A&M International Faculty Member Selected to Texas Council for the Humanities Board

A Texas A&M International University faculty member has recently been selected to form part of a statewide organization that promotes Texans' lifelong learning in the Humanities.

Dr. Ray Keck, associate professor of Spanish and chairman of the Department of Languages, Literature and Arts, has been elected to a three year term on the Texas Council for the Humanities (TCH) board after A&M International President Dr. Charles Jennett nominated him to the post. His term will begin in January.

"Having dedicated my life to the study and teaching of Hispanic literature and to music of the organ, I am especially honored to become a part of a group dedicated to fostering and sponsoring projects in literature, the arts, music, language, philosophy, and history throughout Texas," Dr. Keck said.

"The timing of this selection is fortuitous, as A&M International is at this very moment meeting with architects to plan a fine arts complex for the university, a natural home for activities of the TCH. I am especially eager to ensure, through activities of the Texas Council for the Humanities, that Laredo's extraordinary cultural diversity and richness both benefit from and enhance the wider cultural panorama of Texas," he added.

Upon notification of the selection, Dr. Jennett said A&M International congratulates Keck for his lifelong commitment to the humanities.

"We are proud of Dr. Keck's selection for this special honor. We believe his unique transcultural insight and sterling educational preparation will bring rare advantage to the TCH," he said.

Keck's selection coincides with that of four other members, including Arnoldo De León, C.J. "Red" Davidson professor of history, at Angelo State University, San Angelo; Sylvia Ann Grider, associate professor of anthropology, Texas A&M University; Bob Mallouf, director of the Center for Big Bend Studies at Sul Ross State University, Alpine; and Patrick B. Nolan, director of the Sam Houston Memorial Museum, Huntsville.

The TCH, working in partnership with the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), seeks to engage the people of Texas in critical reflection of their individual and collective lives by providing opportunities for lifelong learning in the humanities. The NEH, established by the Congress in 1965, supports research, education and public programs in the humanities. The TCH, a non-profit, tax exempt, educational organization incorporated by the State of Texas, was established in 1972.

The TCH is governed by a volunteer board of 21 with five board members appointed by the governor and the remainder elected by the board through a statewide open nominations process as vacancies occur.

Some of the goals of the TCH for the 1997-1999 period include encouraging communities in the state to sponsor public programs in the humanities, furthering the teaching of the humanities in the elementary and secondary schools of Texas, providing exhibits and other resources to organizations and institutions sponsoring programs in the humanities, and acting as a leader in advocating the humanities. In addition, the TCH strives to foster new scholarship in the public humanities and create an enduring body of work and maintain and develop new human and financial resources for the humanities.

Born and raised in the Laredo area, Keck earned his bachelor, master and doctorate degrees in Spanish from Princeton University. During his years in Princeton, and also as a graduate student at Harvard, Keck studied the music of the organ, especially the works of J.S. Bach.

For further information, please contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at 326-2180. University office hours are 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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