Texas State University will host a 50th anniversary celebration of the signing of the Higher Education Act (HEA) in conjunction with the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) and the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library and Museum on October 26.
President Lyndon Johnson, an alumnus of Texas State, originally signed the HEA on campus in November 8, 1965. At the signing, Johnson said the bill “will swing open a new door for the young people of America…the most important door that will ever open—the door to education.”
Texas State President Denise Trauth will open the event with welcoming remarks. AASCU President Muriel Howard, National Association of Independent Colleges President David Warren and APLU President Peter McPherson are speakers for the event. A panel discussion featuring former United States Secretaries of Education Roderick Paige and Margaret Spellings, moderated by Mark Updegrove, director of the LBJ Presidential Library and Museum, will follow. Video presentations from current U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan as well as former Secretaries of Education Lamar Alexander and Richard Riley will also be presented.
AASCU, APLU and Texas State are commemorating the signing of the HEA in recognition of the fact that Lyndon Johnson’s vision of improved opportunity for all Americans radically changed—and improved—both higher education and America in numerous ways. Not only did access to postsecondary education and training vastly increase as a direct result of federal support, higher education mitigated many of the historical inequities in American society.