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TAMIU Prof Thompson Receives Three New Awards for Literary, Leadership Achievement Posted: 3/27/18

TAMIU Prof Thompson Receives Three New Awards for Literary, Leadership Achievement


Tejano Tiger Book Cover

Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) Regents Professor Dr. Jerry D. Thompson has seen his literary and leadership achievements recognized with three prestigious awards, one from the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), another  from the Texas Institute of Letters, and the third from the Webb County Heritage Foundation.

The TSHA has named Dr. Thompson its recipient of the 2017 Mary Jon and J. P. Bryan Leadership in Education Award. The Award recognizes an outstanding history educator at either the K-12 or collegel evel. 

Emilio Zamora, chair of the Bryan Leadership in Education Award Committee, recognized Thompson for “…your enthusiasm for Texas and history, your leadership among your peers, and your use of innovative teaching methods to generate student involvement…”  The Award was presented in San Marcos at the annual TSHA March meeting and includes a certificate and check for $5,000.

The TSHA, organized in 1897, is the oldest learned society in the state. Its mission is to “foster the appreciation, understanding, and teaching of the rich and unique history of Texas and, by example and through programs and activities, encourage and promote research, preservation, and publication of historical material affecting the state of Texas.” Through education programs, it serves more than 50,000 elementary through college students annually, and reaches an additional 86,000 through teacher training opportunities.

Thompson has also been named to a select group of 2018 Texas Institute of Letters (TIL) Prize winners.  His “Tejano Tiger:  José de los Santos Benavides and the Texas-México Borderlands, 1823-1891,” received the Ramírez Family Award for Most Significant Scholarly Book.  The Award, including a $2,500 cash prize, will be presented at the 82nd Meeting of the Institute in San Antonio, April 6-7.  The TIL is a nonprofit honor society founded in 1936 to celebrate Texas literature and recognize distinctive literary achievements.  Its elected membership includes winners of the Pulitzer Prize, National Book Award and MacArthur “Genius” Grants.

This May, the Webb County Heritage Foundation also named him its recipient of the Elizabeth Gill and Sam Johnson,III Lifetime Achievement Award, in recognition of an individual who has made significant contributions to the preservation of Webb County Heritage on a continuous basis.

The Foundation noted the Award was presented for "his outstanding committment to documenting our region's history with rich and compelling stories of our city and our ancestors through a continual output of scholarly work that adds so much to the history of Texas and Northern Mexico; and most especially for his personal dedication to the goals and programs of the Foundation."

Thompson, a much-cherished TAMIU faculty member since 1987, is one of the country’s leading experts on the Civil War in the Southwest.  He has taught in Laredo for the past 50 years and is author or editor of 26 books on the US-México borderlands. 

His “Tejano Tiger” was a Pulitzer Prize nominee, and he has received the prestigious Pate Award twice.  He has received the TIL Best Non-Fiction Award twice, and is the only three-time recipient of the Tejano Book Award.  Only famed Texas folklorist J. Frank Dobie has won more TIL awards.     

Thompson holds his doctorate in history from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA. His M.A. in history was received from the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, while his B.A. in history was earned at Western New Mexico State University in Silver City, NM.

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Dr. Jerry Thompson
Regents Professor Dr. Jerry D. Thompson is one of the country’s leading experts on the Civil War in the Southwest.