Don't Weaken

A blog by Director Terry Todd

A Legacy Lesser Known

By Terry Todd
November 27, 2009

Last week, the Stark Center was involved in two functions involving the Board of Regents of the University of Texas System. Those functions may prove to be very important to the future growth of the Center. This is so because the Board of Regents (BOR) governs more than 200,000 students and 84,000 employees spread across the sixteen campuses in the University of Texas System, including U. T.-Austin, the system’s flagship institution.

How these functions came about is that someone on the BOR apparently heard about the Stark Center and asked us to make a formal presentation to the BOR about Lutcher Stark, who served on the Board of Regents for 24 years, and was Chairman of the Board for 12 years. We agreed, of course, and so a member of the BOR’s staff came to the Stark Center to talk about the presentation. During that visit Jan gave the staff member a tour of the finished as well as the unfinished parts of the Center and the staff member liked what she saw. Several weeks later she brought another staff member for another look, and these two visits led the two staffers to propose to the Chairman of the BOR, James Huffines, that the Board have a reception and tour at the Stark Center the evening before our formal presentation. We were told that after looking at photos and learning more about the Center, Chairman Huffines decided that the Center would probably be of interest to the BOR and that such a tour and reception should be scheduled. Accordingly, we stepped up the pace of our preparations and tried to make the Center look as good as we could in the time we had. As last Wednesday night approached, the BOR sent teams of party planners, caterers, and florists to decide how best to accommodate the approximately 150 guests we expected to have. Finally, the night arrived, and we’ve chosen a few photos to illustrate how things looked.

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Physical Culture – Part Two

By Terry Todd
November 8, 2009

Several blogs ago, I provided some information as to why we use the term “Physical Culture” in the name of our research facility—The Lutcher Stark Center for Physical Culture and Sports—and why we’ve used the term for 20 years in the title of our journal—Iron Game History—The Journal of Physical Culture. A number of emails arrived with comments about what I’d written, and I thought I’d use one of those emails as a springboard to expand the conversation and to share with readers how one thing can sometimes lead to another, better thing—“paying it forward,” as they say.  In any case, here’s the email with a bit of information on an unrelated subject edited out or, as it’s called in some circles, redacted.

Doc,

The first time I heard the term “Physical Culture” was during our first conversation.  It was Saturday, July 19th, 2008. The term struck me so hard that I commented on how much I loved it and you then gave me (as you did and still do with many historical events) the origins regarding the term. Understandably, we had a lot to cover, and we didn’t get into the reasons why the term fell out of favor. It’s now almost 12:00 am Saturday and after reading your recent blog about Physical Culture, now I know the reasons. You and your team’s experience, knowledge, and instinct to maintain the term is inspiring and teaches a lesson: if you feel strongly about something even though it might contradict the normal standard, rules, policies, practices, protocols, or whatever–if you feel that passionate–never compromise.

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