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Texas State to hosts symposium honoring HEA's 50th anniversary
Texas State University

November, 2015

Texas State University will host a symposium of local and national education leaders November 4 commemorating the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon Johnson's signing of the Higher Education Act (HEA).

            The event will be 1-5:30 p.m. in the Alkek Teaching Theatre on campus. It is free and open to the public. A reception will follow.

            Philo Hutcheson, a professor in the Department of Educational Leadership, Policy and Technology Studies at the University of Alabama, will serve as keynote speaker. Panel discussions on education policy issues and a remembrance of President Johnson and the HEA will follow.

            The panel discussion on education policy issues will feature Mary Brennan, chair of the Department of History at Texas State, Ray Marshall, professor emeritus at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas, Michael A. Olivas, director of the Institute for Higher Education Law and Governance at the University of Houston, and Julie Leininger Pycior, professor in the Department of History at Manhattan College, Bronx, New York. 

            The remembrance of President Johnson and the HEA panel will feature Light Cummins, professor in the Department of History at Austin College, Lillian Dees, senior lecturer in the Department of Sociology at Texas State, Mel Ferrari, talent program coordinator at KIPP Houston Public Schools, and Ronald Johnson, assistant professor in the Department of History at Texas State.

            The Higher Education Act, signed at Texas State by alumnus Lyndon Johnson on November 8, 1965, made a college education attainable for thousands of lower- and middle-income students who might never have considered this possibility. Pell Grants, work-study, low-interest student loans, the National Teachers Corps, Title IX and more became a part of the act that many now take for granted. Inspired by President Johnson's experiences as a teacher in Cotulla and as a student in San Marcos, this legislation became central to the legacies of Texas State, Texas and the United States.

            For more information, visit


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