, our soccer team has already begun its regular season by beating St. Mary’s Saturday night, volleyball begins Friday morning against Louisiana-Monroe, and we will be kicking off the 2008 football season on Saturday against Angelo State.
I hope that you all had a wonderful summer, including some time to relax. In many ways, this summer seemed like many summers past – hot and dry, the Williams sisters playing each other in a major tennis competition, and Brett Favre suiting up in a green football jersey. But the summer of 2008 differentiated itself from others in shocking ways: soaring gas prices, Budweiser beer taken over by a Belgian company, jalapeno peppers on the do-not-eat list, and Favre’s jersey the wrong shade of green.
Regardless of how stimulating your summer was, this is going to be an exciting year. For some of us, the excitement began last week with groundbreaking for our next building in Round Rock, which we anticipate as the home of our new School of Nursing.
It is also going to be a historic year as we celebrate the 100th birthday of our most famous alumnus, President Lyndon Johnson. How fitting it is that this Centennial falls during an exciting Presidential campaign year.
I’m sure that LBJ would be thrilled by the attention that was lavished on his alma mater during last spring’s presidential primary. Ted Kennedy packed Evans Auditorium for a stump speech for Barack Obama. That was followed by Obama himself who drew 13,000 people into Sewell Park for a speech the next week. Then who should show up, almost unannounced, in the Student Center on primary day but former President Bill Clinton to campaign for his wife Hillary. John McCain can’t be far behind.
The interest our students are showing in the current events of the world demonstrates their awareness of the challenges awaiting them in the 21st Century—a time when they will be competing for academic and career success with students not only from America but from around the world. All kidding aside, when well-established American companies are taken over by international groups, you know we live in a globalized economy. Preparing our students for this new world is the responsibility you have undertaken. You are part of an illustrious history of outstanding faculty.
Last week, one of our faculty members was named a Regents Professor of The Texas State University System. With us today to present our new Regents Professor is The TSUS Foundation executive director, Diane Corley.
[Diane makes presentation to Max Warshauer.]
Thank you, Diane and congratulations, Max.
Today we also want to honor others among our faculty for outstanding teaching, research and service.
Kay Henderson, first vice president of the Alumni Association, will help make our next presentation for the Association’s annual Teaching Award of Honor. Today’s honoree is a professor of technology, former chair of the Department of Technology and current associate dean of the College of Science. He is a former mayor of the City of San Marcos and—by all reports—is one of our community’s pre-eminent “shade tree mechanics.” On behalf of our alumni, we present this Teaching Award of Honor to Bob Habingreither.
Each year we present presidential awards for outstanding teaching, for outstanding research and creative activity, and for outstanding service. This year’s Presidential Awards for Excellence in Teaching go to two individuals whose passion for their profession is evident in the classroom. Please join me in honoring Max Warshauer, professor of mathematics, and Angela Murphy, assistant professor of history.
We are also honoring two faculty members this morning for scholarly and creative activity. Both have made significant contributions to their disciplines, to society, and to their students’ classroom experience. They manifest our commitment to research, scholarship, and creative activity as part of the teaching and learning adventure. We are pleased to award the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Scholarly and Creative Activity to Dittmar Hahn, associate professor of biology, and Weston Nowlin, assistant professor of biology.
We ask our faculty to serve, as well as to teach and conduct research. The Presidential Award for Excellence in Service is given to faculty who exemplify our commitment to public service to our community as well as the university and their professional fields. Please join me in honoring Robert Mooney, associate professor of health administration, and Kymberly Fox, senior lecturer in journalism and mass communication.
Periodically, we recognize one faculty member with the Presidential Seminar Award. These recipients are then asked to share their research and creative activity with their peers. The 2008-2009 Presidential Seminar will be presented by Beverly Penn, professor of art and design.
Our Faculty Senate annually chooses two or three colleagues to receive the Everette Swinney Faculty Senate Teaching Awards. I would like Debra Feakes, chair of the Faculty Senate and associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry, to come forward to assist in presenting these awards.
Recipients of the Everette Swinney Awards are chosen on the basis of their dedication to the teaching profession, their influence on the lives of students and their contributions to the university as a whole. They have combined their commitment to teaching with strong records of creative achievement, service, and mentoring both peers and students. With great pleasure, we present these awards to Mary Ann Stutts, professor of marketing, and Max Warshauer, professor of mathematics.
The Faculty Senate named three Everette Swinney Award winners this year, and the third winner was also designated a Piper Professor last spring. He was recruited for our faculty from the University of Colorado in 1992 by Dick Boehm. The warm, engaging dialog, student involvement, and free exchange of ideas that constitute the basis of this professor’s teaching have proven Dick to be an outstanding talent scout. Students who take this professor’s class never forget him. I am delighted to present our 17th faculty member to be named a Minnie Stevens Piper Professor—Brock Brown, associate professor of geography.
For their years of outstanding teaching and creative work, four retired Texas Sate faculty members were named Distinguished Professors Emeriti by The Texas State University System Board of Regents last May and we recognize them today. Our honorees are: John Beck, Distinguished Professor of Education Administration Emeritus; Lydia Blanchard, Distinguished Professor of English Emerita; Daniel Hannon, Distinguished Professor of Theatre Emeritus; and Michael McBride, Distinguished Professor of Journalism and Mass Communication Emeritus.
Texas State University could not function without a dedicated staff, and each month we recognize an Employee of the Month. Earlier this month the 2008 Employee of the Year was chosen from this dedicated dozen. Please join me in congratulating Terence Parker, assistant director, Retention Management and Planning in the Division of Student Affairs.
We also want to introduce this year’s winners of the Mariel Muir Mentoring Award presented annually to a faculty member and a staff member for their mentoring of both students and employees. We are proud to recognize Karen Bryson, administrative assistant in the Department of English, and Shirley Ogletree, interim chair of the Department of Psychology.
Congratulations to all of you.
I mentioned Lyndon Johnson at the beginning of my speech and you’re going to be hearing a lot about him this year because tomorrow is the 100th anniversary of his birth, and because our own celebration will be unified under the theme of our Common Experience: “Civic Responsibility and the Legacy of LBJ.” We are planning a full year of activities around this theme.
It began at the new student convocation Saturday with an address to our new students by LBJ’s grandson, and fellow Texas State alumnus, Lyndon Nugent. The students threw an LBJ Birthday Bash in Sewell Park after that. I want you to know that the bash was one party that definitely received the administration’s seal of approval!
Also on Saturday, we helped the LBJ Museum of San Marcos open its Centennial oral history exhibit, and I encourage all of you who haven’t visited it to do so. The museum is located on the south side of the Square. Forty-eight individuals, mainly local to Central Texas, were interviewed to share their memories of LBJ.
We will focus on Lyndon Johnson as part of a statewide Centennial celebration. In this effort, we are partnering with the LBJ Presidential Library, the LBJ State and National Parks, the LBJ School of Public Affairs, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and the LBJ Museum of San Marcos.
This coming Friday is our annual LBJ Welcome Back Picnic for faculty and staff in the yard of the President’s House. An exhibition of photographs from Harry Middleton’s book on LBJ is on display in the art gallery in the Joann Mitte Building, and we will host an opening reception for that exhibit on Friday before the picnic. You are all invited to the reception and then to the picnic. I particularly want to invite all new faculty and staff to these events.
Lyndon Johnson came to San Marcos when Texas State was still a teachers’ college, and he was proud of the education he received here. He wanted others to share in the opportunity for education.
I met recently with a Central Texas business leader who grew up in Cotulla, where Lyndon Johnson pursued his teaching career. One of LBJ’s students was this executive’s future mother-in-law. When her mother died, it became this woman’s responsibility as the oldest child to drop her education plans and become responsible for helping her father raise her younger siblings and manage the household. The young teacher Lyndon Johnson visited her home in an effort to dissuade her father from following that time period’s tradition, encouraging him to allow his oldest daughter to pursue her education. The young LBJ had not yet perfected his legendary power of persuasion, so that time he was not successful in changing the father’s mind. But the fact that an Anglo teacher had cared enough about a young Hispanic woman’s educational opportunity to visit her home and challenge prevailing traditions left her with an impression that she never forgot and had a profound effect on how she raised her own children.
Lyndon Johnson never lost that passion for opening the doors to education to all Americans. He carried that passion with him to the White House. In 1965, he returned to this campus to sign the historic Higher Education Act. In his address that day, he said, “Here the seeds were planted from which grew my firm conviction that for the individual, education is the path to achievement and fulfillment; for the nation, it is a path to a society that is not only free but civilized; and for the world, it is the path to peace—for it is education that places reason over force.”
Some of you gathered here today may be following your own careers because of federal financial aid made possible by the Higher Education Act of 1965.
Lyndon Johnson was proud of this campus when he graduated from here in 1930. He was proud of his alma mater when he returned in 1965, and he was proud of it when he visited here in 1973, six days before he died.
I know those of you gathered here today would make him even more proud of what Texas State University has become.
This is a much different school today than it was when he walked the Quad.
In the late 1920s, there were approximately 2,000 students enrolled, most from Central Texas communities such as Lyndon Johnson’s beloved Johnson City and nearby cities such as Austin and San Antonio. This year we anticipate an enrollment of at least 28,600 students, and they will be from all over Texas, the United States, and the globe.
The students of LBJ’s college years were taught by 73 faculty members—and contrary to rumors, Ev Swinney was not one of them—while Texas State will start the 2008-2009 year with nearly 1,000 fulltime tenure-track faculty members, and I have authorized an additional 35 new positions to be filled in the coming year.
Since I gave my speech at last year’s convocation, we have added 50 new faculty positions, continuing to ease the burden of growing enrollment on our faculty. In just the last six years, we have increased the full-time faculty by 25 percent.
We continue to add diversity to our faculty as well. Nearly 40 percent of the new tenure track faculty hires are an ethnic minority, increasing the percentage of African-American, Hispanic, Asian-American and Asian faculty members at Texas State.
In addition to these great strides in our faculty, Texas State has achieved great success in enhancing the prestige of this university.
The signs of progress are plentiful and include:
--The acquisition last winter of the papers of Cormac McCarthy, considered in most literary circles America’s foremost living author, for our Southwestern Writers Collection housed in Alkek Library. He won the Pulitzer Prize for his novel The Road, the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award for All the Pretty Horses, and his novel No Country for Old Men was adapted for the film that won this year’s Academy Award for Best Picture. In 2006, the New York Times named his novel Blood Meridian as second runner-up in its lists of the best works in American fiction in the previous 25 years, and his three novels that constitute “The Border Trilogy” were included in the Times’ list of 25 best works during that period. Scholars will be coming from all over the world to this university to study the work of Cormac McCarthy.
--We formally dedicated the Ingram School of Engineering in April. Our engineering programs have moved into this facility for the fall semester, and our new electrical engineering program begins this fall with more than 70 students in the first cohort. We had expected 25 students, so this is a resounding start for this program.
--I have already mentioned the parade of politicians that visited our campus during the spring primary season and the media attention that was brought to Texas State as a result. Our students—concerned and excited about national and world issues—have become more involved in the election process than at any other time in recent memory.
--This involvement in politics is focused on our own campus as well as was evident in February when our students overwhelmingly passed a referendum on increasing their athletics fee to support a future move to the Football Bowl Subdivision of the NCAA Division I. The vote passed by a 4-to-1 margin in the largest ever voter turnout for a student election. Their approval, along with later approval by The Texas State University System Board of Regents, will allow the fee to increase by $10 a semester hour in $2 increments over the next five years. Their approval is a tremendous vote of confidence in the future of Bobcat athletics.
--There was other good news for athletics during the year. We won the Southland Conference women’s all-sports trophy for the eighth year in a row. Our volleyball team won the Southland Conference tournament and went on to the NCAA playoffs. During this successful run, Coach Karen Chisum won her 650th game, placing her among the winningest volleyball coaches anywhere.
The women’s basketball team won the Southland Conference title, and Coach Suzanne Fox was named conference Coach of the Year. Coach Ricci Woodard joined her in the accolades for women’s athletics as her softball team won the Southland Conference championship and she was named Coach of the Year. Women’s golf won the Southland Conference tournament and participated in the NCAA tournament for the first time ever. Texas State women’s golf coach Mike Akers was named Southland Conference Coach of the Year.
Our student-athletes continued to reflect the emphasis Texas State places on “student” in that equation. One hundred thirty-five of our athletes were named to the Southland Conference Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll last year, and 18 were named Academic All-Southland Conference. Eight Bobcat athletes were named Arthur Ashe Sports Scholars for exhibiting academic excellence and community activism.
Student-athlete Nick Clark was named one of 15 National Scholar Athletes by the National Football Foundation, often referred to as the Academic Heisman Trophy. This honor included a $15,000 scholarship for this outstanding young man. Nick earned his bachelor’s degree in math with a 3.77 grade point average and played his last year of eligibility as a graduate student in physics.
Also in athletics, last spring we announced a million-dollar gift from San Antonio alumnus Darren Casey—and we celebrated by naming the Athletics Administration Complex for Darren.
--Texas State was recognized last fall as one of 11 model universities in the country for graduating Hispanics, an honor the Lyndon Johnson who began his teaching career in Cotulla would regard with great pride. The American Association of State Colleges and Universities and the Education Trust wanted to know how to graduate more Hispanic students from college, so they looked to the public universities with higher-than-average graduation rates. We were one of the 11 they chose. Our university’s graduation rate for Hispanics earning a bachelor’s degree within six years is 16 points higher than the Texas average and 10 points higher than the national average.
--Of course, we not only graduate Hispanic students at a higher rate than average, but we graduate all students at a higher rate than average. Our average—which is increasing every year—is now 15 points higher than the Texas average and 8 points higher than the national average.
--The Emergency Management Committee has been working hard this summer to enhance and implement safety and security measures for the campus, and a link to Emergency Procedures was added to the bottom of the home page yesterday. Two new systems of note have been implemented this year. The first system is the Thor Guard outdoor siren warning system, which does two things for us—it senses lightning in the environment and allows time for pedestrians to seek shelter from potential lightning strikes, and it provides the ability to warn the campus to seek shelter in emergency situations. The second system is the BRG Sign Board System. This system has been installed in major classrooms. The system provides a scrolling-based message that will notify faculty in the classroom of an emergency condition and gives basic information on what should be done. In standby mode, the system provides a synchronized clock system that will be tied to the campus computing network. With these systems in place – added to the emergency phone notifications, text messaging, e-mail and home page notices and other safety measures we already had -- I believe Texas State is doing all we possibly can to keep us all safe.
--Last year we also made major progress on our Campus Master Plan. Our new sign at the corner of C.M. Allen Parkway and University Drive is nearly complete. This is part of our new definition of campus. The sign and walkway match the sidewalks and lighting along Sessom Drive, which will be repeated all along the border of campus and in the interior.
The almost-finished landscaping between the residence halls on Concho Street is the first big project in the Campus Master Plan’s goal of turning gray into green on campus. The new Speck Street Garage is part of our converting our 85 acres of surface parking into more efficient parking garages, and I don’t believe you can find a nicer looking parking garage anywhere.
Scheduled for completion this fall are the addition to the Student Recreation Center and the North LBJ bus loop. We started work this summer on the baseball-softball complex, the Tomas Rivera Student Center Drive relocation, and the renovation of the Theatre Center. We will begin work this fall on the Matthew Street Garage and the Wittliff Collection in the library which houses our Southwestern Writers Collection; and this spring on the Family and Consumer Sciences expansion.
In all, 28 Campus Master Plan projects with a total value of nearly $670 million are in the programming, design or construction phases of development. I hope you each picked up a copy of this “Guide to Texas State Construction.” It gives you a lot more information on a lot of exciting projects.
--Last year we made amazing progress on the SACS reaffirmation and the QEP that goes with it. The QEP—the Quality Enhancement Plan—is something new in this round of SACS reaccreditation. It’s a focus that we choose—the only guideline is that it must improve student learning outcomes—then we develop a plan around the topic to be implemented between 2010 and 2015 after it is approved by a SACS site visit in 2010.
Many of you have worked hard on the initial teams that looked at QEP topics. Teams created six possible topics for our QEP, and this summer the SACS Leadership Team narrowed the six down to two to be combined in one. Our combined QEP topic is “Enhancing Student Success Through Personalized Advising and Mentoring.” Now another cross-campus team will take that topic and develop it into our plan. Nico Schuler and Beth Wuest will co-chair the continuing Quality Enhancement Plan development, with additional guidance provided by the SACS Leadership Team composed of the President’s Cabinet, SACS liaison Cathy Fleuriet; and faculty representative Cynthia Opheim. We will assemble a sizable QEP Task Force that represents various campus constituent groups. The QEP Task Force will document the need, research best practices, devise a plan to improve advising for Texas State students, establish a corresponding budget and communicate the QEP initiatives to the Texas State community.
Preparation of the QEP is a vital part of the SACS reaffirmation process, and we are off to a strong start. Meanwhile, the SACS compliance certification continues. Many of you have been hard at work already on this enormous project, and I thank you for your efforts. As you know, a SACS re-accreditation by design is all encompassing. It is meant to touch all of us, to examine what all of us do. Such a process is time consuming, of course, but it is also tremendously rewarding in making Texas State a better university for our students.
This academic year will include a biennial legislative session. This summer we submitted our appropriation requests in the hopes that this is a “TRB session,” one that approves tuition revenue bonds. Our two highest priorities are for TRB authority for the Performing Arts Center and a third building for our Round Rock campus. We have met with our local representatives, and I testified earlier this year to the House Select Committee on Higher Education and Public Education Finance. We have planned strategies, but there is still the not-so-small matter of November elections before we find out exactly who is in the Legislature during the session for which we have been planning.
We are living up to our middle name recognizing Texas State University’s role as a public university. Lyndon Johnson championed education as a public good. Like him, we believe that it is the role of society to make available to every citizen as much education as that citizen desires. We take seriously our charge for meeting the needs of the state’s citizens.
One of those needs is in mathematics education. Our Ph.D. program in mathematics education was approved last fall, and we began enrolling students immediately. We have all heard the warnings about America falling behind in math and science education. The American Electronics Association has reported that between 1990 and 1998, America’s high-tech employment increased by 21 percent while high-tech degrees awarded declined by 5 percent. Statistics such as that led Texas to the Closing the Gaps report in 2000 calling for increasing the number of math and science teachers certified through higher education programs threefold by 2015. Texas State is doing its part to make that happen.
A new Ph.D. on the horizon for us is one in materials science and engineering—a field of study that deals with materials at the “nano” level where physical, electrical, optical, magnetic, and other properties are manipulated to function in different ways. These materials can provide solutions for functions as diverse as the generation of energy from sunlight, high-density information storage, sensors for homeland security, and entirely new approaches to computing and communications. These developments are at the forefront of current technology, promising breakthroughs in current industries and opening doors to whole new industries. Nanotechnology could establish our state as a leading innovator in industry and Texas State as a national leader in this rapidly developing field.
The new doctorate in math education and the planned doctorate in materials science and engineering clearly demonstrate that Texas State is stepping up to meet our state’s and our nation’s needs.
American graduate education was the crowning achievement of our educational system for decades, and America attracted the brightest students from around the globe. Until recently, the United States produced more science and engineering Ph.D.s than any region of the world, but now we have been passed by the European Union and tied by Asia and the Pacific Rim. The Closing the Gaps initiative adopted by the state in 2000 calls on Texas to increase the number of Texas students completing doctoral degrees each year from 2,200 to 3,350 by 2010 and to 3,900 per year by 2015. Our graduate schools must produce the people who will solve the critical problems facing our state, nation and world. Texas State is doing its part to meet those needs.
When we talk about our nation’s concerns, health care remains at the forefront. The Task Force on Access to Health Care in Texas predicts that Texas will have a shortage of 52,000 nurses by 2010, the same year we plan on admitting our first junior class of 100 nursing students. Again, Texas State is stepping up to meet our critical needs.
Environmental concerns are another issue of paramount importance to our society, and when we talk about the environment in San Marcos, our attention automatically turns to the jewel that runs through our campus, the San Marcos River. It’s not just a place to cool off on these hot August afternoons—it is one of state’s most precious natural resources. Our River Systems Institute at the headwaters of the river and our Ph.D. in aquatic resources are two of the ways we are helping Texas deal with water issues and helping our society sustain the ability of freshwater systems to maintain life.
Unfortunately, our nation has to deal with issues that were unknown or rare to earlier generations of Americans. Our ALERRT Center—the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Center—has stepped into the national spotlight in providing first-responder training to criminal justice professionals with the skills to quickly respond to the random acts of violence which periodically plague our society.
Against this backdrop, last week we received approval from our Board of Regents to take our proposal for a Ph.D. in criminal justice to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board for final approval. This doctoral program will focus on empirically based decision-making for criminal justice professionals in the Central Texas corridor and across Texas.
Just as Lyndon Johnson believed, we all believe that it is the role of society to make higher education available to all citizens. The harsh reality is that it doesn’t work like that for too many Americans. With lagging state support, universities have to increase tuition and students must pay those costs. To help reduce the expenses that we must pass on to our students, we must look for philanthropic financial support. In fiscal year 2007-2008, we are projecting an amount of $26 million in private funds raised. This amount equals what was raised in 2006-2007, which represented a 40 percent increase in fundraising over the previous year.
One of the highlights of the year was the May announcement that Jerry and Linda Fields will chair our Pride in Action campaign. Earlier in the year, these two Texas State alumni announced their second million-dollar endowed chair in the McCoy College. They also pledged $100,000 to buy a 1,200 season football tickets for any Texas State graduate of the last two years—first come, first served – and 1,100 are already gone. Additionally, they have pledged $250,000 as a challenge gift for the Strutters to have a physical presence in the proposed Alumni Center, a part of the Pride in Action campaign. They have hit the ground running in this campaign, and we are extremely fortunate to have Jerry and Linda contribute their time and enthusiasm to their alma mater.
The Pride in Action campaign contains five pillars, or areas of emphasis. The first, and most important, pillar is Academic Excellence—focusing on increased research, scholarships, and faculty development. It is the pillar that focuses on recruiting the highest quality students. Gloria and Bruce Ingram will chair this pillar of the campaign.
The second pillar is the Performing Arts, and at its core is the Recital Hall and Theatre Center, Phase I of our Performing Arts Center. A highlight of the past year was the February announcement of an $8 million gift from Patti Harrison to launch the fundraising for this center. I wish all of you could know Patti. She is thoroughly delightful, full of life, and brimming with contagious enthusiasm—qualities that she will bring to the role she has accepted in chairing this pillar of the Pride in Action campaign.
This Performing Arts Center will provide a showcase for our incredibly talented students and enable us to attract even more talented students. It will be a cultural gateway to campus and help link the campus with the community. We hope the show of support from Patti Harrison will be joined by the community and strengthen our request to the Legislature to provide us with necessary debt service on bond sales to help construct this building.
Mentioned earlier is the Alumni Center, the third pillar of the Pride in Action campaign. This proposed facility to be built at the corner of Charles Austin and Aquarena Springs Drive will be a symbol of our proud heritage and will provide an appropriate site for reunions, alumni chapter meetings, receptions and a host of other events. Dedicated alumnus O.C. Haley will chair this pillar.
Athletics is the fourth pillar in our campaign. In Texas, first-rate universities are expected to have first-rate athletic programs, and ours is poised to be one. We must invest in several key facilities improvements and in additional scholarship support to elevate our athletic programs to a level that matches our academic stature.
The excitement of game days and the success of our teams generate pride that carries over to our entire university community. Our students have already demonstrated their support with their votes last February, and Darren Casey demonstrated it with his generous contribution.
The final pillar of our campaign is the intellectual center of our campus—the library. To retain its status, the Alkek Library must support our academic community in several new ways. Its space must accommodate evolving information technology and support new teaching and learning modes.
The library’s needs are threefold. The first two are construction of a collection repository facility and renovation of existing space. Since its construction nearly 20 years ago, the Alkek Library has seen a dynamic growth in its collections, adding a half million volumes and making it one of the best libraries in Texas. The library has begun to accept records requiring permanent retention, papers of historical importance for university archives and precious acquisitions such as the Cormac McCarthy papers. These all require additional space.
The third library need is the creation of a digital library platform. Electronic access to information is crucial to modern libraries, and the shift from print to electronic publication is accelerating. Researchers, teachers and students demand electronic formats. Requirements include acquisitions of additional titles and completion of back files of electronic journals, plus digitizing many materials in the university archives.
These are the five pillars of our Pride in Action Campaign. It is just one of the most exciting undertakings in what promises to be an outstanding year.
A century ago a boy was born in a farmhouse in a tiny Hill Country community. From his high school graduating class of 15, he came to San Marcos to pursue his education. The faculty here recognized his potential, challenged his ideas, and sharpened his skills. Faculty and administrators ignited his lifelong passion for education. They changed the life of Lyndon Johnson, and he changed the lives of generations of Americans who followed him.
Much has changed at Texas State since Lyndon Johnson walked these hills. One thing that remains the same, though, is the dedication of our faculty and staff. We can and will continue to transform lives. It is a commitment we all renew with the coming of this new school year.