Born in Marshall, Texas, Sam B. Hall Jr. was a U. S. Representative for the Texas 1st Congressional District (1976-1985), and a Texas Eastern District federal judge (1985-1994). A World War II army veteran, lawyer, civic servant, member and deacon of a Church of Christ congregation, and a graduate of the College of Marshall (now ETBU) and Baylor University law school, Hall was a conservative Democrat, a champion of members of the U. S. military and veterans, and an enthusiastic patriot. His biography, Sam B. Hall Jr.: Whatever is Right, was published in 2005.
The Hall Professorship and Lecture Series was established at East Texas Baptist University in 1993 by the family, friends and Judge Hall’s colleagues in the bar, the U. S. Congress, and the federal judiciary. Dr. Jerry L. Summers was named the Hall Professor of History. In 1993 Judge Hall delivered the first lecture in the annual lecture series.
The endowed professorship and lectureship reflect the generosity of those who loved and appreciated Judge Hall, his love for the College of Marshall and East Texas Baptist University, and his love for history.