May 30, 2012 COPY BY: Rana McDonald, 806-651-2129, email@example.com
University Collaborates with Midland Library for Western Heritage Program
CANYON, Texas—A vast collection on the rich history of the Texas frontier is now part of the Haley Family Western Heritage Program at West Texas A&M University thanks to a special collaboration with the Nita Stewart Haley Memorial Library and the J. Evetts Haley History Center in Midland.
The program is a joint effort between the Midland facility and WTAMU’s Department of History and Department of English, Philosophy and Modern Languages. It is supported by a generous donation to encourage WTAMU research at the Nita Stewart Haley Memorial Library and the J. Evetts Haley History Center through the newly created Haley Endowed Professorship of Western Studies as well as the Haley Scholars—Haley Undergraduate Scholarships and Haley Graduate Fellowships—and a Haley Scholars Lecture Series. The J. Evetts Haley Jr. family endowed the undergraduate scholarship, and a 10-year commitment of $40,000 per year for 10 years from an anonymous donor will support the professorship and two fellow positions. That will give WTAMU an opportunity to raise $800,000 over the next 10 years to endow the various components of the Haley Family Western Heritage Program.
“We are so grateful to the Haley family. This is a wonderful opportunity for the college to be able to support a faculty member as a Haley Professor and two graduate students as Haley Scholars in their research on Western Studies,” Dr. Jessica Mallard, interim dean of the Sybil B. Harrington College of Fine Arts and Humanities, said. “The prospect of studying at the Nita Stewart Haley Memorial Library and the J. Evetts Haley History Center provides the opportunity for in-depth research on an important topic and the chance for increased connections between the Haley family and WT.”
The Haley Endowed Professorship of Western Studies will benefit the University in terms of research and help in the recruitment and retention of outstanding faculty. Dr. Alex Hunt, associate professor of English, has been named the first Haley Endowed Professor of Western Studies. The professorship is a three-year appointment, and funds from the endowed account will provide Hunt with approximately $20,000 per year for travel, graduate assistants, computer software and hardware, database and/or journal subscriptions or any other resources for enhancing research at the Haley Memorial Library. Hunt also will mentor the Haley Scholars Graduate Fellows in their research. His appointment begins Sept. 1.
The Haley Graduate Fellowship is one of the most prestigious fellowships available at WTAMU. It is designed for graduate students majoring in history with an interest in western history or English majors with an emphasis in western literature studies. Preference will be given to graduate students from Texas, New Mexico or Oklahoma. Recipients for the 2012-2013 academic year are Aaron Howland and Kristin Loyd, graduate students in English from Amarillo. They can hold the position for no more than two years with a minimum funding of $10,000 per fellow. As Haley Graduate Fellows, Howland and Loyd will be required to conduct research at the Haley Memorial Library and submit their work for publication.
The Haley Undergraduate Scholarship is for students majoring in history with an interest in western history studies or an English major with an emphasis in western literature studies. Preference will be given to students transferring to WTAMU from Midland College and to students from Texas, New Mexico or Oklahoma. Recipients will support the Haley Professor and the Haley Graduate Fellows in research and publication. Haley Undergraduate Scholars will receive a minimum of $5,000 per year. No more than two scholars will be named per year.
WTAMU and the Haley Memorial Library and the J. Evetts Haley History Center will host the Haley Scholars Lecture Series each year in Midland. The Haley Professor and the Haley Scholars will be the keynote speakers in a presentation of their research findings.
The late J. Evetts Haley established the Haley Memorial Library and History Center more than 40 years ago to preserve the western heritage and provide unparalleled research resources for students, researchers and writers. The facility houses 25,000 books, documents and materials that detail the rich history of the west. History buffs can find everything from photos, letters and news clippings to personal papers, scrapbooks and military records in a full listing of early settlers from Harold Dow Bugbee to Lt. Col. D. M. Tanner.
History was a passion for J. Evetts Haley, who grew up on a ranch and graduated from West Texas Normal College in 1925 with a bachelor’s degree in history. He worked as the field secretary for the Panhandle-Plains Historical Society and interviewed close to 700 pioneers in the Texas Panhandle. His interest in the Texas frontier prompted him to write more than 20 books as well as numerous articles about the American West. He is probably best known for his book Charles Goodnight Cowman and Plainsman.
For more information about the Haley Family Western Heritage Program at WTAMU, call the Sybil B. Harrington College of Fine Arts and Humanities at 806-651-2777 or visit haleylibrary.com.