The two brothers behind Trinity University’s Maverick Lecture Series

Maria Hinojosa, host of the national public radio show Latin United States, is sure to attract a diverse audience when she performs at Trinity University’s Laurie Auditorium on April 29 to deliver the 12th Annual Maverick Lecture. The anchor and executive producer of the Peabody Award-winning program is a familiar NPR voice listeners nationwide and especially popular in San Antonio, a city that values ​​its Hispanic roots and culture.

We have William “Bill” Scanlan Jr. and his older brother, John Scanlan, to thank for Hinojosa’s appearance in San Antonio. Bill lives here while John lives in Austin, but the two brothers, both lawyers, trace their Texas lineage to the early 18th century and their mother Salomé Ballí and her family’s Spanish land-grant ranch in the Rio Grande Valley. . John and Bill grew up in a bicultural world in Brownsville, speaking English and Spanish.

They eventually established the William and Salomé Scanlan Foundation to honor their parents’ commitment to civil liberties, education, the environment, and Hispanic history and culture.

This led to the 2007 creation of the Maverick Lecture Series at Trinity University, an idea Bill stated in conversations with San Antonio journalist Jan Jarboe Russell and poet Naomi Shihab Nye. They sought to honor the life and work of the late Maury Maverick Jr., an outspoken San Antonio lawyer, World War II Navy veteran and former Texas lawmaker whose civil rights worked and many years as a columnist for the San Antonio Express-News made him one of the most respected liberal voices in the state.

Maverick Conference speakers are chosen for their commitment to the issues that define Maverick’s place in American civic discourse, including challenges to constitutional freedom, defense of the First Amendment, issues of poverty and race, and moral requirements to justify war.

Maverick: the American name that became a legenda history of the Maverick family in Texas written by Lewis Fisher and published by Trinity University Press, will be on sale at the conference.

“I didn’t know Maury well,” says John, “but Bill and Maury served in the military, and later Maury became Bill’s mentor. They were very close and both shared the same deep belief in democracy. I, too, appreciate these values.

This year’s conference will be the first since 2019, when Judy Woodruff, presenter and editor of PBS NewsTime, published here. The pandemic forced the cancellation of the conference in 2020 and 2021.

The first Maverick Conference took place in 2008 when former New York Times investigative reporter Seymour Hersh gave the keynote address.

“At first I contacted Seymour Hersh and did all that initial work myself, then Trinity started giving me a list of possible speakers and it got a lot easier,” Bill recalls in an interview. “I would visit Kay Casey at Trinity and then talk with Jan and Naomi and we choose a great speaker every year.”

Casey is the university’s assistant vice president for alumni relations and development.

Since then, speakers have varied from New York author and writer and foreign correspondent Robin Wright to author and war correspondent Sebastian Junger.

Over the past two decades, Trinity’s Laurie Auditorium has become home to some of the most recognizable names in American politics, letters and the arts appearing as speakers, supported by a number of donors and their legacy gifts. Lectures are free and open to the public and often draw audiences of 3,000 or more. Click here for a complete list of the annual lecture series.

Oral! The Magical Art of Oaxaca exhibition in August of last year.” class=”wp-image-5242423″ srcset=”https://i0.wp.com/sanantonioreport.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/nickwagner-orale-oaxaca -art-culture-witte-museum-27AUG21-2.jpg?resize=1000%2C603&ssl=1 1000w, https://i0.wp.com/sanantonioreport.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/nickwagner- oral-oaxaca-art-culture-witte-museum-27AUG21-2.jpg?resize=300%2C181&ssl=1300w, https://i0.wp.com/sanantonioreport.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/08 /nickwagner-orale-oaxaca-art-culture-witte-museum-27AUG21-2.jpg?resize=768%2C463&ssl=1768w, https://i0.wp.com/sanantonioreport.org/wp-content/uploads/ 2021/08/nickwagner-orale-oaxaca-art-culture-witte-museum-27AUG21-2.jpg?resize=1536%2C926&ssl=1 1536w, https://i0.wp.com/sanantonioreport.org/wp-content /uploads/2021/08/nickwagner-orale-oaxaca-art-culture-witte-museum-27AUG21-2.jpg?resize=2048%2C1234&ssl=1 2048w, https://i0.wp.com/sanantonioreport.org/ wp-content/uploads/2021/08/nickwagner-orale-oaxaca-art-culture-witte-museum-27AUG21-2.jpg?resize=1200 %2C723&ssl=11200w, https://i0.wp.com/sanantonioreport.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/nickwagner-orale-oaxaca-art-culture-witte-museum-27AUG21-2.jpg? resize=1568%2C945&ssl=1 1568w, https://i0.wp.com/sanantonioreport.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/nickwagner-orale-oaxaca-art-culture-witte-museum-27AUG21-2 .jpg?resize=400%2C241&ssl=1400w, https://i0.wp.com/sanantonioreport.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/nickwagner-orale-oaxaca-art-culture-witte-museum- 27AUG21-2.jpg?w=2340&ssl=1 2340w” sizes=”(max-width: 780px) 100vw, 780px” data-recalc-dims=”1″/>
William Scanlan talks about a textile from his collection at the Witte Museum Oral! The magic art of Oaxaca exhibition in August last year. Credit: Nick Wagner/San Antonio Report

Last year, the Scanlan Brothers decided to staff the Maverick Conference at Trinity to ensure the annual event continues into the future.

“I am very happy, as is my brother, with the Maverick Conference, its history, the people we brought to San Antonio and the values ​​they represent, and I know my parents would be very happy,” said Bill. “And we are happy that this continues now in the future.”

Trinity University President Danny Anderson credited the series with attracting speakers who aren’t afraid to tackle controversial issues.

“Through the Maverick Conference, Bill and John Scanlan are supporting free speech to explore topics that may be controversial,” Anderson said. “This kind of open exploration of differences over ideas can enable us to transcend divisions as we all learn to practice deep intellectual curiosity about our society.”

Hinojosa’s talk is titled “Latinos in the Media”. Audience members will be invited to ask questions at the end of his speech. The event is free and open to the public and will begin at 7:30 p.m. For those unable to attend, the Maverick conference will be streamed live on live.trinity.edu.

Angela C. Hale