Monday, February 28, 2011

Austin College Marks My Term as State Historian of Texas

I had the pleasure of being appointed the Texas State Historian in the spring of 2009, taking the oath of office in May of that year. My two year term in that post will be coming to an end at the conclusion of this spring semester. Austin College will be marking my term as the State Historian with a special day of events on Thursday, April 7th, to include a series of on-campus talks, along with a reception and a banquet. At 11:00 am, I will give a talk in the Hoxie Thompson Auditorium of Sherman Hall recounting some of my activities and historical adventures as the State Historian. At 3:00 pm, in the same place, I will talk about the project my students and I undertook to research and write a history of Austin College. Then, at 5:30 pm in the Johnson Gallery of the Wright Campus Center, I will be signing copies of my recent books "Emily Austin of Texas" and "Austin College: A Pictorial History." A reception in the Mabee Hall of the Campus Center will follow at 6:30 pm with a banquet starting at 7:00 pm. All events are open to the public and also for all students, faculty, alumni, and friends of the college. There is no charge for any of the events except for the banquet, which requires the purchase of a $25 ticket. Registration information can be found at this link.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Jacqueline M. Moore Receives the T. R. Fehrenbach Award

Jacqueline M. Moore and Her Prize-Winning Book
Congratulations to my colleague Jacqueline M. Moore, who is a professor in the history department at Austin College. Her book Cow Boys and Cattle Men: Class and Masculinities on the Texas Frontier, 1865-1900 has just been named as the winner of the 2010 T. R. Fehrenbach Award given by the Texas Historical Commission. This book was published by the New York University Press in cooperation with the Clements Center for the Study of the Southwest at Southern Methodist University. The T.R. Fehrenbach Book Award is a prestigious award that was established by the Texas Historical Commission in the 1960s. It recognizes outstanding original research, study, and publication in the field of Texas history. The award is named in honor of internationally recognized author-historian T.R. Fehrenbach of San Antonio. Fehrenbach is the author of 18 nonfiction books, including Lone Star, the most widely read history of Texas and the basis for the PBS miniseries. Jackie's book is a ground-breaking study of the relationship between cowboys and cattlemen in late nineteenth century Texas.  She explains how, in contrast to the mythic image of the cowboy as a romantic icon in our culture, the real cowboys of Texas in the late nineteenth century faced increasing demands from the people around them to rein in the very traits that Americans considered the most masculine. They worked as part of a complicated labor/management system that had its parallels in other, analogous parts of the industrial complex of the nation during that era. As one commentary on her book has noted: "As working-class men, cowboys showed their masculinity through their skills at work as well as public displays in town. But what cowboys thought was manly behavior did not always match those ideas of the business-minded cattlemen, who largely absorbed middle-class masculine ideals of restraint." Jackie received news of this award at her temporary home in Hong Kong, where she is spending the year as a Fulbright Scholar. Again, congratulations to Jackie Moore for receiving this signal honor.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Distinguished Alumni Achievement Awards, Texas State University--San Marcos

Past and Present Distinguished Alumni Award Winners
Me with Dr. James Pohl
Last night I had the honor of receiving a Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award from the College of Liberal Arts at Texas State University--San Marcos. I have both a bachellor's and master's degree from there back when that university was known as Southwest Texas State University. Three other people also received awards with me as it is the custom of the college to have four recepients each year. My fellow awardees were Dr. Melba Vasquez, who is currently the President of the American Psychological Association; Houston attorney Kelly Frels who is a former President of the Texas Bar Association; and John Sharp, who has served as a state Senator, chair of the Texas Railroad Commission, and Comptroller for the State of Texas. Dean Ann Marie Ellis presented us with our awards at a gala banquet held at Austin's Headliners Club, giving each of us the opportunity to speak about our student memories. Several hundred people attended, including friends of mine who were students with me on the Hill so many years ago. The evening was of special significance to me because two of my former professors attended, Dr. James Pohl and Dr. Dennis Dunn. I was also impressed that a considerable number faculty members from the current history department were also on hand to congratulate me.

Click Here for more information about the award recipients.