About Gary Lavergne



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Articles and Commentary by Gary M. Lavergne

Put Your Heart To the Wind: The Lavergne Family and the Spanish Flu Pandemic of 1918 April 13, 2020. A Personal Essay by Gary M. Lavergne: In 1918 World War I was coming to a bloddy end and The Spanish Flu Pandemic was raging across the world. It would become the deadliest pandemic in modern times and claim hundreds of lives in St. Landry Parish, Louisiana. Two of the dead were little boys named Joseph and Alton Lavergne--Gary's uncles. Read this tragic and powerful story about a farm family's heartbreak at the hands of a cruel virus and how it compares to the Coronavirus Pandemic of 2020.

When a Sniper Shot Many From a Tower... In 1966 Monday, October 2, 2017. A CNN Opinion piece by Gary M. Lavergne: The Las Vegas shooting rampage resembles the University of Texas tower tragedy. It also discusses personal responsibility, the ability of some (like sniprs) to do evil things, how science cannot yet explain why some engege in mass murder.

Murder and Mayhem on the Texas Supreme Court tells the fascinating story of the murder of an Associate Justice of the Texas Supreme Court and his wife by their profoundly disturbed son. It appeared in the Fall 2014 issue of the Texas Supreme Court Historical Society Journal.

Before Brown: Heman Marioin Sweatt, Thurgood Marshall and the Long Road to Justice: An Introduction and Excerpt by Gary M. Lavergne first appeared in the Texas Supreme Court Historical Society Journal in the Spring of 2012.

Heman Marion Sweatt: the Unsung Civil Rights Hero is a commentary on the legacy of Hemam Marion Sweatt. It appeared on the blog page of the American Constitution Society on October 28, 2010.

Why Heman Sweatt Still Matters is an introduction to an excerpt from ALCALDE, the magazine of the Texas Exes Alumni Association. It appeared in the September/October 2010 issue.

Is This the End of the SAT?
First appeared in the New York Times on March 4, 2001. It is a commentary on a speech delivered by Richard Atkinson, President of the University of California, in which he called for ending the use of the SAT in college admissions.

The Legacy of the Texas Tower Sniper
First appeared in the Chronicle of Higher Education the day after the Virginia Tech tragedy of April 26, 2007.

College Admissions as Conspiracy Theory
First appeared in the Chronicle of Higher Education on November 9, 2007. It is a review of four books on access to American higher education.

From the Beginning: College Admissions and the Michigan Cases
First appeared in the Summer 2003 issue of the newsletter of the Southern Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (SACRAO). It is an overview of the Grutter and Gratz cases that had been ruled upon by the United States Supreme Court.

Affirmative Action and Percent Plans: What We Learned in Texas
First appeared in the College Board Review in May of 2001. This is an article co-authored with Dr. Bruce Walker, Director of Admissions at the University of Texas at Austin. It is commentary on the effects of the Texas Top 10% Automatic Admissions Law.

If Your Dream's Come True Are You Prepared For Success?
First appeared in the newsletter of the Austin Writers' League (now called the Writers' League of Texas) in August of 2000. It is a companion to a speech Gary delivered to the annual Agents and Editors Conference.

The Burdens of Writing History
First appeared in the newsletter of the Austin Writers' League (now called the Writers' League of Texas) in November of 1997. It is a short essay on the difference between writing history and folklore.

Impressions From a Son and His Father: The Duke University Talent Identification Program
First appeared in the spring 1993 newsletter of the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented. The article is co-authored by Charles and Gary Lavergne and is an account of their experience with the Duke University TIP.

John M. Parker's Confrontation With Woodrow Wilson
First appeared in the summer 1984 edition of the Theodore Roosevelt Association Journal. Gary edited and provided commentary on a reminiscence of Louisiana Governor John Parker's meeting with President concerning TR's formation of a Rough Rider unit during World War I.

Mike Scanlan: An Irish American in Acadia Parish
First appeared in the winter 1977 edition of the Attakapas Gazette, a regional historical journal published by the Center for Louisiana Studies of the University of Louisiana-Lafayette. Mike Scanlan was a political and business leader during from the 1920s through the 1960s in Acadiana.

Homer Barousse: Portrait of an Acadia Parish Politician
First appeared in the summer 1976 edition of the Attakapas Gazette, a regional historical journal published by the Center for Louisiana Studies of the University of Louisiana-Lafayette. Homer Barousse was a long-time senator from Gary's home town and is best known as one of the "Round Robineers" that saved Huey P. Long from impeachment in 1929.

Articles about Gary M. Lavergne

"Celebrating the Legacy of Heman Marion Sweatt" by David Furlow
Appeared in the Winter, 2018 issue of the Journal of the Texas Supreme Court Historical Society. "On February 15, 2018, UT and Texas historian Gary Lavergne, UT Law School Dean Ward Farnsworth, Hemella Sweatt-Duplechan, MD and others celebrated the legacy and character of Houston postman and civil rights pioneer Heman Marion Sweatt, whose lawsuit and U.S. Supreme Court case ended racial segregation at UT Law School, in Texas, and throughout the U.S." These speeches tell an inspiring story about a man and a family who triumphed over adversity and the oppression of the Jim Crow. Heman Marion Sweatt deserves our gratitude and respect. Heman Marion Sweatt's story is worth remembering."

Finding no "responsible" book on UT shootings, Gary Lavergne wrote one by Michael Barnes
Appeared in July 7, 2016 issue of the Austin American Statesman. "Twenty years ago, as the 30th anniversary of the University of Texas Tower shootings loomed, Gary Lavergne completed an exacting account of the events that took place before, during and after Aug. 1, 1966. "Sniper in the Tower: The Charles Whitman Murders," published by the University of North Texas Press in 1997, has since appeared in paperback, mass market paperback and Kindle editions. We sat down with the unassuming Lavergne - by day, the UT head of admissions research, and the author of three other successful books - in his office on the ground floor of the Tower."

"I just laid down by the grave": A mother mourns the UT Tower's tiniest victim. . ." by Michael S. Rosenwald
Appeared in August 1, 2016 issue of the Washington Post. Rosenwald writes a short article about how Gary located Baby Boy Wilson in an unmarked grave in Austin, Texas. "Scrolling through it one last time, Lavergne stumbled on an entry for 'Baby Boy Wilson' buried on Aug. 2 1966. That was one day after Whitman's massacre. 'It's gotta be him' Lavergne said."

The Reckoning by Pamela Colloff with photos by Sarah Wilson
Appeared in the April 2016 issue of TEXAS MONTHLY and as a free feature online. It is the powerful story of Claire Wilson James and how the path of Charles Whitman's bullet forever changed her life. Part of the heart-wrenching story is of how Gary Lavergne solved a 48-year-old mystery of the location of the remains of her unborn child: The first victim shot from the UT Tower's deck.

A Buried Memory is Preserved by Reeve Hamilton with photos by Tom Wiseman
First appeared simultaneously in the New York Times and the Texas Tribune in August of 2014. It is the unforgettable story of how Gary Lavergne solved a 48-year-old mystery of the location of the remains of a victim of the UT Tower Tragedy of 1966.

Alum Lavergne Wins Top Prize From Texas Institute of Letters
First appeared in ultoday.com as a news item on February 20, 2011. It is a profile of Gary Lavergne as an alumnus of the University of Louisiana-Lafayette.

Diverse in the Heart by Eric Hoover with photos by Matt Nager
"A Texas admissions expert tells the long-forgotten tale of a pioneer in integration... " Appeared in the November 21, 2010 issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education. It is a cover story of Gary Lavergne as a the author of Before Brown.

Before Brown by Scott Jashnik
"When people talk about the demolition of the doctrine of "separate but equal," the case everyone focuses on is Brown v. Board of Education, the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark 1954 ruling." It first appeared on September 8, 2010 on the Inside Higher Education Website. It is an interview with and a story about Gary Lavergne as a the author of Before Brown.

Staff Member By Day, Author By Night by Marjorie Simoens
First appeared in the KNOW section of the University of Texas Website on October 15, 2010 is a profile of Gary Lavergne as a member of the University staff and an author.

Crime Writer in the Tower by Missy Lay with photos by Nathan Brown
First appeared in the student publication Orange Magazine in the fall 2004 issue. It is a profile of Gary Lavergne as a true crime writer.

Gary Lavergne by Maggi Davis with photos by Katie Hayes
First appeared in the student publication burntOrange Magazine in the spring 2010 issue. It focuses mostly on Gary's interview of serial killer Kenneth Allen McDuff and his other experiences reporting from Texas prisons.

Cedar Park man writes for a new perspective is a feature about Gary written by Amy Fowler of the Cedar park Citizen. Photography is by Amy Fowler as well.

Local Author Takes Home Historic Awards is a story by Amy Fowler about Gary's winning of the Tullis Prize and the Collins Awards for his book Before Brown.

| Gary's Bio |Before Brown| Worse Than Death| Bad Boy From Rosebud | Sniper in the Tower | Cajuns |