Annual gala celebrates noted Texans, benefits all Texans

Texas Independence Day Dinner proceeds support education and special projects

MARCH 15, 2016 (AUSTIN, TX)  — On Feb. 24, the Texas State History Museum Foundation honored two outstanding Texans — Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison and Bob Schieffer — at an event attended by nearly 350 guests from around the state, including current and former state legislators, former ambassadors, and business leaders. This is the 12th year for the foundation's annual Texas Independence Day Dinner that celebrates the state’s rich cultural heritage and generates support for educational programs and special projects of the Bullock Texas State History Museum, a premier institution dedicated to Texas history.

Jane Barnhill of Brenham chaired the gala, and Jan Felts Bullock of Austin acted as honorary chair for the event. Additional notables included in the program were Speaker Joe Straus, Senator John McCain, Senator Phil Gramm, Gayle King of CBS, Roger Staubach, Kaylee Hartung of ESPN, and author Stephen Harrigan.   

“It was a pleasure to gather with other proud Texans to celebrate this occasion," Barnhill said. "We are deeply grateful to our event underwriters who so generously and enthusiastically support the Bullock Museum.”

Since its opening in 2001, the Bullock Museum has shared the Story of Texas with more than 7 million visitors through exhibitions, educational programs, films and interactive media experiences. More than 85,000 students from across Texas visited the museum last year on school tours to learn about the history and culture of the state.

The History-Making Texan Award recognizes living Texas legends whose contributions to the state and the nation have been truly historic and exceptional in scope. Kay Bailey Hutchison made a lasting impact on the state and nation during her 20-year tenure as a U.S. Republican senator for Texas, serving from 1993 to 2013. She was the first woman to represent Texas in the U.S. Senate. Journalist Bob Schieffer covered national politics for CBS News from 1969 to 2015, serving as an anchor on the CBS Evening News and as chief Washington correspondent and moderator on Face the Nation.

“I was deeply honored to receive the History-Making Texan award at the Bullock Museum.  I am proud to stand in the company of other recipients of this award, and to be counted among the many women who have worked to preserve the history of our exceptional state,” Kay Bailey Hutchison said.

Previous recipients of the History-Making Texan Award include:  Secretary James A. Baker, III; Governor Dolph Briscoe; President and Mrs. George H.W. Bush; President George W. and Laura Bush; Governor and Mrs. William P. Clements, Jr.; Van Cliburn; Barbara Smith Conrad; Denton Cooley, M.D.; Walter Cronkite; Michael DeBakey, M.D.; Gerald Hines; Lieutenant Governor Bill Hobby; Mrs. Lyndon B. Johnson; Herb Kelleher; The King Ranch; Gene Kranz; John Mendelson, MD; George P. Mitchell; Darrell K Royal; and Ambassador Robert S. Strauss.

To learn more about the Bullock Museum, please visit


The Bullock Texas State History Museum in downtown Austin includes three floors of exhibitions, an IMAX® theater, a special-effects theater, café, and Museum Store. The Museum collaborates with more than 700 museums, libraries, archives and individuals to display original historical artifacts and produce exhibitions that illuminate and celebrate Texas history and culture. Named for the state's 38th Lieutenant Governor, Bob Bullock, the iconic building is at 1800 N. Congress Avenue. For more, visit or call (512) 936-8746.

About the Texas State History Museum Foundation Since its inception in 1999, the Texas State History Museum Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, has raised approximately $20 million to support a variety of educational programs at the Bullock Museum and provided annual school tour scholarships to more than 5,000 students from economically challenged schools. The Foundation has undertaken the $21 million Texas on the Horizon campaign to fulfill the Bullock Museum’s plan to renovate the first floor gallery, enrich exhibitions with rare artifacts and the latest scholarship, and expand programs to reach a broader audience. Learn more at

Lone Star Plaza

This press release is part of the The Bullock Texas State History Museum Media Kit

The Bullock Texas State History Museum is the state's official history museum and features three floors of Texas History Galleries with artifacts that span more than 13,000 years, as well as an IMAX® Theatre, a special-effects theater, convenient on-site parking, a café and Museum Store. Located in Austin, the Museum welcomes 450,000 visitors each year. Since 2001, more than 7 million visitors have been immersed in the stories of Texas, connecting historical relevance to a contemporary world. The Museum collaborates with more than 700 museums, libraries, archives and individuals to display original historical artifacts and host exhibitions that illuminate and celebrate Texas history and culture. View Media Kit