Honorary Degrees
1918 - Present

Claudia Alta "Lady Bird" Taylor Johnson 
Doctor of Humane Letters  1996
Status: conferred

Born Claudia Alta Taylor in 1912, she has become known to the world simply as Lady Bird, a particularly apt name for one so dedicated to restoring her nation's native habitats. Not only during her tenure as America's First Lady, but ever since, Mrs. Lyndon Baines Johnson has taught us to cherish America's vast ecological range. Her efforts culminated in the foundation of the National Wildflower Research Center in the Texas Hill Country. Known for the strength of her private reserve and for her reserves of personal strength, she takes particular pride in the passage of the Civil Rights Act by her husband's Administration in 1964. As a regent of the University of Texas 1970 to 1976, Mrs. Johnson advanced the cause of equal educational opportunity that she shared with President Johnson. A proud partner in the achievements of her husband's presidency, Lady Bird Johnson continues to build a life dedicated to public service and conservation. For her contribution to the American agenda of political reform and human equality, and for the lasting impact of her work on behalf of environmental quality, SMU is honored to award Lady Bird Johnson the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa.