Gov. Ann Richards Lectures at TAMIU Nov. 11 for Sanchez Series

Laredo will have a rare opportunity to meet and hear Ann Richards, former governor of Texas, at Texas A&M International University Tuesday, Nov. 11. (photo)

Richards, who for years has been opening eyes about possibilities for women in American public life, will provide the second lecture in the 2003-2004 cycle of the A.R. Sánchez Distinguished Lecture Series.

Her lecture, titled, "Texas Politics in the 21st Century," will be held at 7 p.m. in the Center for the Fine and Performing Arts' Recital Hall. Admission to the lecture is free and open to the community, but early arrival is strongly advised due to limited seating.

Before the lecture, Richards will also be available to autograph her new book, "I'm Not Slowing Down: Winning My Battle with Osteoporosis," at 6:30 p.m. at the lobby of the Center for the Fine and Performing Arts.

Richards began as a junior high school teacher - which she still says is the hardest work she's ever done. She later served on the local planning and zoning commission, helped elect the first female, African-American and Hispanic representatives from her home county. She then defeated a three-term incumbent to win a seat on the county commissioners court, where she was the first woman to serve as commissioner in the county's 136-year history.

Subsequently, she was elected Texas State Treasurer, becoming the first woman to win statewide office in Texas in half a century. Having won re-election without opposition, she left the Treasurer's post to run for Governor.

On January 15, 1991, Richards became the 45th Governor of Texas - the first woman elected in her own right to that job.

After leaving the Governor's office, Richards worked with a Washington law firm as an advisor, taught a popular course at Brandeis University, and expanded an already busy speaking schedule.

Richards now works with Public Strategies, Inc., an Austin-based consulting firm that helps companies analyze, develop and implement their public agendas. At Public Strategies, Richards is a Senior Advisor with special responsibilities for the New York office.

Richards is a member of several boards including Brandeis University, JCPenney, the Aspen Institute, Save the Children and City Meals-on-Wheels. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She continues to travel the country and the world speaking out about the issues of concern to her.

She also makes time for her family, which now includes four grown children and seven grandchildren who are all taught that they can be anything they want to be if they will just work hard enough.

The lecture series honors Antonio R. Sánchez Sr. and is presented through the vision and generosity of Mr. and Mrs. A.R. Sánchez Jr.

For further information, please contact the Office of the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at 326-2460, or visit offices located in the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library, 429.

University office hours are 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at