Posted: 5/31/24

TAMIU Regents Professor Thompson Named Award Winner by Historical Society of New Mexico


Medal awarded to Dr. Jerry Thompson

Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) Regents and Piper Professor Dr. Jerry D. Thompson's recent publication, Under the Piñon Tree: Finding a Place in Pie Town (University of New Mexico Press), was selected by the Historical Society of New Mexico (HSNM) as the recipient of its prestigious Fabiola Cabeza de Baca Award.

The Award recognizes an outstanding publication or exhibit relating to domestic life in New Mexico. The award was presented at the HSNM's annual conference held April 25 – 27, 2024, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. 

Thompson, who was raised in Catron County around Pie Town, explores his family history, childhood memories and the regional history of the area. The publication traces the lives of Catron County residents and explores its change throughout the Depression and World War II.

The book received critical acclaim for its content as a noteworthy publication of New Mexico's history.

"This well-written, attractive, and valuable book will appeal to a wide spectrum of readers. Those interested in New Mexico history, the rural Southwest, and a 'growing up' memoir will be very pleased with this pleasant and revealing story," noted Richard W. Etulain, author of Western Lives: A Biographical History of the American West

Under the Piñon Tree: Finding a Place in Pie Town was praised for filling in important gaps in New Mexico's cultural history through Thompson's rich narrative. 

"Historian Jerry Thompson has written a warm, wide-eyed, engaging, and detail-rich memoir, from the perspective of his childhood self, of the hard life and hardy people who struggled not only to stay alive but to remain good to each other in the outback of western New Mexico between World War I and World War II. This is history and memoir at their best," said V. B. Price, author of Broken and Reset: Selected Poems, 1966 to 2006. 

Thompson is the recipient of numerous awards and honors from the Arizona Historical Society and the Texas State Historical Association, including the Best Scholarly Book Award from the Texas Institute of Letters.

His book, Tejano Tiger: José de los Santos Benavides and the History of the Texas-Mexico Borderlands, 1823-1891, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.

Thompson received the Kate Broocks Bates Award from the Texas State Historical Association for Civil War and Revolution on the Rio Grande Frontier, which he co-authored with Larry Jones. Thompson is the recipient of the Senator Judith Zaffirini Medal and The Texas A&M University System Teaching Excellence Award. 

He received his doctorate in history from Carnegie Mellon University and  is a former president of the Texas State Historical Association. 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 again in 2006 for “Civil War and Revolution on the Rio Grande Frontier.”

For more information on the publication, visit https://www.unmpress.com/9780826364593/under-the-pinyon-tree/

Additional information is available from the  TAMIU's Office of Public Relations, Marketing and Information Services at 956.326.2180, email prmis@tamiu.edu.

Registration for Summer and Fall 2024 at TAMIU is now underway. View the registration schedule here: https://www.tamiu.edu/registrar/registration

To learn more about the University’s Registration processes, visit the dedicated Registration Hub at https://go.tamiu.edu/registration. 

Summer Semester II begins Monday, July 8, 2024. The first day of classes for the Fall semester is Monday, Aug. 26, 2024.  

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dr jerry thompson
Dr. Jerry D. Thompson, Regents and Piper Professor, Texas A&M International University