Dolph Briscoe Naming Announcement
The University of Texas at Austin
December 1, 2008
Good afternoon, everyone. I am Bill Powers, president of the University. We are here today to make a major announcement regarding our Center for American History.
When we launched our Campaign for Texas, I announced that Governor Dolph Briscoe had made the first gift of the public phase of the campaign, a gift of $15 million to the Center for American History. In gratitude for his generosity, and in recognition of all that he has done for the Center and for our State, the Center will now be named the “Dolph Briscoe Center for American History.”
It is fitting that the Center be named for one of the most devoted champions of the history of Texas and our nation. Governor Briscoe, we are enormously grateful to you. On behalf of the entire University of Texas, thank you.
The importance of Governor Briscoe’s gift to the Center cannot be overstated. The Center is the steward of some of the nation’s most valuable historic collections of Texas and U.S. history. Its holdings echo the stories of people, places, events, and ideas that have shaped our state and our nation. The Center’s archivists and historians preserve and make available numerous resources that exist nowhere else. And their projects and publications highlight the important, and sometimes overlooked, chronicles of our past.
In addition to our facilities on campus, the Center also operates three museums that educate the public and preserve our political, social, and cultural history: the John Nance Garner Museum in Uvalde (which I know, Governor, is especially close to your heart), the Sam Rayburn Library and Museum in Bonham, and the Winedale Historical Complex near Round Top. Governor Briscoe’s gift allows us to significantly expand the Center’s programs, projects, and resources, not only here in Austin but across the state of Texas.
Governor: Thank you. Thank you for enabling us to create an exceptional research center.
Thank you for your vision and generosity.
And now it is my pleasure to introduce Governor Briscoe’s great friend and literary collaborator – and the executive director of the Briscoe Center for American History – Don Carleton.
Thank you, Don. We should have known that Governor Briscoe was destined for greatness back when he was nine years old. He slept in Sam Houston’s bed in the Governor’s mansion and later said, “I sort of liked the place, and I always wanted to go back.”
As many of you are aware, Governor Briscoe’s lifelong contributions to the University of Texas System will be recognized on February 11, 2009, when he receives the Santa Rita Award. Congratulations, Governor, for this special and richly deserved distinction.
We often say, “What starts here changes the world.” And what started here in 1943, when Dolph Briscoe graduated from the University of Texas, was a life of leadership and public service that would lead to the Governor’s mansion thirty years later. It is my privilege to introduce the recipient of UT’s Distinguished Alumnus Award and a man who has written his own chapter in the grand and extraordinary history of Texas – Governor Dolph Briscoe.
Thank you, Governor Briscoe. Thank you for making this an historic day for The University of Texas.
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