SAN ANGELO, Texas – Just a short time before Congressman Mike Conaway’s retirement begins, the announcement came that Angelo State University’s Mayer Museum would be the site of the congressman’s archive, an exhibit, and a monetary gift of $250,000 that would create an endowment.
“To be able to have the Conaway Exhibit here as well as the endowment, it’s incredibly important to what we want to do to strengthen our academic excellence that is here,” Ronnie Hawkins, President of Angelo State University, said.
According to Angelo State University, the Conaway Archive and Exhibit will be a dynamic, educational and interactive record of Conaway’s career, primarily as U.S. Representative for the 11th District of Texas from 2005 through 2021. The Archive will house papers, historical materials, memorabilia and certain furnishings from Conaway. The Exhibit will feature interactive touchscreens, documents and memorabilia, and themed displays focusing on Conway’s committee work, chairmanships, early life and guiding principles. The Conaway Fellowship Endowment may also be used for the ongoing operation of the Conaway Exhibit and to obtain speakers at various ASU Mayer Museum events that highlight the Conaway Exhibit.
Conaway was on ASU’s campus for what he thought would be a small ceremony but was greeted by a much larger crowd than he expected.
“Man, what a treat. Angelo State never does anything halfway, it’s always over the top,” District 11 Congressman Mike Conaway said.
When asked why ASU? Conway said the university was home to many memories and a place he has frequented for meetings, speaking engagements, and to be a guest lecturer for many classes.
“I’m here all the time. I’m probably here more than any other college campus so it just felt right to have it here,” Conaway said.
As he addressed the crowd, Conaway became emotional when reflecting on his past 16 years of serving as the representative for the district in West Texas.
“Thank you is a pretty inadequate feeling — phrase — when you say it. It doesn’t express the kind of depth of appreciation, heartfelt appreciation that I’ve got for all the people being able to support me, trust me to go do a job, a very important job of representing the people of District 11,” Conaway said.
According to the University, Conaway’s most recent accomplishments include leading the House Intelligence Committee investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. As chair of the House Agriculture Committee, he also spearheaded the formulation and passage of the 2018 Farm Bill that directly affects the West Texas farming and ranching industry.
In the video below, Conaway reflects on what he considers the top three accomplishments he achieved for the Agriculture industry.
ASU President Ronnie Hawkins says documenting the area’s history is vital for the future.
“The grit of the West Texan, it’s important for us to continue to bring that together but then be able to show it to the younger generation as well,” Hawkins said.
‘I’m hopeful they’ll see how important the work is. Not me, because again, I’m not important, no individual is, but the work is,” Conaway said.
When the Mayer Museum opens in March of 2021, Hawkins hopes that the exhibit inspires people of all ages.
“The fact that, you can be successful. That’s the message we want to convey — is that you can be successful, it can be honorable, and you can serve in a capacity that helps other people,” Hawkins said.
Below, Conaway shares an artifact that will be displayed in the museum that has a significant meaning to him.
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