Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison has been a passionate and commanding force in American politics.
The first - and only - woman elected to represent Texas in the United States Senate, Hutchison was one of only six female senators when she was elected in a special election in 1993. She forged a path for other women to make their mark in the political world and, when she retired, was the Senate's highest-ranking Republican female. Forbes magazine has ranked her among the world's 100 most powerful women.
Hutchison was elected to a full six-year term in 1994. She earned a second term in 2000, when she was elected with more votes than any other statewide candidate in Texas history. In 2006, she was again re-elected by an overwhelming margin.
Hutchison served in the Senate leadership, having first been elected vice chair of the Republican Conference and later elected chair of the Republican Policy Committee. She was most recently the Ranking Member on the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation and the Appropriations Subcommittee for Commerce, Justice, and Science. She has been chair of the Military Construction Appropriations Sub-Committee and served on the Defense Appropriations Sub-Committee.
One of the Senate's strongest advocates for American leadership in science, technology, and education, Hutchison co-sponsored the 2007 America Competes Act in response to the National Academy of Sciences report on competitiveness. She was instrumental in establishing The Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas, which brings together National Academy members and Nobel laureates to foster more academic research in Texas.
In 2012, Hutchison was unanimously elected chair of the Board of Visitors at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. She previously served as chair of the board from 1998 to 2000 and from 2008 to 2009 before being reelected to serve again this year.
Hutchison grew up in La Marque and graduated from the University of Texas and the university's School of Law. She was twice elected to the Texas House of Representatives. In 1990, she was elected Texas State Treasurer.
In June 2000, Hutchison and several colleagues coauthored "Nine and Counting: The Women of the Senate," and in 2004, she released her first book, a bestseller, "American Heroines: The Spirited Women Who Shaped Our Country." Hutchison published her second bestseller, "Leading Ladies: American Trailblazers," in October 2007, and her newest book, "Unflinching Courage," will be released in April 2013.
The 2013 installment of the Archie McDonald Speaker Series will take place at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 11 in the Baker Pattillo Student Center Grand Ballroom.
Book signing to follow the interview. Pre-order Kay Bailey Hutchison's new book, "Unflinching Courage," through SFA's Barnes & Noble bookstore.
The Archie McDonald Speaker Series was created in 2010 by the SFA College of Liberal and Applied Arts led by Dr. Brian Murphy, dean of the college. The annual event is designed to honor and preserve the legacy of a distinguished scholar, educator and community commentator who brings American culture to the average person. In the tradition of McDonald's writings and oral presentations, the speaker series will host a prominent national figure annually at SFA to discuss contemporary cultural issues-from politics to art. In the process, the national profile of SFA will be enhanced, and the community will be enriched.