According to 2023 Texas Independence Day Dinner Chair Lisa Cooley,
“The Texas History Museum Foundation has selected two outstanding Texans – esteemed military leader and public servant Admiral William H. McRaven (U.S. Navy Retired) and football legend Roger Staubach – to receive the History-Making Texan Award at the Foundation’s 19th annual Texas Independence Day Dinner to be held on Thursday, March 2, at the Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin. The award recognizes living Texas legends whose contributions to the state and the nation have been truly historic and exceptional in scope.
“The Texas Independence Day Dinner celebrates the state’s rich cultural heritage and generates support for the Bullock Museum, the nation’s premier institution on Texas history. Jan Felts Bullock of Austin will serve as honorary chair of the event. Proceeds from the evening will benefit the many educational programs and special projects of the Bullock Museum.
“My wish is to make every Texan, children and adults, aware of this very special museum and its importance in preserving the history of Texas and people who have made this state such a great place in which to live, raise a family and conduct business.
“This year’s recipients reached the pinnacle of accomplishments and eminence in their fields. Importantly, they were selected as honorees based on their personal character and commitment to improving the lives of others. They stand as role models to emulate, and we look forward to sharing their dramatic and inspiring stories with our guests.
“Admiral McRaven served as U.S. Navy Four-Star admiral and was in charge of the U.S. Special Operations Command. Notably, he commanded the troops that captured Saddam Hussein, rescued Captain Phillips, and led the Osama bin Laden mission in 2011. Since his active service, he has provided counsel to U.S. Presidents and leaders on defense issues. He was Chancellor of the University of Texas System and is the author of best-selling books.
“Heisman Trophy winner Roger Staubach is one of football’s all-time greats. As legendary Hall of Fame quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys, he was key in making the Cowboys ‘America’s Team’ and led them to nine of the Cowboys’ record-setting twenty consecutive winning seasons. After his retirement from his record-setting athletic career, Roger founded a real estate firm and used his platform to benefit philanthropic causes.
“The 2023 Texas Independence Day Dinner will be a celebration of these two exceptional honorees and their contributions to Texas, the nation and the world.
“Previous recipients include: James P. Allison, Ph.D. (2020); Ruth Collins Altshuler (2014); Secretary James A. Baker III (2012); Governor Dolph Briscoe (2008); Barbara and President George H.W. Bush (2005); Laura and President George W. Bush (2010); Charles Butt (2019); Earl Campbell (2017); Rita and Governor William P. Clements Jr. (2007); Van Cliburn (2009); Barbara Smith Conrad (2011); Denton Cooley, M.D. (2011); Ben Crenshaw (2021); Walter Cronkite (2006); Michael DeBakey, M.D. (2006); James Dick (2022); Lyda Hill (2022); Gerald Hines (2011); Lieutenant Governor Bill Hobby (2009); Nancy Ann and Ray Hunt (2018); Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (2016); Leonardo ‘Flaco’ Jiménez (2019); Lady Bird Johnson (2005); Herb Kelleher (2007); King Ranch (2015); Tom Kite (2021); Eugene F. Kranz (2013); John Mendelson, M.D. (2015); George P. Mitchell (2013); Edith and Peter O’Donnell (2020); Ross Perot Sr. (2014); Darrell K Royal (2008); Nolan Ryan (2017); Bob Schieffer (2016); Ambassador Robert S. Strauss (2012); and Lee Trevino (2018).
“Since 2001, over nine million visitors, including over 1.2 million school children on field trips, have explored Texas history through award-winning exhibitions, interactive media experiences, and innovative educational programming. Since 1999, the Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, has raised over $34 million to support educational programs at the museum. Call 512.296.8841 or visit www.tshmf.org to learn about underwriting or ticket opportunities for the dinner. To learn more about the Museum, visit www.TheStoryofTexas.com.”