College of Liberal Arts

History professor and Pulitzer Prize finalist H.W. Brands to give talk at Fall Leadership Lecture Series

Thu, Oct 14, 2010

AUSTIN, Texas - The Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs will launch its 40th anniversary celebration “LBJ@40” with a new LBJ School Fall Leadership Lecture Series.   The inaugural series will feature noted speakers from the University, the Austin community, and Central Texas who will offer their thoughts on leadership from the perspectives of politics, history, ethics, philanthropy, business, and athletics. All events will be hosted by Ambassador Robert L. Hutchings, dean of the LBJ School.

The fall of 2010 marks 40 years since the LBJ School opened its doors to 18 students and five faculty members. “LBJ@40” will serve as an overarching theme to provide focus on a variety of initiatives designed to communicate the breadth and quality of the School’s academic programs and innovative teaching practices, while demonstrating its role as a leading source of research and analysis on the most challenging and relevant issues of the day.

“Preparing our graduates to take on leadership roles in government, non-profits and non-governmental organizations in local, state, national, and global arenas has been the mission of the LBJ School since the School opened its doors to its inaugural class in 1970,” said Hutchings.  “It is fitting that we launch our year of anniversary events with a new leadership lecture series that will serve the dual purpose of engaging the UT and wider Austin community and showcasing scholars and leaders drawn from our own community.  In today’s globalized, networked world, leaders face a daunting set of challenges. We hope that this series will help us not only understand but also meet these challenges.”

Texas Senator Leticia Van de Putte will be the first speaker and will discuss her experiences leading the “Texas 11,” which included Democratic state senators who traveled to New Mexico in 2003 as part of a protest against a Republican redistricting plan, depriving the State Senate of a quorum and temporarily freezing legislative action. Van de Putte’s story has been recounted in “Latina Legislator: Leticia Van de Putte and the Road to Leadership,” by Sharon A. Navarro.

The event is free and open to the public. All events will take place in the Bass Lecture Hall, located on the basement level of the LBJ School of Public Affairs, Sid Richardson Hall Unit III, 2315 Red River Street, Austin, Texas, 78713, on the University of Texas at Austin campus.

LBJ School Fall Leadership Lecture Series Schedule:

Leticia Van de Putte

Wednesday, Oct. 13, 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Leticia Van de Putte, a pharmacist for more than 30 years, represents a large portion of San Antonio and Bexar County. A former five-term state representative, she is now serving her sixth term as a Texas State Senator for District 26. She has served as the Chair of the Texas Senate Democratic Caucus since 2003. Senator Van de Putte was nominated as Co-Chair of the 2008 Democratic National Convention and she has been actively involved in the National Conference of State Legislatures, serving as President from 2006 to 2007.

H.W. Brands

Thursday, Oct. 21, 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

H.W. (“Bill”) Brands, the Dickson Allen Anderson Centennial Professor of History at The University of Texas at Austin, is author of 22 books on American history and politics. He teaches courses on the American Presidency and has written presidential biographies of Andrew Jackson, Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, and Lyndon Johnson.

Paul Woodruff

Monday, Oct. 25, 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Professor Paul Woodruff is Darrell K. Royal Professor in Ethics and American Society. He is a classicist, professor of philosophy, and dean of undergraduate studies at The University of Texas at Austin where he has chaired the department of philosophy and directed the Plan II Honors Program. He is best known for his work on ethics, which builds on the philosophy and wisdom literature of ancient Greece. His most recent book is on the philosophy of theater, and his current project concerns justice in the giving of rewards.

Curtis Meadows

Wednesday, Oct. 27, 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Curtis Meadows' long career in the independent sector includes 18 years of service as President, CEO, and Director of the Meadows Foundation of Texas.  He now holds the title of Director Emeritus of the Meadows Foundation and is also the Founding Executive Director of the LBJ School’s RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service.

Roy Spence

Thursday, Nov. 4, 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.

Roy Spence is co-founder and chairman of GSD&M Idea City, a leading marketing communications and advertising company. He is also co-founder and CEO of The Purpose Institute, a consulting firm whose purpose is to help people and organizations discover and live their purpose. Under Roy’s leadership and their “Purpose-based Branding” philosophy, the agency has helped grow some of the world’s most successful brands and has used their talents to make a difference in communities around the country and the world.

Chris Plonsky

Tuesday, Nov. 9, 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Chris Plonsky is women’s athletics director for 11 Longhorns sports teams and oversees external services for UT men’s and women’s athletics. In this role, she manages support operations for corporate sponsorship sales and fulfillment and multimedia agreements showcasing UT sports in broadcasts and internet. She also supervises UT trademark and licensing staff members. Chris is a 1979 journalism graduate of Kent State University. She has a 21-year association with UT (1982-86, 1993-present). Chris also serves on several campus leadership committees and on national sports committees for USA Basketball, the NCAA and the National Football Foundation. She previously worked at The Big East Conference (1986-93) and Iowa State University (1979-81). Her hobbies include travel, reading and golf.

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