The Alden J. Blanar Smith Speaker’s Series brings nationally recognized speakers to Hill College on an annual basis. These series are free and open to the general public.


Alden J. Blanar Smith began teaching at Hill Junior College (in those days) in 1965 as a government/history instructor and retired in 2000 after 35 years in the classroom. Alden was active in the Texas Community College Teachers Association, was chosen as a National Institute for Staff & Organizational Development (NISOD) recipient in 1994, was very active in The Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Abbott, traveled to his beloved Czech Republic many times and presented many programs on the communist takeover of the Czech Republic. Alden received his bachelor's degree from Texas A&M University and his master's degree from Midwestern State University but was certainly an Aggie through and through! Alden Smith was a beloved instructor at Hill College, and he passed away in November 2001.

2018 Season

Chet Garner of The Daytripper

The Hill College Alden J. Blanar Smith Speaker Series, in partnership with the Texas Heritage Museum, will present Chet Garner of The Daytripper on Thursday, March 22, at 7:30 p.m. at the Vara Martin Daniel Performing Arts Center. The Series is free and open to the general public. A dessert reception will be held following the presentation. 

Chet Garner is the creator, host, executive producer and writer of The Daytripper, a seven-time Emmy-award-winning Texas travel show airing on PBS stations across the country. 

Born in Comanche, Texas, and raised in Port Neches, Texas, Chet’s love for storytelling started at a young age around the campfire in Boy Scouts and toting around his grandfather’s VHS video camera staging elaborate productions in his backyard.

Chet earned a degree in Radio-Television-Film from the University of Texas at Austin and went on to graduate first in his class from Baylor Law School. However, after practicing law for three years, he decided to follow his passions and simultaneously inspire folks to appreciate the beauty, history, and food of the Lone Star State. 

What followed was a crash course in travel, filmmaking, marketing and doing whatever it takes to start a successful TV show. When not traveling Chet is at home in Georgetown with his wife and four children (8, 6, 3 and 1) – although he’s usually got them on the road too.

The Daytripper

Previous Speakers

Chet Edwards

Judge Kenneth Winston Starr

Story Musgrave

Eric Nadel

Bob Richards

"Ain't I a Woman!"