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5,700 Appearances...




He is all of these-and more! With 5,700 appearances under his belt in 45 of these United States, Dr. Don Newbury has accumulated thousands of interesting and hilarious experiences.  He's had so many of them, he's less certain now than in early going how to prioritize them!  Added to them in 2002 was the release of his first book- When the Porch Light's On...Stories of People, Popcorn and Parasails. His hilarious memoirs of 40 years in higher education and more than a million miles on the speaking trail have been highly acclaimed by numerous newspapers and thousands of readers. It is now in its second printing. Since the first book, Dr. Newbury has published books annually, including including Life by the Seat of the Pants, A Few Geese Short of a Gaggle, Stories from the Sunny Side, Funnier Than Fiction, A Wheelbarrow Guy in a Digital World, Honk! If You're Sick of Political Ads, As the World Churns and Life With IF in the Middle...


Now a fulltime speaker and writer, Dr. Newbury's reputation as an outstanding speaker is well-known. He has delighted corporate audiences, as well as trade and professional organizations and conferences  throughout the nation.  Each of his presentations is customized to "fit" his engagements.


His weekly column of humor and inspiration now appears in about 150 Texas newspapers and is heard on selected radio stations.  The Idle American is now in its eighth year of syndication.


Though long billed as a humorist and the "nation's 'unstuffiest' college president," he has always been heartened by comments like, "You gave us much to think about. Your masterful weaving of inspiration and humor was skilled and appreciated." "Lots of folks can tell jokes and stories, but i believe there has to be more," Dr. Newbury said, "Humor is very much on the back burner when you are speaking to a group at College Station hours following the bonfire collapse, or an assembly of educators while New York City's 'Ground Zero' is still in flames following the September 11th carnage." Remaining at the center of propriety for all engagements has been of paramount importance-far more important than standing ovations, which he often receives. He has much to talk about, and delights in finding humor in every day situations. He recalls delightful accounts of students overcoming great obstacles en route to university degrees, and helps numerous groups discover "can do" attitudes in their organizations. His "speaking style" has been compared to Paul Harvey and Will Rogers.

His most requested speaking topics include:


in addition to traditional experiences as an educator, Dr. Newbury's assignments have included:

  • Editor of weekly newspaper
  • Sports Director with syndicated sports show heard on radio stations across Texas
  • Reporter and correspondent for several major Texas newspapers
  • Publicist, Lone Star Athletic Conference
  • High School basketball official
  • Speaker for conventions/dinners in 45 states
  • Community leader and Sunday School teacher

    A rural Texas native, he is always "at home with people," whether addressing small audiences in remote areas, or in the nation's largest urban settings. He champions the work ethic, getting his first "paying job" in the summer of age 14. He sold snow cones for a nickel in a
    Brownwood gun shop, "cashiering" for the quadriplegic owner to pay for the space. (The sign out front, "HANDGUNS AND SNOW CONES," seemed as incongruous as the sign at a lakeside store featuring "HOT DOUGHNUTS AND FISHING WORMS.")

    Educated in Brown County, Newbury holds B. A., Master of Journalism and Ph.D. degrees from Howard Payne University, the University of Texas at Austin and the University of North Texas, respectively, with post-doctoral study at Notre Dame. In 2008, he received Howard Payne's highest award: The Honorary Doctor of Humanities degree.

    During his 40 years in higher education, Dr. Newbury spent almost half of his career in presidencies, including Western Texas College in Snyder (1980-85) and at Howard Payne University in Brownwood (1986-1997).  The year 2010 marked his 50th year as a platform personality.

    Students refer to him as the "popcorn president," since he has popped and given away more than 24 tons of popcorn on his back porch. They have known that "when the porch light's on," Dr Newbury is giving away popcorn.  Thus the inspiration for the title of his first book...  He has whiled away hundreds of evenings sharing the popcorn with students, and other visitors, at his home. While it is considered the norm for college students to "look up" to their presidents, in Newbury's case, it worked in reverse.  More than 600, in fact, "looked down" on Dr. Newbury! That's because he was the operator of the parasail boat, and when they parasailed, they looked down on him and the boat from 600 feet above Lake Brownwood. Prior to operating the parasail boat, Dr. Newbury took great delight in giving students more traditional lake rides on skiis, slaloms, tubes and wakeboards.

    Dr. Newbury is married to the former Brenda Pack of Alpine, Texas. They have three daughters-all of whom have been public school teachers-Julie (Mrs. Bryan) Choate of Burleson, Jana (Mrs. Kyle) Penney of Tyler and Jeanie (Mrs. Ryan) McDaniel of Burleson. The Newburys, who have six grandchildren, reside in Burleson.


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