Texan of the Year Reception celebrating the awardee. The event includes a social hour, refreshments, and the presentation of the Texan of the Year Award and speech by the honoree.
- 8:15 a.m. - Welcoming remarks and the presentation of the Edmund Kuempel Public Service Scholarship Awards.
- 8:30 a.m. - Opening Address
- 8:50 a.m. - Panel: The Role of Science in our Economy
- 9:50 a.m. - Panel: Future Infrastructure Solutions for Texas
- 10:50 a.m. - Panel: Census 2020: Impacts on Future Elections & Funding
- Noon - Featured Panel: The Future of Space Exploration
- 1:00 p.m. - Adjourn
About Texan of the Year
Criteria: Any living Texan who has made the commitment to public service for the benefit of the State of Texas. This service may have been accomplished while in elected office, appointed office, and/or as a volunteer leader. The recipient cannot be an announced candidate for public office at the time selected and must agree to be present at the conference to accept the award.
2020 Texan of the Year Announcement
Apollo 16 Astronaut and retired U.S. Air Force Brigadier General Charles Duke has been named the 2020 Texan of the Year by the Texas Legislative Conference, the well-known annual statewide policy and business forum that is marking its 54th year March 26-27, 2020.
About General Charles Duke
Duke was one of 19 astronauts selected by NASA in April 1966. He served as CAPCOM for Apollo 11, becoming the voice of Mission Control heard by the world when he answered Neil Armstrong’s famous “the Eagle has landed.”
Duke served as lunar module pilot of Apollo 16, April 16-27, 1972. He was accompanied on the fifth manned lunar mission by John W. Young (spacecraft commander) and Thomas K. Mattingly II (command module pilot). Apollo 16 was the first scientific expedition to inspect, survey and sample materials and surface features
in the Descartes region of the rugged lunar highlands. Duke is the youngest and one of only 12 people who have walked on the moon.
A South Carolina native, but Texan by choice, Duke has called Texas home since 1975. He and his wife Dorothy have co-authored the book Moonwalker, published by Olson Nelson Publishers in 1990. A U.S. Naval Academy graduate, Duke served as fighter interceptor pilot with the 526th Fighter Interceptor Squadron at Ramstein Air Base. He received his master’s degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Media has permission to use the following photos for publication. The photographs may not be used in materials, advertisements, products, or promotions that in any way suggest approval or endorsement by NASA. All Images used must be credited.
April 21, 1972 - Astronaut Charles M. Duke Jr., Apollo 16 lunar module pilot, salutes the United States flag during the mission's first extravehicular activity (EVA), on April 21, 1972. Stone Mountain reaches five-sixths across the photo in background. The Lunar Module (LM) and Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV) are in the background. While John W. Young, commander and Duke descended in the LM to explore the Descartes region of the moon, Thomas K. Mattingly II, command module pilot, remained with the Command and Service Modules (CSM) in lunar orbit. PHOTO CREDIT: NASA
April 23, 1972 - Astronaut Charles M. Duke Jr. works at the front of the Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV) parked in this rock field at a North Ray Crater geological site during the mission’s third extravehicular activity (EVA-3) on April 23, 1972. Astronaut John W. Young took this picture with a 70mm Hasselblad camera. PHOTO CREDIT: NASA
April 22, 1972 - Astronaut Charles M. Duke Jr., lunar module pilot, stands in the shadow of the Lunar Module (LM) behind the ultraviolet (UV) camera which is in operation. This photograph was taken by astronaut John W. Young, commander, during the mission's second extravehicular activity (EVA). The UV camera's gold surface is designed to maintain the correct temperature. The astronauts set the prescribed angles of azimuth and elevation (here 14 degrees for photography of the large Magellanic Cloud) and pointed the camera. Over 180 photographs and spectra in far-ultraviolet light were obtained showing clouds of hydrogen and other gases and several thousand stars. The United States flag and Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV) are in the left background. While astronauts Young and Duke descended in the Apollo 16 Lunar Module (LM) "Orion" to explore the Descartes highlands landing site on the moon, astronaut Thomas K. Mattingly II, command module pilot, remained with the Command and Service Modules (CSM) "Casper" in lunar orbit. PHOTO CREDIT: NASA
January 1972 - These three astronauts are the prime crew members of the Apollo 16 lunar landing mission. They are, left to right, Thomas K. Mattingly II, command module pilot; John W. Young, commander; and Charles M. Duke Jr., lunar module pilot. PHOTO CREDIT: NASA
Past Texas Legislative Conferences
Media has permission to use the following photos for publication. The photographs may not be used in materials, advertisements, products, or promotions that in any way suggest approval or endorsement by the Texas Legislative Conference or the New Braunfels Chamber. All Images used must be credited to the Texas Legislative Conference. .
The 50th Texas Legislative Conference in 2016 included a Texan of the Year Reunion. Pictured (left to right): David Dewhurst, Bill Archer, Ray Perryman, Max Sherman, Joe Straus, Phil Graham, Ray Benson, and Red McCombs (front).
In 2015, First Lady Laura Bush accepted her Texan of the Year Award from 2005. Ten years earlier when she was named the Texan of the Year, she was scheduled to attend the Conference to accept the award, however, Pope John Paul II passed away five days prior to the Conference. She missed the Conference to attend his funeral but was able to accept her award in 2015.
A panel on Federal Intervention & Texas Infrastructure from the 2015 Texas Legislative Conference. Pictured (left to right): Evan Smith of the Texas Tribune, State Senator Brandon Creighton, State Representative Donna Howard, Mike Nasi of Jackson Walker, LLP, and TCEQ Chairman Bryan Shaw.