Begala to Speak at Event Marking Friar Society's 100th Anniversary

CNN correspondent Paul Begala will speak on "The Role of the Media in American Politics" at 4 p.m. on April 15 at The University of Texas at Austin during the celebration of  the 100th anniversary of the Friar Society, the oldest honor society at the university.  The lecture is free and open to the university community.

Begala is an alumnus of the Friar Society. Seating for the lecture in the Connally Ballroom of the Etter-Harbin Alumni Center is limited. Reservations may be requested by e-mailing:

Founded in 1911 by six students, the Friar Society strives to honor and offer membership to students who have made significant contributions to the betterment of the university, said Omar Ochoa, a School of Law student who is abbot of the organization and editor-in-chief of the Texas Law Review.

The Friar Society began as an  all-male organization, but in 1973 inducted six women into its ranks and became the first all-male campus organization to do so. The organization's student membership this year includes 13 men and six women. It has about 725 living alumni.

The Friar Society's projects each year include the presentation of awards such as the Friar Centennial Teaching Fellowship, an undergraduate teaching award that includes a gift of $25,000 presented to a faculty member in a surprise ceremony while he or she is teaching class.

The Friars also created and annually present the Tany Norwood Award, a plaque recognizing outstanding contributions to student life made by a staff member or administrator. The Friar Society also is among the organizations that played a role in initiating the Student Endowed Centennial Lectureship, the Heman Sweatt Civil Rights Symposium and the Edward S. Guleke Student Excellence Award.