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Dean's Alumni Newsletter: February 2009

Photo Dean Diehl College Seal

Dear Friends,

I think 2009 is going to be a great year for the College of Liberal Arts. The spring semester is in full swing and the campus is buzzing with events. The biggest event is the campus-wide Explore UT celebration coming up March 7 with dozens of faculty, staff and students from the College of Liberal Arts taking part. In fact, the College is presenting 79 separate sessions during the day that run the gamut from learning how to be a wizard to henna hand-painting to exploring the ancient Celts. We hope you can join us for this great annual event!

Another special event I’m proud to announce is “Meeting of the Minds” on Feb. 8. The annual speaker series, hosted by the College’s Plan II Honors Program, will showcase a team of exceptional faculty who will examine the topic of creativity. These accomplished and varied minds promise to make this a stimulating afternoon and a good introduction to the capabilities of the Plan II Honors Program.

To add to the excitement, the College is on the verge of endowing the Charlie Wilson Chair in Pakistani studies. With special thanks to more than 80 donors from the Pakistani-American community in Texas, the college has raised about $435,000, and will soon match the $500,000 challenge grant from the T.L.L. Temple Foundation.

I hope you enjoy the following update about our most recent honors and that you will visit our homepage often to stay involved in the life of the college.

Alumni, Student, and Faculty Awards and Recognition
We have a number of students and alumni who have won impressive awards in the last few months. Five Liberal Arts scholars earned Fulbright Scholarships to conduct their research abroad during the 2008-09 academic year, including Peter Bouck (B.A., Plan II Honors, '08); Emily Hillhouse, a doctorate candidate in the Department of History; Jennifer Miller, a doctorate candidate in the Department of Geography; Dart Risley, a master's candidate in the Department of Middle Eastern Studies; and Patricia Ryan, a doctorate candidate in the Department of Sociology. See the college’s News section for more about these and other accomplishments of students and alumni.

From our faculty, Juliet E. K. Walker’s, professor of history, research earned National Historic Landmark recognition for the site of New Philadelphia, Ill., a town founded by her great-great grandfather. You can read more about what our faculty is up to in The Insider.

Digital Media Spotlight
The new issue of Life & Letters is now online. In this issue, we introduce you to researchers who explore our time here on earth by surfacing archaeological links to our past and examining the implications of ancestry research for our sense of self. You'll meet the thought-leaders who champion the humanities' role in society and the human life cycle by delving into the world of children and analyzing how intimate relationships affect health.

If you are a member of Facebook, be sure to join the UT College of Liberal Arts Alumni Facebook group.

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 email us.