Sanchez Lecture Series Features Emerson Scholar at A&M International

The second installment of the A. R. Sanchez Sr. Distinguished Lecturer Series at Texas A&M International University will feature a nationally recognized scholar on Ralph Waldo Emerson.

The free lecture is hosted by the College of Arts and Humanities and will feature Robert D. Richardson Jr., professor of letters at Wesleyan University.

Richardson will present "Emerson at the Core of the World" at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 15, 1998 in The Great Room, 7 p.m., Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library.

He will also conduct a book signing Wednesday at Bookmark Books from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Richardson is the recipient of the Melcher Prize for Henry Thoreau: A Life of the Mind (California, 1986) and Myth and Literature in the American Renaissance (1978).

Richardson's research of one of the most important figures in the history of American thought, religion and literature reveals a young suitor, a grief-stricken widower, an affectionate father, and a man with an abiding genius for friendship.

Emerson, the great spokesman for individualism and self-reliance, turns out to have been a good neighbor, an activist citizen, a loyal brother. Here is an Emerson who knew how to laugh, who was self-doubting as well as self-reliant, and who became the greatest intellectual adventurer of his age.

Dr. Jerry Thompson, Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities at A&M International, said that Richardson's lecture will help those attending to understand the continuing appeal of the so-called "Sage of Concord."

"Richardson's lecture will draw special attention to the enormous range of Emerson's readings -- from Persian poets to George Sand -- and to his many friendships and personal encounters -- from Mary Moody Emerson to the Cherokee Chiefs in Boston -- evoking both the man and the times in which he lived. Richardson's effort convinces us of Emerson's unquenchable vitality that continues to reach across the decades...his hold on us endures," Dr. Thompson explained.

Additional lectures scheduled this spring as part of the A.R. Sanchez Sr. Distinguished Lecture Series include the April 28 presentation of Frank E. Vandiver, author of "Shadows of Vietnam: Lyndon Johnson's Wars" (Texas A&M University Press) and the fall presentation of Nobel Prize Laureate Dr. Steven Weinberg (Physics 1979).

The Distinguished Lecture Series honors Antonio R. Sanchez Sr. (1916-1992). After 20 years as the owner of an office equipment business, Sanchez in the 1960s began buying oil and gas leases and used his earnings to establish a bank.

In 1974, Sanchez and his son, A.R. Sanchez Jr., along with geologist Brian O'Brien, established the Sanchez O'Brien Oil and Gas Corporation. The same year the father and son team discovered the largest natural gas field (Webb and Zapata Counties) to that point in history.

Under his leadership as chairman, the International Bank of Commerce grew to become the International Bancshares Corporation, with banks in Laredo, Zapata, Houston, San Antonio, the Lower Rio Grande Valley, and the Gulf Coast.

Sanchez was a major crusader for a four-year University in Laredo and a supporter of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund. He was also a legendary Texas entrepreneur with a down-to-earth sense of humor.

The lecture series is presented through the vision and generosity of Mr. and Mrs. A. R. Sanchez Jr.

For additional information, please contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at 326. 2180 or visit offices located in the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library, room 268.

Information is also available by email at pais@tamiu.edu and through the University's Home Page.

University office hours are from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at pais@tamiu.edu