PART Donates Club Archives to TAMIU Killam Library
Posted: 3/31/11

PART Donates Club Archives
to TAMIU Special Collections

Laredo’s Pan American Round Table (PART) has welcomed the late First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt’s lecture visit to Laredo, dedicated the first Pan American Marker at International Bridge I and regularly assisted deserving young Laredoans with scholarships for study at Laredo Community College and Texas A&M International University. 

As part of its 90th Anniversary Gala, Laredo’s Table is now bequeathing an impressive archive of historic scrapbooks that traces its storied history to the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library’s Special Collections and Archives.

The gift presentation will take place Wednesday, April 6 at 10 a.m. in the Killam Library, Room 203.

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A Rich Legacy for All
Laredo's Pan American Round Table (PART) has provided its archives spanning its 90-year history in Laredo to the Texas A&M International University Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library Special Collections. Present for the historic occasion were, front, left to right, seated: Eva Porras, PART Historian; Alicia V. Cantu, PART Director; Diana Czar, immediate past director. Rear, left to right, standing: Rosa Maria De Llano, past director; Toni L. Ruiz, PART 90th Gala chairwoman; Dr. Ray Keck, TAMIU president; Dr. Lola O. Norris, PART Member and TAMIU faculty; Ana Flores, PART first associate director; Marcia Jovel, PART member and Jeanette Hatcher, TAMIU Killam Library Reference/Special Collections librarian.

Special Collections Librarian Jeanette Hatcher said the PART Archive gift is most significant to the Library’s Special Collection.

“Several years ago we became a repository for this chapter of PART.  We presently have records going back to the founding of the chapter (1921) until 1997.  This latest donation will add relatively recent historical records to this collection.  The archive includes a wide variety of materials including photos, newspaper clippings, official correspondence and chapter records,” Hatcher explained.

She noted the PART archive has remarkable value.

“This collection is a wonderful intermingling of social activism, global awareness, and women’s history.  The collection bears witness to local efforts to foster mutual understanding, knowledge, and friendship among the peoples of the Western Hemisphere.  The activities of the Laredo chapter of PART are an important part of our region’s history because it is an embodiment of our bi-national culture and values.  Preservation of our regional heritage is of primary importance to our Special Collections and Archives and we are committed to preserving this prized legacy,” she said. 

The Laredo Table is the second oldest in the nation.

PART was founded October 16, 1916, by Mrs. Florence Terry Griswold of San Antonio.  She assembled a group of women for the purpose of “providing “mutual knowledge and understanding and friendship among the peoples of the Western Hemisphere, and to foster all movements affecting the women and children of the Americas."  

The non-profit woman's organization now has member Tables at local, state, and international levels. Pan American Round Tables of Texas (PARTT), the Texas state-level organization, has members in 21 Texas cities.

In 90 years of existence, the Laredo Table has been graced by the presence of celebrities and dignitaries from throughout the U.S., Central and South America. Programs have highlighted discussions and presentations about various Pan American countries, including exhibits portraying their industries, music, art, culture, and contributions to civilization. Table members native to these countries offer unique perspectives about their homelands during presentations. Local personalities, educators, community and government leaders, dance and music ensembles regularly share their firsthand information with members and their guests.

With 46 charter members at its inception, the Laredo Table now numbers 81 and continues to grow. The number of countries represented has grown from 21 to 35.   

For more information on the PART Archive and the KIllam Library’s Special Collections and Archives, please contact Hatcher at 956.326.2404, email jhatcher@tamiu.edu or visit offices in the Killam Library.

For more information on the April 16, 2011, 90th Anniversary PART Gala, contact Toni Ruiz at 956.763.9325.


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