Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to the University of North Texas campus and the opening session in our program on “Texas Military History.”
Two important factors support our presenting this program. One factor is the long-standing advice of a founding father of this Society, Mirabeau B. Lamar, who identified military history as one of the subjects to be studied and discussed by our members. Another factor surfaced early in the last decade when I was immersed in the administration of this institution. My colleagues in our Department of History chose military history as one of their two major emphases; the other is Texas history.
Given my deep interest in military history, I was delighted when I heard about that action. Indeed, that decision helps explain why I took up my appointment in the department after stepping down from administrative work. You may be interested to know that the student interest in the subject is so keen that some six faculty members are teaching it here.
Another result was the encouragement the decision gave me to bring fully into the department an annual military history seminar series I had started in 1983 after I had become president. Last October 16, we staged the 22nd Annual Seminar, which attracted an audience larger than this one. Many of the seminar attendees are members of the business and professional communities of Texas; others include military veterans, military history buffs and students.
The format of those seminars will appear in this meeting, where you will have a chance both to listen to and, then, question well-known scholars and practitioners. One of the scholars you will hear today, Dr. Adrian Lewis has been a practitioner as a career Army officer, in addition to being one of five of our History Department faculty members appearing in this program. Two other active practitioners, Admiral Bob Inman and Dr. Hans Mark, have served at the highest levels of military and/or governmental activity and continue to serve in advisory roles in Washington, D.C.
One different dimension to this program, compared to that of the seminar series, is the voluntary participation of five members of this Society as program session chairs. These chairs have been encouraged to keep the program moving along within very specific time limits intended to provide time for you in this audience to ask the speakers questions and make comments.
My hope is that you’ll find the environment of this meeting conducive to continuing your discussions of the issues raised during the formal program during your meals. Those discussions can be continued after dinner this evening when we shall follow the example set last year by Sam Moore in El Paso with a presidential reception at our headquarters hotel.
Now, I invite to this podium the Secretary of this Society since 1990, a very active teacher and scholar on the University of Texas-Austin’s History Faculty and the chair of the first session, Dr. Ron Tyler.
Ladies and Gentlemen: Dr. Tyler.
DR HURLEY: Thank you, Hans, for a presentation that will rank as a significant part of the Proceedings of this meeting.
DR. HURLEY: Ladies and Gentlemen, thank you for attending this session. If there nothing else to bring before this gathering, I declare the 2004 meeting officially adjourned.