AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin presented former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton its inaugural In the Arena award, established to honor an individual who has shown purpose, perseverance and a commitment to public service. Clinton received the award during a ceremony inside the Lady Bird Johnson Auditorium Tuesday evening.
“It’s impossible to understand Hillary Clinton and her relationship to public service apart from the era,” Angela Evans, dean of the LBJ School, said. “She was a civic activist at a time when America was consumed by big dreams: civil rights, the Peace Corps, the moon landing.”
The name of the award is inspired by Theodore Roosevelt’s “The Man in the Arena” speech. Clinton referred to the speech several times during her conversation on stage with Evans, reflecting on how to pick up even after a failure.
“If you’re in the arena, you can’t, in my experience, be there just for your own gratification,” Clinton said. “If you’re not there on behalf of a cause larger than yourself and you face a setback, it’s hard to keep going.”
Clinton says the number of first-time female candidates this midterm election, and the outcomes are encouraging.
“The diversity was not just diversity in race or in background,” Clinton said. “It was a diversity that really showed you the full range of who we are as Americans and I can’t wait to see a picture of Congress.”
Graduate students from the school had the opportunity to meet with Clinton privately and students from the University of Texas at Austin’s School of Design and Creative Technology at the College of Fine arts designed the award. Students from the university’s Radio-Television-Film department at the Moody College of Communication partnered with a local advertising agency and created a multimedia tribute to Clinton for the award ceremony shown prior to Clinton’s conversation on stage.