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Henderson, Richard B.

Richard B. Henderson


Dr. Richard B. Henderson (1921–2003) was born in Washington, D.C. He received his BA degree from Southwest Texas State Teachers College in 1949, his MA from the University of Maryland in 1950, and his PhD from the University of Maryland in 1960. Henderson enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1942 during World War II, serving in Pacific Theater and earning four battle stars. 

Henderson served as chairman of the university's social science (1963–65) and political science departments (1965–69). He taught a number of political science courses, including those focused on the functions of American government, political theory, and public policy.

Henderson chaired the committee which wrote the constitution of the Faculty Senate and established the university's Faculty Senate in 1968. Along with serving ten years in the Faculty Senate, he participated in a number of university-wide committees including the Faculty Advisory Committee and the Faculty Hearing Committee. Henderson won several regional awards for his book Maury Maverick: A Political Biography (1970).

Henderson retired in 1984 and received the university's Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1987.

Texas 150 Oral History

Dr. Henderson talks about coming to SWTSC after serving in the Army Air Corps in WWII. He describes what campus looked like the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, detailing aspects such as university and veterans housing, the effects of the GI Bill, segregation and integration, the realities of teaching political science during McCarthyism, and the growing radicalism of the student body, illustrated by the San Marcos Ten. Henderson also reflects on writing his book on Maury Maverick and campus figures such as Dr. James Taylor, Dr. Cecil Hahn, Prof. Green, Retta Murphy, Leland Burgum. He also discusses changes the university has undergone, with specific mention of campus buildings and layout.

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PDF Transcript, October 17, 1985
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HTML Transcript, October 17, 1985

Full audio is available for this interview.  Request via Ask an Archivist.