History of the Series
Fulfilling a Promise
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 the finest minds in the country to speak on campus.
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. President Johnson's 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 university named him its first Distinguished Alumnus. In 1962 he received Texas State'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.
Since 2005, speakers and topics have been aligned with the university's annual Common Experience theme.