2017 Conference

We have designed excursions to meet interests in different disciplines.  

Registered participants will receive a form via email to select their preferred excursion. All transportation to the excursions and back to Lamar University and the Holiday Inn Plaza will be provided.

If an excursion you are interested is full and you would like to be added to a waiting list, please email rebekah.maxwell@lamar.edu. We will let you know if any changes can be made before March 31st.

Art Museum of Southeast Texas & Texas Energy Museum No longer available, at capacity!

This excursion offers a look at two museums that are next door to each other in Downtown Beaumont.

The Art Museum of Southeast Texas mission is to provide education, inspiration and creative vision throughout Southeast Texas through unique collections, exhibitions, public programs and outreach in the visual arts.

The Texas Energy Museum houses a collection of historical photographs, maps, and other materials related to Beaumont and Southeast Texas oil fields. 

Chambers & McFaddin-Ward House Museums No longer available, at capacity!

This excursion offers a look at two local, historic homes.  

The Chambers House Museum of Beaumont TexasBuilt in 1906 by a local lumberman, the house was sold to the Chambers family in 1914. C. Homer and Edith Fuller Chambers moved into the home with their two young daughters, Ruth, 11 and Florence, 16 months old. The family cherished this home for the rest of their lives. While the Chambers daughters did go off to college, a fairly unusual occurrence in those days, both returned home and never married. Few changes occurred to the house or it's furnishings in nearly 90 years of Chambers family occupancy.

The McFaddin-Ward House Museum: The McFaddin-Ward House was built in 1905-06 in the striking and distinctive Beaux-Arts Colonial style. When W. P. H. and Ida Caldwell McFaddin moved their young family, two sons and one daughter, into their house in 1907, Beaumont was still enjoying the economic effects of the discovery of oil at nearby Spindletop in 1901. Having already accumulated considerable wealth from the cattle business, rice farming and milling, commercial real estate, and trapping, the family prospered even more after Spindletop, since Mr. McFaddin owned part interest in the land where oil was discovered.

Downtown Beaumont No longer available, at capacity!

Enjoy a walking tour of the historic Downtown Beaumont. Tour participants will start at the Jefferson County Courthouse with a short tour and then be provided with a map for a self-guided walking tour of the downtown area.

The Jefferson County Courthouse in Beaumont, Texas is one of the tallest courthouses in the state and an excellent example of Art Deco architecture. Built in 1931 by architects Fred Stone and Augustin Babin. Plaster friezes depicting traditional symbols of justice, as well as local images such as steer heads, pine cones and rice shocks, adorn the outside of this historic property. - Learn more at the Beaumont CVB website

Museum of the Gulf Coast - New Option!

The Museum of the Gulf Coast tells the exciting story of the Texas/Louisiana Gulf Coast region, beginning with paleontology and biology. Permanent exhibits include a section on Native Americans, European contact, the Civil War, economic and cultural growth, the petroleum industry, and the maritime history of the region. The Museum's second floor is dedicated to the many internationally-recognized musicians and athletes who call the Gulf Coast home. More information can be found on the Museum's website.

Neches River Cruise No longer available, at capacity!

The Neches River flows for 416 miles (669 km) from B.A. Steinhagen Lake through east Texas to its mouth on Sabine Lake near the Rainbow Bridge. Often referred to as "The Last Wild River in east Texas," the Neches flows through the Big Thicket National Preserve and is home to more than 200 tree species, 47 mammals, 300 birds and many reptiles and amphibians. In Beaumont, the river can be accessed by way of Collier's Ferry and Riverfront Park. A guided educational tour will be provided through Neches River Adventures.

Shangri-La Gardens No longer available, at capacity!

Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center is the perfect setting to get a taste of Southeast Texas natural environment. The diverse array of gardens and natural areas on Shangri La’s 252 acres offer a remarkable set of experiences that will surely make any visit a truly memorable one.

Stark Art Museum & Stark House Museum

This excursion is located in Orange, Texas, approximately 30 miles from the Lamar University campus. Bus transportation will be provided. Participants on this excursion will have an opportunity to tour two museums within walking distance of each other.

The Stark Museum of Art houses one of the finest collections of nineteenth and twentieth century Western American art in the country. The collection focuses on the stunning land, dramatic people, and diverse wildlife of the American West. The Museum also holds a significant collection of American Indian art as well as collections of rare books and manuscripts, and of decorative arts.

The W.H. Stark House was the home of Miriam Lutcher and W.H. Stark. They were active and influential members of their community who left a lasting impact on Southeast Texas. The Stark House was also the childhood home of their son, H.J. Lutcher Stark. He was seven years old when the Stark House was completed, and he lived in the home until he went to the University of Texas.

Tyrrell Park & Cattail Marsh No longer available, at capacity!

Cattail Marsh includes 900-acres of wetlands and offers a variety of recreational activities with a new boardwalk and more than eight miles of gravel levee roads for jogging, hiking, biking, horseback riding, bird watching and wildlife photography along the banks of Hildebrandt Bayou and Willow Marsh Bayou. Cattail Marsh is a wildlife refuge for a variety of aquatic mammals and more than 250 species of birds annually, including: pelicans, egrets, roseate spoonbills, ducks, ibis, doves and red-winged blackbirds. In the summer of 2016, a new boardwalk and viewing platforms were opened to provide new access and incredible views of one of the most active birding areas of the wetlands. Originally constructed in 1993 by the Beaumont Public Utilities Department as the final phase of Beaumont's wastewater treatment system, this natural and innovative process has attracted the interest of environmentalists and wildlife professionals from across the state. - Learn more at the Beaumont CVB web site.