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January 2003

Release Date: January 23, 2003

Junell's Official State Papers Donated to ASU's West Texas Collection

Former state representative Robert A. "Rob" Junell, who chaired the House Appropriations Committee for a decade, has donated his legislative papers to the West Texas Collection at Angelo State University.

Junell, who was first elected to the legislature in 1988, served in Austin through 2002 when he chose not to run for re-election. During his tenure as chair of the House Appropriations Committee, he was one of the most powerful and influential elected officials in Texas.

In acknowledging the donation, ASU President James Hindman said, "We were fortunate at ASU to have had Rob Junell as our state representative for almost 15 years. Now we are fortunate to have his papers in the West Texas Collection so that scholars can study the issues that faced the State of Texas as it moved from the 20th into the 21st century."

To date the donation has included 105 boxes of materials from Junell's Austin and San Angelo offices. Donated materials include official correspondence and bill packets documenting proposed legislation as it made its way through the legislative process. Additional items include journals, memos, campaign materials and various other documents related to his official duties.

Suzanne Campbell, head of the West Texas Collection, said the materials provide a major resource into how state government has tried to address the myriad of complex issues facing Texas in recent years.

"As chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, Rob Junell was front and center in addressing those issues," Campbell said. "His papers will be a treasure trove for scholars examining this period in Texas history."

Topics of the papers range from Africanized bees to water and drought to school finance. A sample of other topics includes issues such as state prisons, mental health/mental retardation, redistricting, North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Texas Lottery and higher education, among others.

Campbell said such a large collection will take time to process, but ultimately an inventory of papers along with finding aids will be produced to assist researchers in finding topics pertinent to their individual interests.

Junell requested that his papers, which are considered official state records, be housed in the West Texas Collection, which is an official repository for the Texas State Library and Archives. As an official repository, the West Texas Collection is allowed to assume and maintain physical custody of state records. As part of the agreement, the university will assign an archivist to appraise, arrange and describe the records in accordance with accepted archival standards and practices so that they are accessible to the public.

Campbell said that a reception recognizing Junell for his service to the state and his donation to the West Texas Collection will be scheduled later this year once collection staff members have had time to do some preliminary organization of his papers.

A San Angelo attorney, Junell was elected in 1988 to the first of seven terms in the Texas House of Representatives. By his third term in the Legislature, he had been selected chairman of the House Appropriations Committee. During his legislative career, Junell became not only one of the most powerful elected officials in the state but also one of the most popular.

Junell moved with his father and mother, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Junell, to San Angelo in 1966. He had attended public schools in Lubbock, then graduated from New Mexico Military Institute before attending Texas Tech University where he earned a bachelor's degree in education. He served in the U.S. Army from 1970 to 1974. He received a master's degree in political science from the University of Arkansas before getting his law degree from Texas Tech in 1976. In 1998, he was named an honorary alumnus of ASU.

During his political career, he received numerous honors. The Dallas Morning News recognized him as a "Rising Star" in 1991 and the "Best of the Best in the Texas Legislature" in 1995. Texas Monthly recognized him multiple times as an outstanding legislator. Texas Tech named him a distinguished alumnus, both for the law school and for the university.

He has been active in numerous local organizations and has been an ardent supporter of education at all levels. Junell and his wife, Beverly, are the parents of three children.