LBJ Student Centers

The First LBJ Student Center

In 1976, construction began on the new 66,000-square-foot Lyndon B. Johnson Memorial Student Center. The new center, consisting of two separate buildings joined by a domed plaza, was built as part of a three building-complex that included a new Education Building and Art Building annex. Now known as the Academic Services Building, the former student center also contained an “LBJ Memorabilia Room,” which housed the permanent “LBJ at San Marcos” exhibit. The building was officially dedicated in a ceremony on August 25, 1977, at which Lady Bird Johnson remarked, "This center is the most meaningful of tributes [to Johnson]. I hope it is used in the way he would have used it with all the vigor and joy that young people possess.” 

On October 29, 1976, Mr. and Mrs. Laurence Rockefeller donated a portrait of Johnson to hang in the newly constructed student center. Given in honor of Mrs. Johnson, the portrait was painted by Elizabeth Shoumatoff, the same artist who painted the official White House portraits of the President and First Lady. In the ceremony, Mr. Rockefeller shared that the university was the best home for the painting, as "the portrait reminds us of the many qualities of President Johnson—qualities this university seeks to instill in its students."

The Current LBJ Student Center

The latest incarnation of the LBJ student center was built in 1997. The $24 million, 220,000-square-foot building accommodates a number of recreation and snack areas, shops, offices, meeting rooms, and a teaching theatre. The facility also includes the offices of the Dean of Students, Multicultural Student Affairs, Career Services, and Student Support Services, among other student services. Johnson's daughter, Luci Baines Johnson, spoke at the building’s April 30, 1998 ceremonies. The building, which features a large mural outlining Johnson's life, continues to be a central focus of campus activity today.