LBJ Foundation

Along with bringing four U.S. presidents to the University, the Civil Rights Summit also brought an increase in donations to the LBJ Foundation, according to LBJ Library spokeswoman Anne Wheeler.

The LBJ Foundation is a nonprofit that supports the library and the University’s LBJ School of Public Affairs.

Wheeler said legacy memberships of the library also increased as a result of the Summit, as well as donation funds. According to Wheeler, between Feb. 1 and the beginning of the summit on April 8, memberships grew from 26 to 62. By donating $1,000 to the foundation to become a legacy member, members were able to receive two tickets to the speeches of former Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter and gained access to all of the summit’s afternoon panels.

“The LBJ Foundation was very pleased with the support it received from the Austin community and national sponsors,” Wheeler said. “This support demonstrates the importance of recognizing the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act and shows that [the library and LBJ School] present thought-provoking and bipartisan examinations of current issues, along with remembering historic events.”  

According to Wheeler, the report showing the number of monetary contributions during the summit has not been compiled yet, but the event had two $200,000 sponsors, Coca-Cola and the GM Foundation, and five $100,000 sponsors, including Google and H-E-B.

James Harris, director of Supplier Diversity for H-E-B, said that when first considering sponsoring an event, H-E-B management determines whether it represents part of the business’s core values. According to Harris, H-E-B strongly supports education and cultural celebrations of Texas.

“We supported [the summit] because of the fact that LBJ was tied into it and he was an iconic figure in the state of Texas,” Harris said. “It fit within our core given strategy.”

Along with creating positive publicity for H-E-B, advertising assistant professor Brad Love said the summit also enhanced the national image of the University.

“The University again demonstrated it can handle large, nationally significant events,” Love said. “Having an event that focuses on discussing important ideas from a range of perspectives shows the quality of thought and intellectual work that we want around here.”

Photo Credit: Jonathan Garza | Daily Texan Staff

Click here for full coverage of the second day of the Civil Rights Summit.

Updated: (8:26 p.m.) For the full story on former President Jimmy Carter's conversation with LBJ Library Director Mark Updegrove at the Civil Rights Summit, click here.

Updated: (7:47 p.m.) Former President Jimmy Carter said there are still racial and women’s rights issues the United States needs to address in a conversation at the Civil Rights Summit on Tuesday.

According to Carter, sexual abuse is major problem not only in the countries around the world that he and the Carter Center work with, but also in universities in the U.S.

“In this country, we are not above—I hate to say condemnation—but we are not hove reproach,” Carter said. “The number one place for sexual abuse is the United States universities.”

Carter also said segregation still exists, especially in public schools in the Deep South.

“We still have gross disparity between black and white people on employment [and] the quality of public education,” Carter said. “A lot of so-called segregation academies were founded so white people could send their kids to a very segregated school.”

—Alyssa Mahoney

Updated: (5:12 p.m.) Mavis Staples and Graham Nash spoke about how their involvement in the civil rights movement affected their songwriting and careers in music at the third panel of the Civil Rights Summit, “Music and Social Consciousness.”

Staples, a rhythm and blues and gospel artist from soul group The Staples Singers, attributes her lifetime as a gospel singer to meeting Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. early in her career.

“I think that if he can preach it, we can sing it,” Staples said.

Updated: (4:02 p.m.) For the full story on the second panel of the Civil Rights Summit, "Pathway to the American Dream: Immigration Policy in the 21st Century," click here.

Updated: (3:05 p.m.) San Antonio mayor Julian Castro and former Mississippi governor Haley Barbour discussed immigrations issues, including the lack of a solid definition of “border security,” as well as students overstaying their visas, during the second panel of the Civil Rights Summit, “Pathway to the American Dream: Immigration Policy in the 21st Century.”

Castro said the U.S. has not “even defined what border security would be.”

Barbour said people who overstay their visas could make up a significant portion of the number of undocumented immigrants in the U.S.

“People who come on a legal visa and don’t go when they’re supposed to… could be four or five million of the 11 million,” Barbour said. 

— Amanda Voeller

Updated: (2:46 p.m.) Though attorneys David Boies and Theodore Olson once argued against each other in front of the Supreme Court, they said they are of one mind about the constitutionality of same-sex marriage. To read a full recap of "Gay Marriage: A Civil Right?" click here.​

(From left) John Avalon, editor-in-chief of The Daily Beast, attorney David Boies and Theodore B. Olson, attorney and former U.S. Solicitor General, speak at the "Gay Marriage: A Civil Right?" panel Tuesday at the LBJ Auditorium. Photo by Jonathan Garza / Daily Texan Staff.

Updated: (1:54 p.m.) The Gay Liberation Front, UT's first gay student activist group, was founded in 1970. Read Eleanor Dearman's story here to find out more about gay students' experiences at UT in the 70's and today. 

Updated: (12:47 p.m.) Although Robert Schenkkan’s family had a longtime relationship with the Johnson family even before Lyndon B. Johnson became president, Schenkkan is perhaps best known for his play “All the Way,” which examines the first months of Lyndon B Johnson’s Presidency and the passage of the Civil Rights Act.

According to Schenkkan, Johnson’s was a Shakespearean figure that was rarely captured in his public image as president.

“He was not just physically big but large in his appetites, his ambitions, his flaws, his faults [and] virtues,” Schenkkan said. “[When] people talk about Lyndon Johnson, it’s always in this combination of the most generous man I ever met, the most savage man I ever met.”

Schenkkan said he thinks the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the state of civil rights today offer many comparisons.

“I think it’s a great time right now, I think in particular, to be reexamining these issues because [of] the widely-held frustration of both sides of the aisle about the gridlock in Congress and seeming inability to accomplish even the most trivial of matters,” Schenkkan said.

— Alyssa Mahoney

Updated (10:26 a.m.): Bob Hutchings, LBJ School of Public Affairs dean, said the LBJ School of Public Affairs will open a center in Washington, D.C. for graduate students who want to spend more time in the capitol.

Hutchings said the LBJ School Washington Center will have an office, permanent staff and classroom space. According to Hutchings, the center will begin enrolling students next year. Although the location has not yet been determined, Hutchings said he hopes it will be located centrally in downtown Washington, D.C. near UT’s Archer Center.

“This is the probably best thing we can do as a public policy school to honor the legacy of President Johnson, namely to empower the next generation, the next get-it-done generation,” Hutchings said at the Civil Rights Summit.

According to LBJ Foundation president Elizabeth Christian, Hutchings' statement is the first public announcement of the LBJ School’s plans to create a Washington, D.C. center.

Hutchings said a major priority of the LBJ School is to continue the legacy of Johnson, which he said he thinks will be aided by establishing the center in Washington, D.C.

“Too few are going into public service,” Hutchings said. “If you don’t like what you see in Washington, get in the arena and change it.”

— Alyssa Mahoney

Updated (9:40 a.m.): The first panel of the summit is titled, "Gay Marriage: A Civil Right?" The panel will be moderated by John Avlon, the editor-in-chief of The Daily Beast and will feature attorneys David Boies and Theodore B. Olson who teamed up in 2010 to challenge Proposition 8 in California, a constitutional amendment that banned gay marriage in the state. The two prevailed at the U.S. Supreme Court in 2013 when the court ruled upheld the district court's decision that deemed Proposition 8 unconstitutional. 

— Alyssa Mahoney

Updated (9:30 a.m.): Here's a quick, 40-second primer on what the Civil Rights Summit will be about.

— Bryce Seifert

Editor’s Note: This is one story in a series of features on external UT foundations that will end Wednesday. 

When former Atlanta mayor Shirley Franklin was hired to a prominent position at the LBJ School of Public Affairs earlier this year, an external foundation played a critical role in her employment. 

The Barbara Jordan Visiting Professor in Ethics and Political Values chair at the school is one of many financial incentives the LBJ School is able to offer because of contributions from the Lyndon Baines Johnson Foundation, said Robert Hutchings, dean of the school. 

“We wouldn’t have the faculty support we have without those chairs,” Hutchings said. “We wouldn’t be able to recruit the students we have without that support.” 

Despite accumulating a $157 million endowment, the most of any external foundation linked to UT, executive director Mary Herman said many people still don’t even know it exists. 

“I think the LBJ Foundation has kept a low profile so a lot of people don’t even know we exist, or what we do for the library and the school,” Herman said.

The LBJ Foundation formed in 1969 when President Lyndon Baines Johnson and friends decided to raise money for an endowment that would benefit the public affairs school and presidential library that were being constructed in his honor. A board of directors that meets biannually includes members of the Johnson family, their friends and younger members who have experience in public affairs. The board helps keep the foundation going, Herman said.

Herman said the foundation’s next big plans include events in Washington, D.C., and Austin in 2014 to honor the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights Act passed and signed by Johnson.

The foundation gave more than $4.2 million to the LBJ School in 2011, according to IRS documents. Most of the funding is earmarked for endowed chairs for professors and graduate student fellowships, Hutchings said. 

“Although we continue to raise funds for the school and the library, the majority of our funding comes from the endowment,” Herman said. “We’ve been in existence for a while, so we’ve really been able to earn a lot of money on funds that were there in the beginning. We’ve added to that over time, but it’s certainly built on that over time.”

The foundation’s eight employees work closely with the school, said Larry Temple, chairman of the board of directors. 

“From the standpoint of the school, we just try to provide scholarships and fellowships that will help attract the best students and the best faculty,” Temple said. “We don’t get into the business of trying to run that school at all. We try to work to provide the best financial resources available so the school can reach its ambitions.”

The foundation also works with the LBJ Presidential Library to direct funds to a variety of projects, including providing research grants to the LBJ School, administering the Lady Bird Johnson Environmental Awards and redesigning the library — which reopened in December after an $11 million renovation. The foundation contributed more than $2.5 million to the library in 2011, according to IRS documents. 

“Having so many balls in the air at one time, you’ve really got to be proactive and respond quickly and be really nimble in managing all these different interests,” Herman said.

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Printed on Tuesday, April 30, 2013 as: Foundation maintains LBJ funding

This article was corrected after its original posting. The LBJ Foundation was formed in 1969.

Former President of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev and his translator, Pavel Palazchenko, speak with Mark Updegrave, Director of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library, at the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library at The University of Texas at Austin Tuesday evening. During the event, which was part of the Harry Middleton Lecture Series, Gorbachev urged the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and the formation of a New World Order.

Photo Credit: Andrew Torrey | Daily Texan Staff

Former Soviet Union president Mikhail Gorbachev urged the United States to pull out of Afghanistan and work with Russia and other countries to create a new world order in a lecture at the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library Tuesday night.

Gorbachev spoke as a part of the Harry Middleton Lectureship series, an initiative by the LBJ Foundation to expose students to high profile speakers. He gave his thoughts on Iran, Afghanistan and Barack Obama. When asked about Russia’s current political state, Gorbachev said he thinks current Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin should not run for a third term as president. Putin served as president of Russia from 2000 to 2008 and has remained as prime minister.

Gorbachev said Putin inherited a very difficult situation from former president Boris Yeltsin and implemented an extreme authoritarian style of government as his way of addressing the needs of the nation. It was perhaps understandable that Putin used certain authoritarian styles in his leadership because of political and economic unrest, Gorbachev said, but using authoritarian methods in general is wrong.

“Whenever you have leaders that rule 20 years or more, the only thing important to those leaders is holding on to power,” Gorbachev said.

Although Gorbachev said he does not make it a habit to give advice to other countries, he said the U.S. should learn from the mistakes of countries like Russia when dealing with issues in Iran and Afghanistan.

“I hope you will consider this because we are making these suggestions in good faith,” Gorbechev said. “Russia never intended to fight America, and our policy resulted in a division in the world.”

Gorbachev said one of the main reasons for the current U.S. domestic unrest and situation in the Middle East and Europe date back to the end of the Cold War when the U.S. declared victory. Gorbachev said America acted arrogantly and tried to build a new empire instead of working together with other countries and needs to think in terms of cooperation for the future.

Referencing the late Pope John Paul II, Gorbachev said the world needs a world order that is more stable, more just and more human.

“We need to start to think of how to live in a new world [where we address] security, poverty and challenges to the environment,” Gorbachev said.

Gorbachev is considered an influential leader in history for his role in ending the Cold War in 1989 and introducing widespread democratic reform in Russia. Gorbachev said the introduction of his Perestroika and Glasnost policies, which democratized the Communist political system, eased economic restrictions and granted people freedom of speech and press, was his administration’s response to his people’s cry for change.

He received the Nobel Peace Prize for ending the Cold War in 1990 and currently heads the Gorbachev Foundation, an organization dedicated to aid the spread of democracy and economic liberty. He is also the head of Green Cross, a group that addresses poverty, security and environmental degradation.

When asked about President Barack Obama, Gorbachev said he supports the current president and that current U.S. conflicts do not fall onto Obama’s shoulders alone because he inherited problems from other presidents. Gorbachev said it is not only a strong leader, but a strong country, that is important when the country calls for change.

LBJ Library spokeswoman Anne Wheeler said the LBJ Library worked to find a date for Gorbachev to speak at the library for nearly a year. She said more than 1,000 people attended Gorbachev’s lecture.

LBJ Library director Mark Updegrove moderated the discussion with Gorbachev. Updegrove said he hoped students at the event would learn about the importance of Gorbachev’s role in history and his legacy as a man of peace.

“What we know is all of Gorbachev’s predecessors resisted the openness and reforms that were the hallmark during his tenure in office,” Updegrove said. “While it’s difficult to speculate on what would have happened [had Gorbachev not been in control], chances are the Cold War may have ended in bloodshed.”

Yekaterina Cotey, a comparative literature graduate student who grew up in Russia, said she remembers Gorbachev’s economic reforms and how they affected her family. Cotey said she and her family have mixed feelings about Gorbachev, but understand he played a large role in their lives.

“It’s not possible to imagine life without him,” Cotey said. “If it wasn’t for him and disintegration of the Soviet Union, I wouldn’t be here right now.” 

Former President Jimmy Carter addressed more than 200 students and community members at the Lady Bird Johnson Auditorium on Tuesday night about the situation in the Middle East, his own and other presidencies and his hopes for the country’s future.

“I would like for the young people of the coming generation to strive for transcendence in political affairs, for superb accomplishments not just in your own profession, but in America,” Carter said.

The Harry Middleton Lectureship, a program sponsored by the LBJ Foundation, hosted “A Conversation with Former President Jimmy Carter.” Middleton directed the LBJ Library and Museum for 30 years and served as a staff assistant to President Johnson in the White House.

Middleton, who attended the event, said he believed Lady Bird Johnson would have been proud.

“Carter brings a vantage point that not very many people have,” Middleton said. “He occupied the most important position in the world for four years.”

Mark Updegrove, presidential historian and director of the LBJ Library, asked the former president his opinion of current events in the Middle East, an area Updegrove said no other president was associated with more than Carter. Carter negotiated the Camp David Accords, a 1978 peace treaty between Egypt and Israel.

Carter said the current efforts between the United States to bring peace to Israel and its neighbors are at a stalemate. He added that Obama did quite well in handling the Egyptian situation.

“About the same way I would have handled it if I had been in office,” Carter said. “I would probably have been loyal to Mubarak in the beginning.”

He said the Carter Center, his humanitarian organization, planned to send a delegation to Egypt within a week to help organize a constitution and set up the democratic elections in September.

In his lecture, Carter also discussed his years in the White House and joked about his life as a peanut farmer, his unexpected presidential victory and his $1 million personal debt when he left office.

“My proudest accomplishment was that I never dropped a bomb, fired a bullet or shot a missile while I was president,” Carter said.

Robert Hutchings, dean of the LBJ School of Public Affairs, said Carter’s visit has been in the works for more than a year. He added that endowments left by Lady Bird Johnson and the LBJ Foundation would allow the series to always run free of charge.

“It’s really important to have people of his magnitude come to Austin on campus and be available for this kind of intimate conversation,” Hutchings said. “It made me feel he was sitting in my living room.”

Julia Burch, a public affairs graduate student, said she thought Carter’s work after his presidency has kept him on the forefront and kept him in a leadership role most presidents do not undertake once they retire.

“I hope future presidents have the energy to follow President Carter’s lead,” Burch said. “I’m here today to learn from his wisdom and hear what he has to say and hope to apply a little bit of that in my own life.”

Carter ended his lecture encouraging young people to strive for excellence and said he hoped that America would become a “real superpower” — a nation that would emulate the highest ability of a human being.

News Briefly

The LBJ Foundation awarded the first LBJ Liberty and Justice for All awarded to Georgia Rep. John Lewis, a civil rights leader who worked with President Lyndon B. Johnson to pass major civil rights legislation in the mid-1960s. “One of the key pieces of legislation that President Johnson hoped to pass was the Voting Rights Act,” said Anne Wheeler, a spokeswoman for the foundation. “John Lewis and other members of the legislature worked with the president to get it passed. It’s one of the most important pieces of the civil rights movement.” Lewis attended a ceremony in Washington, D.C., where Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson and Ron Kirk, the former Dallas mayor and current U.S. trade representative gave him the award. “John Lewis is a pioneer,” Wheeler said. “He showed great bravery for the advancement of civil rights and the result of that effort on his part was something very close to President Johnson.”