JBS Leadership Institute logo


Past Special Events

March 20, 2019: Presidential Archives – Bowser Collection Donation

On March 20, 2019, Clydia Williams-Bowser and her husband John Bowser, on behalf of the alumni of Odessa’s Blackshear Junior-Senior High School, donated a collection of presidential artifacts to the Presidential Archives. The donation will provide additional materials related to several recent presidents, especially President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.

Ms. Williams-Bowser, who graduated from U.T. Permian Basin with a Master of Arts degree in counseling, has been collecting memorabilia for some time and stated that she was “delighted that some of my collection will be useful in educating the public.” Mr. Bowser noted that the Blackshear High School alumni association regularly visits the Presidential Archives during its reunions.

Items donated included several collectible figures of the Obamas, along with t-shirts, yard signs, photographs from the White House, and news publications from Obama’s presidency. President Obama’s books Dreams of My Father and Audacity of Hope, Michelle Obama’s Becoming, and My Life by President Bill Clinton were also donated to be included in the John Ben Shepperd, Jr., Memorial Library, located in the Presidential Archives.

“We are grateful to the Bowsers for this generous gift,” said, Clay Finley, who oversees the Presidential Archives. “The Bowsers have significantly increased our collection of contemporary presidential memorabilia, allowing us to continue telling the stories of those who have served our nation in this role.”

In addition to the Bowsers, the presentation was attended by Rose Mary Hammond, Morris Nelms, Barbara Finley, Celestine Rand, Joyce Williams, and Idell Tatum, all of whom graduated from Blackshear High School. Also in attendance was Mari Spivey Willis, who attended Blackshear Junior High School and currently represents District 5 on the Odessa City Council.

September 19, 2018: Court Day – Supreme Court of Texas

On Wednesday, September 19, 2018, the John Ben Shepperd Public Leadership Institute hosted the Texas Supreme Court for a Court Day at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin’s Wagner Noel Performing Arts Center.

Beginning at 9:00 AM, the Court heard two cases; following the hearings, the Court took questions from the audience.

This was a free event, open to the public, and a unique opportunity for all of us in the Permian Basin to view our state’s highest court in action.

The cases argued were:



17-0463     GLASSDOOR, INC., DOE 1 AND DOE 2 v. ANDRA GROUP, LP; from Dallas County; 5th Court of Appeals District (05-16-00189-CV,       SW3d       , 03-24-17)

Details of the cases are available through the Court’s website, http://www.txcourts.gov/supreme/.

TBF Logo Black_RedHighRes

Odessa Arts

Thanks to the Texas Bar Foundation and Odessa Arts for their financial support to make this event possible!

For photos from the day, please click here.

February 27, 2018: Fulbright Scholar Reception – Dr. Haytham Nawar

On Tuesday, February 27, from 7:30 to 8:30, the John Ben Shepperd Public Leadership Institute hosted visiting Fulbright Scholar Haytham Nawar. Dr. Nawar teaches at the American University in Cairo, Egypt, and was serving as a visiting scholar at UCLA. A reception was also held in his honor preceding the event.

February 19, 2018 – Presidents Day Reception

On Monday, February 19, 2018, the John Ben Shepperd Public Leadership Institute hosted a reception in the Presidential Archives celebrating Presidents Day! Dr. Bob Brescia spoke about humorous facts and anecdotes from the lives of the Presidents.

October 20, 2015: JBS Leaders Luncheon

October 20, 2015: The John Ben Shepperd Leaders Luncheon at the Odessa Country Club was hosted by the City of Odessa. Ray Perryman was the keynote speaker, Odessa Mayor David Turner read a proclamation honoring John Ben Shepperd, and President Teddy Roosevelt was a special guest.


October 19, 2015: John Ben Shepperd’s 100th Birthday Party!

On October 19, 2015, the John Ben Shepperd Public Leadership Institute hosted a 100th Birthday Party for John Ben Shepperd, welcoming many family and friends of our namesake for a special evening, including birthday cake and the unveiling of a new portrait. Click here for more photos.

October 18, 2015: JBS 5K Walk / Run

October 18, 2015: As part of the celebration of John Ben Shepperd’s 100th birthday, a 5K Walk / Run on the UTPB campus walking path. Start time was 2:00 PM at the Presidential Archives building. A “Who was JBS” flyer was provided and a JBS exhibit was available. This event was free and open to the public.


September 17, 2015: Constitution Week Press Conference

On September 17, 2015, the John Ben Shepperd Public Leadership Institute and the Daughters of the American Revolution held a joint press conference in honor of Constitution Week, honoring the United States Constitution. Speakers included Dr. Robert Brescia, executive director of the John Ben Shepperd Public Leadership Institute, Mr. Charles Cotten, and Judge Susan Redford. Gail Loving Barnes, a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, also spoke briefly about the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta and the significance of that document to our country’s history. Click here for photos of the event.

March 26, 2015: Teddy Roosevelt Visit

On March 26, 2015, Teddy Roosevelt visited the Presidential Archives at the invitation of Dr. Bob Brescia, JBS Executive Director. During Roosevelt’s visit he posed with his own portrait, reminisced about a camp stool he had used during his trip to Africa, and paused to honor the memory of John Ben Shepperd, Jr. Click here for photos.

July 12, 2014: “JBS Fine Arts Leadership Revival”

On July 12, 2014, the John Ben Shepperd Public Leadership Institute hosted the JBS Fine Arts Leadership Revival at the Wagner Noel Performing Arts Center. This event combined music, performing arts, oration, and a discussion of leadership into a spectacular evening. In addition to featured guest Jerome “J-ROC” Harmon, participants included CBS7’s Jay Hendricks as moderator, the Jeffery Family, and Tim Curry. Click here for photos.

August 23, 2013: JBS Block Party

On August 23, 2013, JBS hosted a block party for new UT Permian Basin students, welcoming them to campus and introducing them to the Institute. Click here for photos.

August 22-23, 2013: Falcon Formation ’13

On August 22 and 23, 2013, the John Ben Shepperd Public Leadership Institute hosted a Jon Vroman, author of Living College Life in the Front Row, for an event with U.T. Permian Basin incoming freshman students entitled Falcon Formation ’13. Click here for photos.

July 29, 2013: Texas Leadership Educators Workshop 2013

On July 29, 2013, the John Ben Shepperd Public Leadership Institute hosted the 2013 Texas Leadership Educators Workshop at the Dallas Wyndham Love Field Hotel in Dallas. Speakers included Adam Goodman, Barbara Kellerman, and Robert Brescia.

July 28-29, 2013: Texas Leadership Educators Workshop

July 28-29, 2013 marked the second year of the Texas Leadership Educators Workshop. Seats filled up fast for this important educational workshop held in Dallas. Attendees enrolled included Ph.D. students, faculty members, high school teachers and a few middle school educators who are all excited to learn how to mesh leadership into studies that are in place and to learn so much more. Speakers were Adam Goodman, Barbara Kellerman and Robert Brescia who engaged attendees with the means to enhance their knowledge about leadership and leadership curriculum ideas on a wide variety of topics

The networking opportunities for first time teachers of leadership classes were beneficial along with the shared knowledge of those that have taught for years. We hope everyone came away with a little bit of learning about how other professionals teach the same topics and how to enhance their own techniques. Interests in the topics were abuzz with excitement from those viewing the agenda for the workshop.

Our goal was to see the exchange of ideas between presenters and participants on various topics such as best practices; curriculum design and development; link between experiential learning and formal courses; and teaching activities and techniques. Thanks to those that attended, we did more than accomplish that goal.

July 29-31, 2012: Texas Leadership Educators Workshop 2012

On July 29, 2012, the John Ben Shepperd Public Leadership Institute hosted the 2012 Texas Leadership Educators Workshop at the Dallas Wyndham Love Field Hotel in Dallas. Speakers included Craig Johnson, Peter Northouse, and Howard Prince.

March 22, 2012: Buddy and Shirley West Building Dedication Ceremony

On March 22, 2012, the John Ben Shepperd Public Leadership Institute hosted a dedication ceremony for the building in which it is located on the campus of U.T. Permian Basin, with the building being officially named in honor of former Texas Representative George E. “Buddy” West and his wife, Shirley West. Click here for photos.