On December 6, 2013, Humanities Texas celebrated its fortieth anniversary with a day of discussion, reminiscences, and festivities at the LBJ Presidential Library and the Byrne-Reed House.
Two daytime panel sessions were hosted at the LBJ Presidential Library. The program commenced with a welcome from Mark Updegrove, director of the LBJ Presidential Library, and an introduction by Michael L. Gillette, executive director of Humanities Texas. Panel chair Robert C. Vaughan III, president of the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, led a discussion on the early history of the state humanities councils. Participants included Carole M. Watson, acting chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities; Esther Mackintosh, president of the Federation of State Humanities Councils; James F. Veninga, executive director emeritus of Humanities Texas; Jamil Zainaldin, president of the Georgia Humanities Council; Kristina A. Valaitis, former executive director of the Illinois Humanities Council; and Marion Cott, former executive director of the Kansas Humanities Council.
After lunch, the panel reconvened, with Jamil Zainaldin chairing a discussion on the state councils' relationship with the Federation of State Humanities Councils and the National Endowment for the Humanities. At the end of the second session, participants and guests had an opportunity to tour the LBJ Presidential Library's newly renovated exhibition halls.
In the evening, guests gathered at the Byrne-Reed House for a conversation on the history of the Texas state council. Betty Sue Flowers, former Humanities Texas board member (1983–88) and former director of the LBJ Presidential Library, served as moderator. Panelists included James F. Veninga, along with former Humanities Texas board chairs J. Sam Moore Jr. (1991), Everett L. Fly (1992–93), Maceo C. Dailey Jr. (2003–04), and Julius Glickman (2009–10). The conversation was followed by a buffet reception.
View the Fortieth Anniversary Program Slideshow to see additional photographs from the event. To learn more about the history of the Texas state council, visit the Mission and History page on the Humanities Texas website.