Welcoming New Advisory Council Members
Last September, the Ransom Center welcomed nine new members to its Advisory Council. The Advisory Council comprises influential friends from across Texas and the nation. It serves as an advisory group to the Center's director, Stephen Enniss, and contributes significantly to the institution's success. Council members work with Enniss and staff to increase private support of the Center and to champion development and outreach priorities. They promote awareness of the value and impact of the Center on The University of Texas at Austin campus and beyond.
"We are delighted to expand our Council," says Enniss. "Our newest members have a broad range of experience and expertise ranging from business, law, education, and civic involvement; however, they all have a common understanding of the essential role the humanities play in enriching all our lives and the critical function institutions like the Ransom Center play in preserving our cultural heritage."
Advisory Council members have individual areas of interest within the Ransom Center's diverse collections and programs. Some members are keenly interested in the Center's photography or literary collections and provide support for new acquisitions that add to existing strengths. Others are advocates for the Center's exhibitions, conservation program, or efforts to provide fellowships to scholars from around the world.
Council members attend several formal meetings and activities throughout the year including lectures, exhibition openings, and other special events, frequently bringing colleagues and friends unfamiliar with the Center. Margie Rine, Director of Development for the Center, believes this is an invaluable contribution made by Council members. "Just recently, a Council member called to arrange a visit for a friend who was in town from San Francisco. The friend was impressed by one collection in particular and subsequently made a gift to help acquire a manuscript to add to that collection. This would not have happened without the Council member's introduction," she noted.
Advisory Council Chair Frank Needham, a Dallas attorney and a Duke alumnus who joined the Advisory Council in 2010 says, "I am always impressed by the caliber of the people on the Council—those with many years of service and our newest members. They are devoted and passionate about the Ransom Center's mission. Beyond the significant financial support they give year in and year out, they serve as ambassadors for the Center."
New members include Tom Cronk, Leah Greenberg, and Margaret R. Hight (Austin); Jeffrey M. Sone, Steven H. Stodghill, and Ellen Winspear (Dallas); Jill Jewett and Beth Madison (Houston); and Richard A. Groenendyke (Tulsa and Santa Fe).