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The University of Texas at Austin

Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs



Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs and Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum are proud to host

'Understanding the Modern American Presidency'
A Colloquium in Honor of Elspeth Davies Rostow

Tuesday, March 4, 2008
2:00 - 5:30 p.m.
Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum, 10th Floor Atrium
The University of Texas at Austin
2313 Red River Street
Austin, TX

The Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs with the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum will host a special tribute on Tuesday, March 4th to celebrate and commemorate former LBJ School Dean Elspeth Davies Rostow and her lifelong commitment to education and public service. "Understanding the Modern American Presidency," a colloquium in honor of Dean Rostow who passed away on December 9, 2007, will anchor the event to be held in the Atrium of the LBJ Library. The colloquium will feature two panels of distinguished educators and public servants reflecting on various aspects of the Presidency and include personal tributes to Dean Rostow by friends and colleagues. View agenda for the event.

In addition, The Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs will formally announce the creation of the Dean Elspeth Rostow Memorial Graduate Fellowship in honor of the former Dean. The Rostow Graduate Fellowship will be awarded to second-year graduate students whose interests embody the spirit and dedication to public service that Dean Rostow herself exemplified throughout her life and career.

Elspeth Rostow
Dean Rostow enjoys a game of frisbee with LBJ students.

James Steinberg, Dean of the LBJ School said, "It is altogether fitting that we come together here at the University of Texas to honor Dean Rostow and reflect on the Presidency and leadership on Tuesday, March 4, the same day as the 2008 Texas Presidential Primary. She shared a passion and respect for the political process itself—always the student, forever the educator.

"I am particularly gratified to announce the creation of the Dean Elspeth Rostow Memorial Graduate Fellowship in her honor," Dean Steinberg said, "It's simply impossible to reflect upon the achievements of the LBJ School and not credit Dean Rostow for her vision, her leadership and her profound contributions. She was truly an extraordinary individual whose life personified the values and aspirations of public service. The spirit of her legacy lives on in the four decades of students with whom she shared her wisdom and compassion."

Betty Sue Flowers, Director of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum said, "The colloquium for Elspeth Rostow on 'Understanding the Modern American Presidency' is designed to honor a woman who inspired many audiences at the LBJ Library with her elegance of wit and her breadth of knowledge—just as she inspired generations of students at the LBJ School. It's fitting that the Archivist of the United States is joining us in a presidential library to pay tribute to a scholar who understood presidents as well as the presidency."

More on Elspeth Davies Rostow

An internationally recognized expert on national politics and U.S foreign policy, Rostow served as Dean of the LBJ School from 1977 to 1983. Prior to that, she served as Dean of the UT Austin Division of General and Comparative Studies. She taught at Barnard, Sarah Lawrence, MIT, Georgetown, American University, and the University of Cambridge. Rostow, who until her passing served as Stiles Professor Emerita in American Studies and Professor of Government at the LBJ School, taught courses on the American Presidency and U.S. foreign policy.

Dean Rostow was not only an educational and public service leader in America, but internationally as well. She was an early proponent of and leader in the founding of American studies as an academic discipline, especially in Europe where she taught in 1939 at Barnard College. During World War II, she worked for the US Government in the Office of Strategic Services monitoring dispatches from the French Resistance. In 1937 she met her future husband, Walt Rostow in Paris and the couple lived in Geneva for three years after their marriage.

Dean Rostow served as a member of the President's Advisory Committee for Trade Negotiations and the President's Commission for a National Agenda for the Eighties. In 1987, President Reagan appointed her to the Board of the United States Institute of Peace, which she later chaired. Dean Rostow was a Trustee of the Southern Center for International Studies (Atlanta) and a former member of the Board of Advisors to the President of the Naval War College (Newport). She also served as Trustee of the National Academy of Public Administration. In 1983-84 she lectured in thirty-four countries under the auspices of the Fulbright Program and the U.S. Information Agency. For five years she was an editorial columnist for the Austin American-Statesman. In 1991 she co-founded The Austin Project, a comprehensive investment program in children and young people.


For those people who would like to see the presentation but are unable to attend, the event will be webcast in real-time as well as available for later viewing online. Visit the LBJ School's screening room Web site, www.utexas.edu/lbj/webcasts, on the day of the event to access the webcast. You will need to have QuickTime installed to watch the streaming video.


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