Campus Activities


Johnson was highly involved with many aspects of campus life. In addition to serving as editor of The College Star, he served as a member of the Pedgagog staff, President of the Press Club, and Secretary of the Schoolmasters’ Club. Johnson held membership in the Harris-Blair Literary Society (now Pi Sigma Chi fraternity), Pi Gamma Mu honorary social science fraternity, the Business Administration Club, and the Student Welfare Council.


Johnson was also a member of the varsity debate team. His father, who served many terms in the state legislature, greatly inspired Johnson’s interest in debate and politics. Johnson made his mark during his freshman year, when he and senior Elmer Graham defeated the nationally ranked Sam Houston State Teachers College debate team. "We arranged so that Lyndon would have the final word," recalled debate coach Howard Mell Greene. "Well, when he got through they didn’t have a cockeyed point standing, he just drew that string around their necks so slick.”

White Stars

In addition to the college debate team, Johnson co-founded the White Stars in 1929. Johnson and his fellow students created the group in response to the Black Stars, an exclusive secret society that distributed campus funding to athletics. The White Stars sought to shift this funding to support academic programs and activities, such as the debate team.

Johnson played a big role in securing the White Stars’ candidate’s, Willard Deason, victorious election for senior class president. As Deason recollected, “The night before the election day, we had checked all the known votes and I was way behind. I told Lyndon we might as well give up and go to bed. But he wouldn’t give up. He spent all night moving behind the scenes giving them that Johnson 1-2-3 pep talk. The next morning, I won by 20 votes. When ordinary men give up, Lyndon Johnson is just beginning.”