The Texas Academy for Leadership in the Humanities


The Texas Academy for Leadership in the Humanities is located in Beaumont, Texas on the Lamar University campus, part of the Texas University system. The program was founded in 1994 as a co-educational, residential, public institution for gifted Texas high school juniors and seniors; its director is Dr. Mary Gagne. The program focuses on the humanities, and in cultivating a sense of leadership in their students. Students are expected to spend time both in and out of class working with volunteer organization, community service, and other projects run by the Academy. The program utilizes various projects and research opportunities to cultivate the students’ public speaking and presentation skills.


Tuition at the Academy is paid for by the State of Texas, students are expected to pay room and board, which is $6,290, a year as well as pay for their books and supplies. Students may avail themselves of the scholarship and grant opportunities that are open to any University student. Applicants must have a minimum SAT score of 1000 achieving no lower than 500 in both the reading and math sections. If a student takes the ACT they must score at least a 21. Potential students must also submit an autobiographical essay, letters of recommendation from either a principal or counselor as well as from an English teacher accompanied by a reading list. This is followed by a personal interview.


Students are required to complete University core courses, a first semester freshman would take: Intro to Composition, Pre-calculus, U.S. History or World Civilization, a foreign language, and a communications, philosophy, or computer science course. The Academy also offers a series of lectures through two distinct programs. The first is called Think Tanks, which bring expert lecturers to the Academy to speak to students about topics ranging from world religions to the stock market. The second, Keys to success, helps students hone their communication skills through presentations on a chosen topic to the student body.


Students live on campus in an Academy dorm. Boys and girls live in separate quarters and may only interact with one another in the common areas, the program does not support an “open door policy” when it comes to the mixing of boys and girls. There are various clubs within the Academy for students to participate in: Student government, journalism, literary journal, yearbook, National Honor Society, and Key Club. There are also dances, dinners, picnics, retreats, movies, Prom and shopping trips.