Alumni House Visits

Visits to the Boarding House

Johnson visited his former boarding house a number of times throughout his career, including during his presidency. When in San Marcos for the college's 1968 commencement, Johnson and Lady Bird toured the recently remodeled boarding house. Then known as the Alumni House, the space honored Johnson’s history and time at the college with relics from his old bedroom, including two chairs and an old telephone stand. 

On November 6, 1970, Johnson and Lady Bird returned to campus for an informal reception at the Alumni House. The Johnsons met with hundreds of students, signing many autographs as well as the Alumni House’s guestbook. The Johnsons then later attended the Gaillardian (all-college favorites) reception, meeting nominees and their parents.

"Lyndon Baines Johnson at San Marcos"

Just a year later, Johnson attended the dedication ceremonies for the “Lyndon Baines Johnson at San Marcos” exhibit, which opened on November 8, 1971, at the Alumni House. The exhibit, created by the staff of the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library in Austin, occupied two rooms on the building’s first floor. The exhibit focused on Johnson’s contributions to education, emphasizing his experiences as student, alumnus, senator, Vice President, and the “Education President.” Displayed items included the chair and desk Johnson used while signing the Higher Education Act of 1965, as well as copies of the sixty bills he signed during his term that were related to education. 

Organized by President Dr. Billy M. Jones, the exhibit’s dedication took place on the sixth anniversary of the signing of the HEA of 1965. Johnson addressed an audience of eight thousand in a speech that emphasized the importance of education, especially the value of early education in helping young children to achieve their full potentials. He also read selected excerpts from his book, The Vantage Point, and signed autographs for some of the young children in attendance.