MC prepares for West Texas History Symposium

Midland College is preparing for the second annual West Texas History Symposium from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 22.

The West Texas History Symposium and Journal was established by Jim and Paula Henry in 2011 as way to help preserve the history of the West Texas area.

The inaugural symposium was held in April 2013.There were four presenters at the symposium.

The topics of the papers varied, including MC librarian Cecelia Miranda’s “An Old, Grainy Photo: Alfredo Rueda Quijano and the Mexican Revolution of 1911,” which followed her uncle activities during the revolution, and MC adjunct professor Christopher Buck’s “Before and Beyond Spindletop: The ‘Other’ Texas Economy,” which explored the history of Texas’s economy.

MC history professor Todd Houck attended the first symposium and was impressed with the presentations and the topics they were over.

“All the papers were really well done,” Houck said.

The Henrys donated $500,000 to the MC Chaparral Circle Endowment Fund to endowhistory professor William Morris as the Henry Chair of History. Morris’s duty as chair is to collect research papers written by community college professors from the greater West Texas area and publish a selection of them in the West Texas History Journal and organize the symposium for the authors to present their work.

Paula Marshall-Gray, MC professor of history and anthropology and director of the honors program, is in charge of the publicity for the symposium and will be the editor of the journal. Marshall-Gray would like to see more students come to the symposium.

“We want the students to understand what talented professors we have at Midland College and in the area,” Marshall-Gray said.
Some of the topics for the upcoming symposium include: “Samuel Burk Burnett and the 6666 Ranch” by Damon Kennedy, MC history professor; and “Frank Welch, Architect: His Legacy in Midland, Texas” by Terry Gilmore, MC government professor, and J. Don Wallace MC director of alumni relations and development.

The Henry Chair of History was founded to help preserve and promote the history of West Texas. It also provides a venue for professors at community colleges to have their research published, according to Marshall-Gray.

“We are on the tip of the iceberg of our history out here,” Marshal-Gray said.

The symposium will be held in room 101 of the Marie Hall Academic Building. Cost is $2.50 for students and faculty with a valid ID card and $5 for the public. All participants will get a box lunch at noon and will receive a copy of the 2014 journal.

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