Last November 10 the Department of History was proud to celebrate its 130th anniversary, with a day-long program of talks, presentations, and guided campus tours, followed by a gala dinner in Main 212! Much has changed on the UT campus and in the world since 1888, when English and History separated into two separate departments. Yet much has remained the same as well! The first department chair, Professor George P. Garrison, produced cutting-edge scholarship (he was the first historian to use relevant Spanish and French sources in his histories of Texas), and he also favored the participation of women in the historical profession and in the Texas State Historical Association, which he helped to found in 1897. Since then, the department has maintained a commitment to excellence in teaching, scholarship, and service to the university.
Ours is a busy and productive department. In 2008, after a year’s absence, we moved back into a newly renovated Garrison Hall. That year marked the beginning of the Institute for Historical Studies, which hosts external fellows and sponsors a wealth of workshops, lectures, and other presentations each year. Currently we have more than 700 majors, and we teach more than 10,000 undergraduates each year. The Normandy Scholar Program continues to attract outstanding students for intensive, semester-long study of World War II and related subjects, culminating in a visit to Europe in May. New initiatives in the department place a strong emphasis on encouraging undergraduates to undertake independent, original research projects. Our graduate program has launched a program to link students with internships at various sites on or near campus.
We invite you to contribute to the department in honor of its anniversary. We are hoping to attract 130 gifts to fund undergraduate scholarships, graduate fellowships, and faculty research and travel stipends. Help us to uphold our tradition of excellence in all that we do! The department’s fifty-eight faculty and twelve staff members thank you for your support.