Maverick is a label that the LBJ School has proudly worn since its inception in 1970. Our School introduced the first public affairs graduate program to blend the academic with the practical because, as LBJ explained: "We have a school of public affairs…which will try to produce thinkers and doers: people who dream of progress and will try to turn those dreams into achievements."
Now we celebrate our 50th anniversary under the banner "In the Arena," words made famous by another president who combined big ideas with muscular action. In his famed 1910 Sorbonne speech, Theodore Roosevelt argued that "It is not the critic who counts...The credit goes to the man who is actually In the Arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood..." Any man or woman In the Arena — actually striving to make the world a better place — has not chosen an easy or safe path. But this is what we expect from our students. And this is what our students expect in their training from us.
This special anniversary not only reflects the force of 50 years of impact by those who taught at and attended the School, but also, and more importantly, musters this force to forge new pathways to thinking about, and acting upon, the future.
Now is the time to disrupt the way we think about societal challenges.
Now is the time to offer settings where all ideas are welcome and dialogue is the norm.
Now is the time to draw on the genius and humanity behind the great American experiment in democracy as we transition to a new era of awareness, understanding and action.
Now is the time to get In the Arena.
In 2020, as we shine a light on the tensions, conflicts, and rigor of public service, an extreme sport by any measure, we do so through inclusive engagement and dialogue on ideas. Joining us will be high-profile voices known for their imaginative and thoughtful leadership in their chosen arenas, and who continue to strive beyond "good enough."
We invite you to be a part of our 2020 journey, and help us ignite a movement of youth daring to dream, daring to achieve, for good.