An association for alumni and supporters of The Daily Texan

Friends of The Daily Texan

An association for alumni and supporters of The Daily Texan

Friends of The Daily Texan

An association for alumni and supporters of The Daily Texan

Friends of The Daily Texan

Contact Information
Friends of The Daily Texan, Inc.
1401 Lavaca St
Austin, TX 78701

[email protected]

Three new members join Friends of Daily Texan board

Three new members have been elected to the Board of Directors of Friends of The Daily Texan, Inc.

The Friends of The Texan is a non-profit organization founded 9 years ago that supports The Daily Texan, student newspaper at the University of Texas at Austin, by providing scholarships to student journalists and assisting when there are other needs.

In addition the group has financially supported creation of a digital archive of all copies of The Texan, plus funding video and camera equipment, projects and other needs of student journalists.

The new board members are:


Krissah Thompson is The Washington Post’s first Managing Editor of diversity and inclusion.

She is the first Black woman to hold the Managing Editor title at the organization and oversees coverage of Features, Climate and newsroom recruiting.

She began her career at The Washington Post in 2001 and has held multiple roles including intern, Business reporter, covering presidential campaigns and writing about civil rights and race.

Before becoming an editor in the Style section, she covered the first lady’s office, politics and culture.

She is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin School of Journalism and College of Liberal Arts Plan II honors program.

She also earned a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Maryland.


Gaylon Finklea Hecker has published five books on various aspects of Texas history.

Most recently Finklea Hecker and fellow journalist Marianne Odom collaborated on their second book, Growing Up in the Lone Star State: Notable Texans Remember Their Childhoods.

It features a collection of 47 oral history interviews with some of the state’s most famous personalities. Published by the Briscoe Center for American History, under Tower Books, at UT in 2021, it is in its second printing. Their lifetime of journalistic and personal archives are housed in the nationally renowned Briscoe Center.

Finklea Hecker worked as a reporter and editorial page assistant on The Daily Texan and graduated with a Bachelor of Journalism degree. Today she is a member of the Friends of The Daily Texan and the Longhorn Alumni Band.

Upon graduation she worked as a general assignments reporter for the San Antonio Light.  Later she simultaneously served as a legislative aide to four state representatives, Ron Bird, Frank Madla, Frank Tejeda and G.J. Sutton. She continued her journalism career as a feature writer for the San Antonio Express-News. In San Antonio also, she worked as associate editor of SA: The Magazine; editor of Seniors: San Antonio Style; was a contributor to Newsweek; and also edited The Jewish Journal.

Along with Odom, she became interested in oral history. They began collaborating on oral history interviews in 1981, when the value of that research method was just beginning to be widely recognized. In 1983, they formed a partnership called Living Legacies devoted to collecting and preserving oral histories. The pair collaborated on The Businesses That Built San Antonio in 1986, a book of oral histories of business leaders. The book was co-sponsored by the Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce to commemorate the Texas Sesquicentennial.

Relocating to Austin in 1988, she was publications editor at Research & Planning Consultants. She edited The Jewish Outlook for a decade and worked in corporate communications at the Lower Colorado River Authority for another decade. She was a technical documentation editor for Motorola.

Finklea Hecker wrote The Daughters: A Dozen Decades of DRT in 2013, covering the 123-year history of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas. Dusting Off A Legend: The St. Anthony Hotel followed in 2014 as did Enhancing Quality of Life for 75 Years: Bandera Electric Cooperative, commemorating the 75th anniversary of the co-op. Bonjour, Y’All: A Squirrel’s Nutty Tale of the Texas French Legation was written in 2016 for children.

She is a member of the U.S. Daughters of 1812, Colonial Dames of the 17th Century, Daughters of the American Revolution and Texas Navy Association. She served as president of Austin’s William Barret Travis Chapter of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas and is currently writing a book celebrating its 130th anniversary in 2022. She lives in Austin with her husband, Marvin Hecker.


Megan Menchaca is a higher education reporter for the Austin American-Statesman, where she covers the University of Texas and other Central Texas colleges.

She also regularly contributes to coverage of K-12 news in Austin and Austin ISD, one of the largest school districts in Texas.

Megan previously has worked at the Dallas Morning News, the Houston Chronicle, The Texas Tribune and other media organizations in Texas. Her past experience includes reporting on the Texas Legislature, audience engagement/social media work and copy editing.

In her current position, she has worked with The Daily Texan and other student media outlets in Austin to establish a program providing the opportunity to have articles by student journalists republished in the Statesman with credit.

She held 12 different positions during her tenure at The Daily Texan, including news editor, director of digital strategy and managing editor. Under her leadership, the Texan received honors from the College Media Association and the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association as one of the best newspapers in its category. She earned bachelor’s degrees in journalism and government from the University of Texas in 2021.