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Southwestern University Inauguration Ceremony (1962)

Gordon Wilkison

Sound | 1962

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  •  John DeBerry Wheeler, on behalf of the Board of Trustees and the United Methodist Church, officially installs Reverend Durwood Fleming as the President of Southwestern University 
  •  Reverend Fleming takes the podium 
  •  The heritage of Southwestern 
  •  Southwestern’s educational future 
  •  The highest goal of knowledge 
  •  Discovering new and permanent motivations 
  •  Southwestern’s revised aims and objectives 
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  • About the video
  • Gordon Wilkison Gordon Wilkison
  • Rev. Durwood Fleming Rev. Durwood Fleming
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On May 4, 1962, Southwestern University inaugurated Reverend Lawrence Durwood Fleming as its 12th president. He held this position until 1981. Numerous political and religious figures attended, including Governor of Texas Price Daniel, United States Senators Ralph Yarborough and John Tower, and Bishop William C. Martin. Many, including Yarborough and Tower, also spoke at the ceremony. In his speech, Fleming touches on the university’s heritage before outlining his thoughts on its future. He next talks about the distinctive attributes of a Southwestern education, such as putting equal importance on the search for and application of knowledge, constructing moral standards free from prejudice, and encouraging new and permanent motivations. Fleming concludes by reading the university’s revised aims and objectives.
Gordon Wilkison began work as a cameraman at the local Austin television station KTBC (now FOX 7) during 1952, its first year of operation.  At the time the station was owned by the Texas Broadcasting Company, which was owned by Senator Lyndon B. and Lady Bird Johnson. This relationship would continue to shape Wilkison's career well into the next decades - during the Johnson administration, Wilkison covered the president's visits to Texas, preparing material for national and international news correspondents. 
A particularly notable moment in his career occurred on August 1, 1966, when Wilkison and KTBC reporter Neal Spelce risked their lives to capture footage of the Tower shooting at the University of Texas. 
Wilkison was also the General Manager of Photo Processors at the LBJ Broadcasting Corporation, which he later took over and renamed Cenetex Film Labs. In addition to his camera work and film processing, his work at the station also included direction of a number of television film productions.
Outside of KTBC, Wilkison shot, edited, and processed Longhorn football game footage for the University of Texas, a partnership that lasted nearly 30 years.    
Recognizing the historical value of film and news footage, Wilkison kept the material, later contributing hundreds of reels to the Texas Archive of the Moving Image's collection.
Lawrence Durwood Fleming was born on August 9, 1914, in Sulphur Springs, Texas. He attended Southern Methodist University in Dallas, earning both a bachelor’s and master’s degree. After working at various Methodist churches in North Central Texas, he moved to Houston in 1945 to serve as the founding pastor of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church. In 1961, Fleming was elected President of Southwestern University in Georgetown, and was later named chancellor of the university. After retiring in 1981, he became a consultant to the Perkins School of Theology at SMU. 
Fleming died on January 22, 2007, in Dallas at the age of 92. He and his wife, Lurlyn, were married for 66 years and had three children.