Texas State University and the city of San Marcos will take part in the national year long celebration commemorating the 100th birthday of its most distinguished alumnus, Lyndon Baines Johnson.There are many events focused on LBJ’s legacy throughout the 2008-2009 academic year. Texas State’s Common Experience theme for the entire year is “Civic Responsibility and the Legacy of LBJ” and the LBJ Museum of San Marcos is preparing some special exhibits for the Centennial.
LBJ’s grandson and Texas State alumni, Lyndon Nugent will officially start the school year as the keynote speaker at New Student Convocation, following Convocation the inaugural year of the LBJ Student Picnic will take place in Sewell Park. The campus will have many additional speakers, dialogues and exhibits throughout the year.
“It is very significant to all of us that Texas State is still the only university in Texas to have graduated a U.S. President” said Dr. Denise Trauth, President of Texas State University, “I am hopeful that our tribute to our most distinguished graduate will serve as an inspiration to all our students, faculty and staff, and the community-at-large to live meaningful lives, to be actively involved in public service, and to leave – by our words and deeds – a legacy that will have a positive impact on our world.”
The LBJ Museum of San Marcos’ first project is an Oral History Exhibit. Scott Jordan, Director of the museum said, “Because of our museum’s accessible location, Texas State University President Denise Trauth asked the museum’s board of directors if the museum would like to partner with the university by developing an interactive exhibit using interviews and photographs resulting from the Oral History Project. The board readily agreed, and the largest cooperative venture between the university and the museum was born.”
There is also a community movement for the creation of a commemorative marker at the crossing of LBJ and Martin Luther King streets that is gaining some traction. City Councilman Chris Jones said, “The time is just right for this project to happen with the University Common Experience theme on LBJ, the city’s focus on the renovations in the Dunbar neighborhood, the Calaboose Museum and the relationship between LBJ and Dr. King.”
A special preview opening of the Oral History Project Exhibit has been tentatively set for Saturday, August 23, 2008, just prior to the university’s convocation for new students. The official public opening will likely be Sunday, August 24
For more information about the national celebration, visit www.lbj100.org, for more information about the LBJ Museum of San Marcos, visit www.lbjmuseum.com and for more information about the Common Experience and a calendar of events, visit www.txstate.edu/commonexperience.
By REAGAN PUGH