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Thompson Offers Historical Look at Laredo’s Higher Education in Presidential Lecture Series Posted: 1/29/20

Thompson Offers Historical Look at Laredo’s Higher Education in Presidential Lecture Series


Dr. Jerry Thompson
Regents Professor Dr. Jerry Thompson  

A personal and historical look at higher education in Laredo will be offered by Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) Regents Professor Dr. Jerry Thompson at the Presidential Lecture Series presented Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020 in the TAMIU Academic Innovation Center, room 126 at 6:30 p.m. 

The Lecture, a key event in the University’s 50th Anniversary Celebration, is free of charge and open to all.

Dr. Thompson will reflect on the sometimes humorous intersections of instruction, politics and higher education over the past 50 years, much of it gleaned from his personal experience and historical research.

Thompson, who has been part of the TAMIU faculty since 1987, is the author or editor of 27 books, including  “Texas and New Mexico on the Eve of the Civil War: The Mansfield and Johnston Inspections, 1859–1861” (UNM Press).

His latest book , “Wrecked Lives and Lost Souls: Joe Lynch Davis and the Last of the Oklahoma Outlaws,”  (University of Oklahoma Press, 2019), delves into the lawless and adventure-fueled  life of a cowboy in the early 1900s.  The title cowboy is his late grandfather. He will sign copies of the new book at Thursday’s event.

Among other publications are “Civil War in the Southwest, A Wild and Vivid Land: An Illustrated History of the South Texas Border,” “Fifty Miles and a Fight: Samuel Peter Heintzelman's Journal of Texas and the Cortina War,” and “Into the Far, Wild Country: True Tales of the Old Southwest.”

He has also authored an award-winning biography of Juan Nepomuceno Cortina and, with Larry Jones, a history of the Civil War on the Rio Grande.

Thompson is the recipient of the Texas State Historical Association’s 2018 Kate Broocks Bates Award for Historical Research for his Pulitzer-Prize nominated publication, “Tejano Tiger: José de los Santos Benavides and the Texas-México Borderlands, 1823-1891” (Texas Christian University Press).  

He has received the prestigious Pate Award twice—in 2016 for “A Civil War History of the New Mexico Volunteers and Militia” (University of New Mexico Press) and in 2006 for “Civil War and Revolution on the Rio Grande Frontier.”

Thompson is regarded as one of the country’s leading Civil War historians, especially regarding the Southwest Campaign. He is one of only a handful of writers to receive the Texas Institute of Letters Best Non-Fiction Award three times.  He is also the only three-time recipient of the Clotilde P. García Tejano Book Prize.

Organized through TAMIU’s University College, the Presidential Lecture Series is an occasional University lecture series that seeks to bring innovative thinkers and creators to the University in public lectures open to both students and the University community at large.

Recent lecturers have included  Dr. Keith Pannell, esteemed scientist from the University of Texas at El Paso,  who presented a border-focused lecture on “Science, Research and Success on the Border:  A Great Untapped Source of Excellence and Creativity.” 

Also, award-winning National Public Radio (NPR) education correspondent and Anya Kamenetz, acclaimed author of  Generation Debt DIY U: Edupunks, Edupreneurs, and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education,The Test and  The Art of Screen Time: How Your Family Can Balance Digital Media and Real Life.  

Other lecturers have included Dr. Mark Lilla, Dr. Tomas Jiménez, Nadine Strossen,  and Tatiana Clouthier.

For more information, please contact the Office of Public Relations, Marketing and Information Services at 326.2180, email or visit offices located in the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library, room 268.

TAMIU is celebrating its 50th Anniversary and its 25th Anniversary at its north Laredo campus throughout 2020.  A dedicated website shares the University’s remarkable transformation from a hybrid upper-level University to a full doctoral degree-granting University with over 29,000 graduates worldwide that enrolls over 8,400 students. Visit the calendar of Anniversary events, explore the University’s timeline, review alumni profiles and more at 

For more on the University’s story, contact the TAMIU Office of Public Relations, Marketing and Information Services at 956.326.2180, email, click on or visit offices in the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library, room 268.

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