Former U.S. Congressman Chet Edwards has been named the W.R. Poage Distinguished Chair for Public Service at Baylor University.
The appointment means the veteran public servant will serve the university in a part-time teaching capacity as he divides his time between commitments in Waco and Washington, D.C.
Dr. Elizabeth Davis, executive vice president and provost at Baylor University, made the announcement on Tuesday.
Edwards, who officially stepped into the role on Jan. 1, will be in residence at Baylor two weeks per semester, Davis said.
During that time Edwards will provide public and classroom lectures, primarily in the areas of political science and economics, and leadership development training through various programs in the Division of Student Life, she said.
He also will leverage his experience in Washington, D.C., to host educational events in the nation's capital for Baylor students who participate in the university's longtime Washington Internship Program.
From his office in the W.R. Poage Legislative Library at Baylor, the former Congressman will assist in processing the Edwards Archive, which consists of more than 200 linear feet of paper and substantial digital materials from his 20 years of public service.
Eventually the archives will be available to scholars and citizens interested in extending their understanding of legislative processes and political history.
"Congressman Edwards has demonstrated leadership for decades, representing Central Texans at the highest levels of government," Davis said.
"We are grateful he is now here at Baylor University and look forward to his contributions to our public conversation, in the classroom and as we preserve his important legislative papers as part of our permanent research collection in our libraries."
"It is a personal privilege to be able to teach and work with Baylor students and to do so in conjunction with the University's outstanding faculty," Edwards said.
"I am deeply excited about this opportunity and humbled to hold a Chair named in honor of Congressman Bob Poage, who dedicated his life in distinguished service to Baylor, Central Texas, our state and nation."
Edwards was first elected to the U.S. House in 1990, succeeding Democratic U.S. Rep Marvin Leath.
He survived a remap in 2004 that was intended to make his district Republican friendly, but lost the seat to Republican Bill Flores of Bryan in 2010.
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