Texas State hosts Transitions in American Democracy Symposium

Geoffrey S. Connor
Geoffrey S. Connor

Posted by Jayme Blaschke
Office of Media Relations
January 17, 2017

The Honorable Geoffrey S. Connor, former Texas Secretary of State and a Distinguished Alumnus of Texas State University, will serve as moderator for the Transitions in American Democracy Symposium on January 20.

The symposium, sponsored by the Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, will run noon-1:30 p.m. in the LBJ Student Center Ballroom. The event is free and open to the public. A light lunch will be served, and T-shirts will be handed out to the first 250 students.  

The symposium, coinciding with inauguration day, will examine the peaceful transfer of power in the United States as designed by the Founding Fathers. Panelists will discuss the Constitution, the process of the transfer of power and communication strategies and symbolism related to the inaugurations. Remarks will be offered by Texas State President Denise M. Trauth and Provost Gene Bourgeois. Faculty panelists and topics include:

  • The Presidential Inauguration: The Office of the Presidency in the American Republic—Ken Ward, Department of Political Science
  • Peaceful Transitions of Power: The Jefferson Inauguration—Mike Faber, Department of Political Science
  • Peaceful Transitions of Power: The Jackson Inauguration—Shannon Duffy, Department of History
  • Rhetorical Symbolism and Strategies of American Presidential Inaugural Addresses: Reflecting and Shaping Our Society’s Expectations of a Peaceful Transfer of Power—Ann Burnette, Department of Communication Studies
  • Inaugural Visual Symbols and Images: Communicating Democratic Values and Portraying the Peaceful Transition of Power—Roseann Mandziuk, Department of Communication Studies
  • Inaugurations and Governmental Transitions in the U.S. and Latin America—Vanessa de Macedo Higgins Joyce, School of Journalism and Mass Communication

A question-and-answer session will follow.

Connor is currently the director of strategy for the Clements Center for National Security, and previously served as Texas Secretary of State, 2003-2005. He graduated from Texas State in 1985 with a B.A. in international studies, and a concentration in European affairs. He earned his doctorate in history with a focus on modern American diplomatic and foreign policy history from the University of Texas in 2016. He also has a doctor of jurisprudence from the University of Texas Law School and a doctorate in history . He is a licensed attorney in Texas and is board-certified in administrative law.

About Texas State University

Founded in 1899, Texas State University is among the largest universities in Texas with an enrollment of 38,849 students on campuses in San Marcos and Round Rock. Texas State’s 170,000-plus alumni are a powerful force in serving the economic workforce needs of Texas and throughout the world.  Designated an Emerging Research University by the State of Texas, Texas State is classified under “Doctoral Universities:  Higher Research Activity,” the second-highest designation for research institutions under the Carnegie classification system.