Guest post: Honoring Luci Baines Johnson

Texas State University President Denise M. Trauth

Editor’s note: This is a special guest post by Texas State University President Denise M. Trauth

On October 16 the Center for Public Policy Priorities will honor Luci Baines Johnson as its 2014 Texas Legacy for her contributions to Texas. Texas State University President Denise Trauth offers this special guest tribute to Luci.
Sponsorships and tickets are still available for the Legacy Luncheon at forabettertexas.org/legacy.

I was excited to have the opportunity to honor Luci Baines Johnson in this year’s Legacy Luncheon because Luci is a true Texas treasure.

Luci benefited from history lessons that no textbook could match. Of course, Luci had a rather unique vantage point on history because she was the daughter of a U.S. president.

She came to the White House as a teenager along with her sister, Lynda. Their lives changed suddenly one November afternoon in 1963.

They witnessed the tumult of rapid social progress, domestic unrest, and war. And they watched as their father sought an end to poverty and signed into law a Civil Rights Act.

They essentially had a front-row seat to see the impact programs such as Head Start — championed by President LBJ, and carried to fruition by their mother, Lady Bird — had on our nation.

It is unlikely anyone can have a window seat to our world and not be touched by the events that helped shape it. Indeed, we are grateful Luci experienced our country’s history in ways most of us could not.

Today, Luci is a philanthropist, a businesswoman, and a model of civic engagement. She is chairman of the board of LBJ Asset Management Partners and of BusinessSuites, a national operator of executive offices she co-founded with her husband.

She has served on numerous boards, including the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and the American Heart Association. She herself was a Head Start volunteer and she remains profoundly interested in the program and its success.

We are thankful for her contributions to society on so many levels and for the fact that she remains a true friend of Texas State University. We are particularly proud of the example Luci has set, and we can’t help but think our world is a better place because she’s in it.

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