By Thomas F. Staley
The Ransom Center enjoys considerable recognition for its extensive collections, its acquisitions, and its visits from distinguished writers and artists, but it is the quality of the Center's very talented staff that makes this place truly remarkable. I have tremendous admiration for my colleagues here at the Center, who support our mission each day with eagerness and enterprise. It is deeply satisfying to know that the Center and our celebrated collections are in the care of such bright, enthusiastic, and immensely talented people.
Working closely with our staff is an equally dedicated group of individuals who serve on the Ransom Center's Advisory Council. As many of you are well aware, the Ransom Center is in the midst of a capital campaign to raise $15 million to support and enrich the Center's collections and initiatives. The campaign continues until 2014, and I am very pleased to report that we are more than two-thirds of the way toward reaching our goal. We owe much of our success thus far to our Advisory Council members, who not only have contributed personally and generously to the campaign but have also helped attract invaluable gifts from other donors and foundations. Over the years, the Ransom Center's Advisory Council has become legendary on this campus for its support, commitment, and achievements. It is also looked to with envy for including some of the brightest, wittiest, and most enthusiastic supporters of this University. The Center is indeed fortunate to have maintained such wonderful supporters and very good friends over the years.
Many important activities and initiatives have been occupying our attention in recent months. In October, the Center received visits from Jim Leach, the chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, and Sam Tanenhaus, editor of The New York Times Book Review. Chairman Leach took a full tour of the Center and gave an engaging presentation about the importance of civility in public discourse. Sam Tanenhaus spoke enthusiastically with staff and faculty about book reviewing and archives. We also recently added to our collections the archive of writer and performer Spalding Gray, which you'll read about in this newsletter. It is a rich collection that we believe will be of great interest to scholars and students. And, we are in the midst of several exciting negotiations for new archives that will enrich our collections in the months to come.
—Thomas F. Staley