Edwin “Lanny” Hall served Tarrant County as a Representative in the Texas House during the sixty-sixth, sixty-seventh, and sixty-eighth legislatures (1979-1984). He has also played administrative roles within several institutions of higher education. With plans to retire after the 2015-2016 academic year, Hall will leave behind a legacy of political and educational leadership for North and Central Texas. It’s as good a time as ever to remember Hall’s many achievements.
Though he was born in Fort Payne, Alabama, Hall moved to Tarrant County at a young age, attending Birdville Independent School District since age six. After receiving his B.S. and M.Ed. from North Texas State University, he taught high school government and history. He was selected as an L.B.J. Congressional Intern in 1974, and began working in Washington D.C. for House Majority Leader Jim Wright. He later served Wright as a staff assistant on the National Commission on Water Quality. During this period, he also worked for the House Public Works Subcommittee on Investigations and Review. When Wright was elected Majority Leader, Hall became a special assistant on the Congressman’s staff.
In November 1978, Hall was elected to the Texas House of Representatives from District 32-C. This includes most of Tarrant County, including East Fort Worth, West Arlington, Richland Hills, North Richland Hills, Watauga, and some of Haltom City. He took his oath of office on January 9, 1979.
During his time in the Texas House, he served as Vice Chairman of the Transportation Committee, as well as Chairman of the Interim Subcommittee on Teacher Education. He was also a member of the House Appropriations Committee, the Public Education Committee, the Interim Subcommittee on Medical Education, and the House Higher Education Committee.
After his time in the Texas House of Representatives, Hall received his doctorate degree in Education Administration from the University of Texas at Austin in 1985. For a time, he worked for the Teacher Retirement System of Texas, then started a waffling stint between Howard Payne University in Brownwood and Hardin-Simmons in Abilene.
He served Howard Payne as Executive Vice President and Chief Academic Officer from 1986-1989. He then spent two years as President of Wayland Baptist University in Plainview, before beginning a ten year term as President at Hardin-Simmons. He returned to Howard Payne to serve as President from 2003 to 2009, and he is currently President again of Hardin-Simmons.
The Edwin “Lanny” Hall Collection contains records from his time in the Texas House of Representatives, pertaining to subjects such as public education, tuition rates and funding for colleges and universities, equal rights and LGBT issues, transportation, health topics, and many more.
-by Alexandra Traxinger Schütz