This blog post was written by Director and Bob Bullock Archivist Mary Goolsby.
On Friday, November 8, approximately 50 members of The Standing Committee gathered at McLane Stadium to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the opening of the W. R. Poage Legislative Library. Dr. Stephen Sloan, Director of the Baylor Institute for Oral History and Associate Professor of History, served as the emcee and introduced several key speakers for the morning’s program.
Dr. Karon LeCompte, an Associate Professor in the School of Education, shared about the partnership that has developed between the Poage Library and the School of Education through the iEngage Summer Civics Camp. She also discussed our latest collaboration – a $250,000 grant proposal for the National Endowment for the Humanities. For the last few months, Poage staff, Dr. LeCompte, and others on campus have come together to discuss the feasibility of such a proposal. If awarded, the grant would foster extensive research into the constituent correspondence housed in Poage’s archival collections. The end result would be an online resource for researchers and educators that demonstrates various ways one could study the conversations between members of Congress and their constituents.
Former congressional staffer Mattie McKee, former Congressman Alan Steelman, and two great-nieces of Congressman Bob Poage — Laura Duggan and Ellen Mosher — were present for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially reveal or re-open their archival collections. Poage presented the donors and their families with a bound copy of the collection’s finding aid.
Following the ceremony, Director Mary Goolsby gave an update on the permanent exhibit scheduled for installation next summer, congratulated The Standing Committee regarding their 15th anniversary, and alluded to several collections that are to be deposited at Poage in 2020. Poage will receive the papers of three former public servants: McLennan County Commissioner Lester Gibson, Congressman Joe Barton (a Republican who represented Texas’s 6th congressional district), and Congressman Bill Flores (a Republican who served Texas’s 17th congressional district). Mary also invited attendees to sign a birthday card for former Poage Director Ben Rogers who just celebrated his 75th birthday.
Tim Ward, Co-chair of The Standing Committee, provided the closing remarks and encouraged members of The Standing Committee to continue their support for the library and its projects. On behalf of the Poage staff, I would like to personally thank all those who attended the luncheon. With your advocacy, we look forward to 2020 with confidence and anticipation.