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Dean's Alumni Newsletter: December 2008

Photo Dean Diehl College Seal

Dear Friends,

It’s hard to believe 2008 is coming to a close. And it’s been quite a year—we’ve celebrated the completion of Garrison Hall renovations, seen our students compete in the Olympics and the university has embarked on an eight-year capital campaign to raise $3 billion.

Each year, as I look back on the activities of the college, I’m just amazed at the teaching accomplishments and the level of scholarly work of our faculty. It is through your support that we are able to continue to produce students and research of the highest quality. Although we have much to brag about, I’ve selected just a few of these to share with you here.

Alumni, Student, and Faculty Awards
We have a number of students and alumni who have won impressive awards in the last few months. Israel Hernandez (B.A. Philosophy/Government, '92, J.D. '01) and Aurora Lora (B.A. Plan II, '00) will be honored with a 2009 Outstanding Young Texas Ex Award. Gabriela Yepes (M.F.A. Radio-Television-Film, '08) earned the Narrative Student Short Film Award for writing and directing "Danzak" at the 2008 Austin Film Festival, and the Marshall Scholarship program has awarded Plan II Honors student Dhananjay Jagannathan a scholarship to study ancient philosophy at the University of Oxford and classics and ancient philosophy at the University of Cambridge. See the college’s News section for more about these and other accomplishments of students and alumni.

From our faculty, Denise Schmandt-Besserat, emeritus professor of art history and Middle Eastern studies, won the $10,000 grand prize at the Hamilton Book Awards for "When Writing Met Art: From Symbol to Story," published by University of Texas Press. You can read more about what our faculty is up to in The Insider.

Digital Media Spotlight
One of our new projects I think you’ll really enjoy is ShelfLife, a blog featuring literary news, author interviews and scholarly commentary on publishing trends. We’d love to hear about books you are writing—contact Jennifer McAndrew at if you have something you’d like to share.

As always, we appreciate your ongoing interest and support and hope that you will keep in touch. I look forward to hearing from you.

Randy L. Diehl, Dean

Supporting Liberal Arts
The generous support of alumni, faculty, staff and friends of the university allows the College of Liberal Arts to recruit and retain outstanding faculty members and provide the best programs for our students.

If you are interested in supporting the college, we invite you to consider making a gift. The college relies on private philanthropy to broaden support for scholarships, study abroad opportunities, faculty and graduate students. Gifts to the college ensure students are able to experience the same life-changing education you enjoyed.

Learn more about how to support the College of Liberal Arts...

Dean's Circle
Become a partner in transforming lives by joining the Dean's Circle. The Dean's Circle giving society acknowledges alumni and friends who have committed to making an immediate impact through unrestricted funds. All members will be recognized on the college's Web site, receive periodic reports from the Dean, as well as the college's magazine Life & Letters. Members will also be invited to attend a number of events, including a special annual Liberal Arts reception.

If you would like to learn more about giving opportunities, including special contribution levels for young alumni joining the Dean's Circle, please send an email to