This week, former democratic U.S. Representative Chet Edwards released his congressional papers to the Baylor Collections of Political Materials.
The collection represents Edwards’ 20-year-career in Congress representing Texas’ 11th Congressional District through 2005 and Texas’ 17th Congressional District until 2010. Both districts include Waco and other areas in Central Texas. Edwards said he hopes the papers can serve as a resource for local, state and national history.
"There's no way I could've known, when I walked into Waco 34 years ago, knowing one person, a former high school coach of mine that I knew, that this community would have such a profound impact on my career and my life," Edwards said. "It would give me the opportunity to serve in public office, something I never dreamed of doing."
The Edwards Congressional Papers fill 341 boxes and contain documents ranging from administrative records and district files to speeches and voting records. Also, included in the archives are documents from Edwards’ times as a state senator from 1983- 1989. Much of Edwards’ documents center around military and veterans affairs, religious Liberty and his congressional district projects,
These congressional papers, despite all the incredibly gracious words that have been said today, are not about me," Edwards said. "They’re about this community, about Baylor, about one-tenth of this nation’s political history. And as I said earlier, combined with congressman Poage and Congressman Leath's papers, they represent 43 percent, close to half of Texas history."
In 2012, Edwards was appointed as the W.R. Poage Distinguished Chair of Public Service. In this role, he comes to Baylor 2 weeks each year to teach.