Walter L. Buenger

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Walter Louis Buenger
Born (1951-01-19) January 19, 1951 (age 67)
Fort Stockton, Pecos County
Texas, USA
Residence Bryan
Brazos County
Alma mater Rice University
Occupation Historian
Professor at Texas A&M University
Years active 1977-
Spouse(s) Victoria L. "Vickie" Buenger

Carl Davis Buenger

Erin Buenger (1997-2009)
Parent(s) Walter and Janice T. Buenger

Walter Louis Buenger (born January 19, 1951) is an historian of Texas and the American South and, since 2017, is a professor of history at the University of Texas in Austin, Texas.


Buenger received all three of his degrees, Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts, and Ph.D., from Rice University in Houston in 1973, 1977, and 1979, respectively. Immediately thereafter at the age of twenty-eight, he joined the history faculty at TAMU. He became head of the History department in 2002 and remained there until 2017 when he accepted a position with the University of Texas at Austin [1]. Simultaneously, he became the Chief Historian [2] at the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). [3]

Scholarly pursuits[edit]

Buenger's 2001 book The Path to a Modern South: Northeast Texas Between Reconstruction and the Great Depression was awarded the Coral H. Tullis Award, given annually to a book that focuses on Texas.[4] He is a fellow, past president (2009–2010) and current Chief Historian of the Texas State Historical Association.[5]

Buenger is a member of a Texas school curriculum committee setting standards for social studies education. In September 2018, it was announced that the committee had the previous month proposed that educators refrain from calling defenders of The Alamo as "heroic" The recommendation drew the ire of Republican Governor Greg Abbott, a candidate for re-election in the November 6 general, who urged voters to express opposition to the proposal to their district member on the Texas Board of Education. The recommendation was among several hundred additions, deletions, and tweaks offered by the advisory the panel. The committee said "heroic" is "a value(s)-charged word." Buenger said that he could understand why the word 'heroic' is divisive: "Many times the Alamo gets boiled down, as it often does in movies, to the Mexicans are the bad guys and the good guys are good Anglos in coonskin caps." He noted that at least six Mexicans, calling themselves Texians, fought with the American defenders: "Part of the problem with the word heroic may be that it's too simplistic," Buenger added.[6]


The Buengers, who reside in Austin, Texas, have a son, Carl Davis Buenger (born ca. 1988), who graduated from Rice University with a mathematics degree in 2010. Their daughter, Erin Channing Buenger, died in 2009 of neuroblastoma pediatric cancer at the age of eleven. Former U.S. Representative Chet Edwards, a Buenger family friend, sponsored a successful bill to earmark $150 million toward a cure for neuroblastoma and other cancers. The measure was signed into law by U.S. President George W. Bush in July 2008.[7]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Texas A&M University Graduate Faculty". Retrieved October 12, 2010. 
  4. ^ "Faculty: Dr. Walter L. Buenger". Retrieved October 14, 2010. 
  5. ^ "Presidents, Texas State Historical Association". Retrieved October 15, 2010. 
  6. ^ "Don't call the Alamo's defenders 'heroic', Texas school curriculum panel urges". The Dallas Morning News. September 8, 2018. Retrieved September 9, 2018. 
  7. ^ "Erin Buenger had a zest for living life fully, April 12, 2010". Bryan-College Station Eagle. Retrieved October 14, 2010. 
Preceded by
Frances B. Vick
President of the Texas State Historical Association

Walter L. Buenger

Succeeded by
Dianne Garrett Powell