Member Updates

Deceased  Members of the Society for the Year 2019:

William D. Wittliff of Austin passed away on June 9, 2019. He had been a member since 1973. The writer, filmmaker, and photographer was elected to the Texas Institute of Letters at the age of 29. He and his wife, Dr. Sally Wittliff, co-founded the Southwestern Writers Collection at Texas State University in 1986. The Austin American Statesman carried an article about him that includes a video. The Dallas Morning News also posted an article about him. News of his passing appeared in the New York Times and the Washington Post through an AP wire service story. A memorial service will be held at a later date. 

Joaquin G. Cigarroa, Jr.,  of Laredo passed away on March 20, 2019. He had been a member since 1994. The trailblazing doctor served the Laredo area for more than six decades. His honors include Laredo Times Man of the Year 1992 and 1994, LULAC's Life Achievement Laureate 1996, Humanitarian of the Year, and Make a Wish Foundation 1999. In 2002, the University of Texas named him a distinguished alumnus. Cigarroa also served 12 years on the Coordinating Board of Texas Colleges and Universities, where he helped bring Texas A&M International University to Laredo. The Laredo Morning Times' article gives more information and his family has posted a tribute to him.

William C. Powers, Jr., of Austin passed away on March 10, 2019. He was a member since 2003. The attorney, academic, and university administrator served 2006-2015 as the 28th president of the University of Texas at Austin, becoming the second-longest serving president in the university's history. He held the Hines H. Baker and Thelma Kelley Baker Chair at the University of Texas School of Law and served as Dean of the Law School from 2000 until becoming the University President. Among other accomplishments, he completed funding that helped establish the University's Dell Medical School. The New York Times published an article about him and the Washington Post carried news about his passing. The University of Texas President Greg Fenves wrote a tribute about President Powers. The University held a public memorial for him on April 12, 2019,  and the university tower was lit that evening to display "BP" in his honor.

  A. Baker Duncan of  San Antonio passed away on January 16th. He was a member since 1985 and served as president of the Society in 2000. The San Antonio Express carried an obituary about the philanthropist and civic leader with projects throughout Texas and who was also chairman and founder of Duncan-Smith.

John Mendelsohn of Houston passed away on January 7th. He was a member since 2008. The Houston Chronicle carried an article about the former president who led the MD Anderson Cancer Center in becoming the nation’s top cancer hospital and research center.  M.D. Anderson published a tribute to the president emeritus. 

 Herb Kelleher  of Dallas passed away on January 3rd. He became a member in 2009. In April 1989 Texas Monthly featured a cover article about the entrepreneur. Harvard Business Review published a memorial. The Washington Post also carried an article. The Dallas Morning News published a commentary and his obituary is on

News from Members:

The Witte Museum in San Antonio announces The Art of Texas: 250 Years, which is based on the book of the same title by Ron Tyler, will open May 4, 2019. The major and massive exhibition will feature artists ranging from 19th century Theodore Gentilz to 20th century Georgia O’Keeffe. The more than one hundred art pieces will include a mural by John Biggers, a sculpture by Jesús Moroles, and a painting by Julian Onderdonk, “Chili Queens at the Alamo,” that once graced the Oval Office during President George W. Bush’s time in the White House. Art will travel from museums and collectors from throughout the United States. In addition, the Witte Museum offers The Conference on Texas, entitled "250 Years of Art for History’s Sake," on May 3 – 4, 2019, features sessions involving Tyler and other Society members.

Books Published by Members:


The Whole Damn Cheese: Maggie Smith, Border Legend

by Bill Wright

More information and purchasing details.

 Washington and Lee University-- Tradition and Transformation 1930-2000 by Blaine A. Brownell


Washington and Lee University, 1930-2000: Tradition and Transformation

by Blaine A. Brownell

More information and purchasing details.



The Train to Crystal City: FDR’s Secret Prisoner Exchange Program and America’s Only Family Internment Camp During World War II 

by Jan Jarboe Russell

Website   Review   Facebook   Twitter   Booksignings



The Telling Image Shapes for Changing Times by Lois Farfel Starke

The Telling Image: Shapes of Changing Times 

by Lois Farfel Stark

Website   Facebook   Twitter   TED TALK "Shape: Hiding in Plain Sight"

More information and purchasing details.





Tales of Texas Cooking: From the Trans-Pecos to the High Plains and Piney Woods to the Gulf Prairies

Edited by Frances Brannen Vick

More information and purchasing details. 


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