The American Legion – Department of Texas

Texas Boys State Alumni

Welcome to the BridgeBuilder Foundation!

For more than 50 years, Dr. Firman Haynie served as a counselor in our program, with many of those years as our Director or Director Emeritus. A little-known fact about Dr. Haynie is that his dissertation for his doctorate revolved around the Texas Boys State program and its approach to curriculum development and learning practices that must take place in a very short period.

As a lifelong educator, Dr. Haynie was very focused on the stewardship of passing knowledge to future generations. To illustrate this point, Dr. Haynie used the following poem at the close of the yearly Counselor training to showcase the importance of what would take place each year with the new group of Statesmen:

An old man, going a lone highway, Came at the evening cold and gray To a chasm vast and deep and wide Through which was flowing a swollen tide. The old man crossed in the twilight dim; The rapids held no fears for him. But he turned when safe on the other side And built a bridge to span the tide.

"Old man,’ cried a fellow pilgrim near, "You’re wasting your time in building here. Your journey will end with the closing day; You never again will pass this way. You have crossed the chasm deep and wide; Why build you this bridge at even-tide?’

The builder lifted his old gray head. "Good friend, in the path I have come,’ he said, "There follows after me today A youth whose feet must pass this way. This stream, which has been as naught to me, To that fair youth may a pitfall be. He too must cross in the twilight dim — Good friend, I am building this bridge for him.’

The Bridge Builder by Will Allen Droomgole (1860-1934)

As stewards of this program, the Texas Boys State executive leadership team has established The BridgeBuilder Foundation, whose purpose is to continue the legacy of the foundational principles of this program, founded in 1939 in Texas. We receive donations as a 501c3 entity, with every dollar going to the furtherance of the program. Examples of usage of your gifts include scholarships for eligible Statesmen who could not attend otherwise, assistance with UT Austin facility rental costs, and investment in technologies to be used for the program (e.g., printers and computers).

If you would like more information on The BridgeBuilder Foundation or to make a tax-deductible cash or in-kind donation, please contact us here.