Dallas' Summerlee Foundation Funds University Conference on Borderlands

The Dallas-based Summerlee Foundation has provided Texas A&M International University with a generous grant of $19,950 in support of a Conference, "A Borderlands in Transition," to be held at the University Nov. 9-10.

The award was announced by John W. Crain, Program Director for Texas History with the Summerlee Foundation.

The Conference, jointly sponsored by the University and the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), will include historians from both Mexico and Texas who will gather to present scholarly papers on the Conference topic.

Dr. Jerry Thompson, Dean of the University's College of Arts and Humanities and president of the TSHA, said that nine historians from Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon, Coahuila and possibly Chihuahua would join an equal number of historians from Texas for the Conference.

"In addition to the papers they will present, we will be joined by a leading Texan historian and author Dr. Paul Lack, provost at McMurry University, who will provide a keynote lecture on 'The Republic of the Rio Grande.' Dr. Lack is finishing the first full-length book on the subject that is scheduled for publication as part of the Canseco-Keck series with Texas A&M University Press.

"Professional translators will also be on site to provide spontaneous translation. We expect great interest from various associations and historical societies both here and from border Mexican states," Dr. Thompson added.

This is the second grant received from the Summerlee Foundation this year. In March, the Foundation provided a $12,500 grant in support of the University's "Guerrero Viejo Archives Preservation Project," which seeks to convert approximately 250,000 archival documents to microfilm and eventual CD-ROM storage. That project is being headed by Dr. Carlos E. Cuéllar, A&M International assistant professor of history.

Guerrero Viejo, founded in 1750, became a ghost town after a 1953-54 flood resulting from the building of Falcon Dam forced its residents to settle in Ciudad Guerrero Nuevo, Cuéllar explained. Last year marked Guerrero Viejo's 250th anniversary.

Created in 1988 by Dallas philanthropist Annie Lee Roberts, the Summerlee Foundation is a private, non-profit charitable foundation whose purposes are restricted to programs in animal protection and Texas history.

Annie Lee Roberts championed causes all her life that helped with the alleviation of fear, pain and suffering among animals and was recognized throughout the nation for her dedication and support of a variety of animal protection needs including shelters, wildlife sanctuaries and emergency care. Because of her family's distinguished achievements in Texas, dating from 1825, and the interests of her late husband, Summerfield G. Roberts, she selected Texas history as the additional mission of the Foundation.

For more information on the Conference, please contact Thompson at 956.326.2460, email to jthompson@tamiu.edu, or visit offices in Killam Library 429,

For more about the Guerrero Viejo Archives Preservation Project, please contact Dr. Cuéllar at 326-2626, e-mail ccuellar@tamiu.edu or visit offices located in Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library 421C.

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