Lamar University hosted its annual Jack Brooks Chair in Government and Public Service conference Thursday. This year's event focused on substance abuse. The event was held in the Lamar Institute of Technology Multi-Purpose Center, at Jimmy Simmons Boulevard and East Lavaca.

The conference and the chair honor the late U.S. Rep. Jack Brooks, a Beaumont Democrat who served in Congress more than 40 years. Brooks died Dec. 4, 2012.

Dawn Mathis of the Drug Enforcement Administration in Houston was the keynote speaker. Other guest speakers include Shane Howard, Jefferson County tax assessor-collector.

Organizers say future conferences will focus on topics that Brooks was interested in, such as people in need and service to the Southeast Texas community.