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Former U.S. Senator and Basketball Hall of Famer Bill Bradley to Deliver 2009 LBJ School Convocation Address on Saturday, May 23

In a world being transformed by rapidly increasing globalization and far-reaching technological advances, change is constant and dramatic. Successfully meeting the challenges of a world where the unexpected becomes the norm requires a sound grounding based not only on a honed intellect, but also on the capacity to see, to feel, and to give.

      - Bill Bradley, Ithaca College Commencement Address, May 14, 2006

Bill BradleyAUSTIN, TX, Monday, April 20, 2009—Former U.S. Senator, Rhodes Scholar, best-selling author and member of the Basketball Hall of Fame Bill Bradley will deliver the 2009 convocation address at The Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin, on May 23, Interim Dean Admiral Bobby R. Inman, USN (Ret.) announced today.

“Bill Bradley is a highly respected bipartisan statesman whose remarkable achievements span the political, business, sports, academic and civic arenas,” said Inman.  “Here at the LBJ School, our goal is to equip our students with the skills they need to solve problems in settings that require mobilizing key institutions and the public – which is the essence of leadership. Sen. Bradley has embodied this quality throughout his career and done so with a rare combination of integrity, tenacity and grace.  We are honored to have Bill Bradley as our convocation speaker.”“The LBJ School is a fitting legacy for one of America’s great presidents,” said Sen. Bill Bradley. “It’s faculty and students are world class and they embody the American spirit of public service. I’m honored to be the convocation speaker.”

“We are pleased to have Sen. Bradley address this year’s graduates of the LBJ School of Public Affairs,” said Ellen Satterwhite, president of the Graduate Public Affairs Council (GPAC), the student governing body for the LBJ School. “Senator Bradley inspires notions of excellence in public life and truly understands the challenges of good policymaking and one who is willing to tackle complex issues—he’s the policymaker’s politician.”

Bradley served in the U.S. Senate from 1979 to 1997 representing the state of New Jersey. Whether passing legislation or shaping national opinion, Bradley focused on large-scale reform while serving his three terms. He was an advocate for expanded global trade and federal budget priorities that bolstered the national economy and met critical human needs. His signature accomplishment was the Tax Reform Act of 1986, which simplified the tax code, lowered tax rates for millions of Americans, and eliminated tax shelters worth billions of dollars to special interests.

In 2000, he was a candidate for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States. Prior to serving in the Senate, he was an Olympic gold medalist in 1964 and a professional basketball player with the New York Knicks from 1967 to 1977 during which time they won two NBA championships. In 1982, he was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame. Sen. Bradley holds a BA degree in American History from Princeton University and a MA degree from Oxford University where he was a Rhodes Scholar.

Bradley has also written six books on American politics, culture and economy, including his latest book The New American Story, in which he explores how all countries are bound together as never before. Bradley observes that in order to solve our nation’s most pressing problems we need to embrace an “ethic of connectedness,” which he describes as a combination of collective action and individual responsibility.

In 1996, he authored a best-selling memoir, Time Present, Time Past, about his life as a senator and his travels throughout the country. In 1998, his book of basketball-inspired essays, Values of the Game, was a New York Times bestseller.

Bradley sits on the boards of several nonprofits including the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, dedicated to advancing cooperation between nations and promoting active international engagement by the United States; QuestBridge, a program that links low-income students with educational and scholarship opportunities; Sound Portrait Productions, an independent production company dedicated to telling stories that bring neglected American voices to a national audience, and, a Web site where teachers submit proposals for materials or experiences their students need and are paired up with donors.

Bradley is currently a Managing Director at Allen & Company LLC. From 2001 to 2004, he acted as chief outside advisor to McKinsey & Company’s nonprofit practice. Bradley was a Senior Advisor and Vice Chairman of the International Council of JP Morgan & Co., Inc. from 1997 to 1999. During that time, he also worked as an essayist for CBS Evening News and was a visiting professor at Stanford University, University of Notre Dame and the University of Maryland. Bradley currently hosts a weekly talk show, American Voices, on Sirius Satellite Radio that highlights the remarkable accomplishments of Americans both famous and unknown.


Bouncing back from both victory and defeat requires a reservoir of self-knowledge. Making adjustments in your playing style is sometimes wise, but altering what you believe about the game in order to break a skid will never work.” — Bill Bradley, Values of the Game

Frequently, for the benefit of the team, you have to sacrifice what you would like to do on the court. Scoring 12 points a game and playing your role on a winning team is better than scoring 20 points a game on a losing team. For you to get those 20 points would require a change in team balance and make victory less likely.” — Bill Bradley, Values of the Game

It takes real character to derive enjoyment from the pass that leads to the pass that leads to the basket.” — Bill Bradley, Values of the Game

Leadership means getting people to think, believe, see, and do what they might not have without you. It means possessing the vision to set the right goal and the decisiveness to pursue it single-mindedly.” — Bill Bradley, Values of the Game

The right path is really very simple: Give respect to teammates of different race, treat them fairly, disagree with them honestly, enjoy their friendship, explore your common humanity, share your thoughts about one another candidly, work together for a common goal, help one another achieve it. No destructive lies. No ridiculous fears. No debilitating anger.” — Bill Bradley, Values of the Game

When a reporter asked the English runner David Moorcroft why he had never dropped out of a race even in the worst of circumstances, he replied, ‘I think that once you do, you’ve given yourself an option for the future.’” — Bill Bradley, Values of the Game - back cover  Main Bill Bradley Page

“Bravo, Bill Bradley! — for reminding us, so emphatically and with such insight, conviction, and plain old Missouri common sense, that a new American story is truly ours to choose.”
– David McCullough

“Bill Bradley is one of our most valuable public citizens. What he has given us in this wise and thoughtful book is a chilling portrait of a nation that has lost its way politically, economically, and socially — and a road map to help us find our way back.”
– David Halberstam

“Bill Bradley has always been a brilliant, original, and creative political thinker, and this book shows him at his best. The New American Story is a thoughtful, incisive blueprint for action at a moment that is a crossroads for America.”
– Robert A. Caro