WTAMU Hosts Book Signing to Support the Amarillo Center


Nov. 13, 2018

CONTACT: Claudia Stuart, 806-679-4332, stuhh@icloud.com

COPY BY: Brittany Castillo, 806-651-2682, bcastillo@wtamu.edu

WTAMU Hosts Book Signing to Support the Amarillo Center

CANYON, Texas—Authors from West Texas A&M University - Claudia Stuart, former instructor of sociology and criminal justice, Martin Kuhlman, professor of history, and Amy Andersen, associate provost for academic affairs, will host a book signing of “West Texas A&M University and The Devil’s Kitchen: Education Through the Ages” 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 27 at the Cornette Library, Blackburn Room.

The premise of the hardback is the 2017 recreation of the original Devil’s Kitchen photo from 1917. The 1917 image captures local leaders hosting a five-member state commission, tasked with choosing a location for an agricultural and mechanical college, with a barbecue near what is now River Falls. Though Amarillo was an unlikely choice for the college because of the dry lands and existing West Texas State Normal College in the area, the photo resurfaced when a similar mission to put an institution of higher education in Amarillo reoccurred.

“The assembly of men were a group of farmers, ranchers, businessmen and politicians with the idea of expanding agricultural educational opportunities through establishing a college to that end. Those plans did not materialize,” Stuart said. “However, Alan Rhodes broached the idea of using this 1917 picture as a unique opportunity to not only further the conversation of education, but create another picture, 100 years later, with all of the environmental changes in this area.”

Initiated by Rhodes and organized by the WTAMU Foundation and the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, the copied photo includes 21st century Amarillo leaders in a similar gesture of advancing education in the heart of the Texas Panhandle. The photo project was created to help establish a permanent endowment for the WTAMU Amarillo Center and soon followed a book including articles of local history, photos of the University’s campus and the timeless vision of widely accessible education.

“The 2017 picture depicts changes in the scenery, institutions and demographic diversity surrounding WTAMU. Expanding and enhancing education through the Amarillo Center provides increased access to students seeking higher education throughout this region,” Stuart said. “WTAMU is a great and dynamic institution with academic programs adding to the richness of the area through an educated workforce and the lives of the citizenry, businesses and overall economy.”

The signing is open to the public. Books will be available for purchase at $75 each, and proceeds benefit the Amarillo Center. For more information about the event, contact Erin Martin at 806-651-2266, and for more about supporting the Amarillo Center, contact Julie Imke at 806-651-8200.



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Racheal Jennings Speed
on 11.22.2018

This is an exceptional project to further highlight the educational opportunities and diversity of Amarillo and the Texas Panhandle. Having grown up in Amarillo and attended WTAMU to advance my own education, it is heartwarming to witness the continued progress of the education systems, as well as, the efforts to make education accessible/attainable to more people. Continued success!