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UNT Insider | April 2009 Issue | Founder of UNT Press receives award

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Founder of UNT Press receives Humanities Texas Award

From a UNT News Service press release

Frances B. Vick

Frances B. Vick

Frances B. Vick, founder of the University of North Texas Press and outgoing president of the Texas State Historical Association, has received the 2008 Humanities Texas Award for individual achievement.

Formerly the Texas Council for the Humanities, Humanities Texas is the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Incorporated by the State of Texas in 1972, Humanities Texas develops and supports diverse programs across the state, including lectures, oral history projects, teacher institutes, museum exhibitions and documentary films.

The Humanities Texas Awards recognize imaginative leadership in the humanities on a local, regional or state level. Awards are being presented this year to one individual and one organization. Each award winner receives $5,000.

Vick began the UNT Press in 1987. As the first director, she built the press into a major publisher of books about Texans many of which were written by Texas residents. Today, the UNT Press has more than 200 titles in print, and publishes approximately 16 new books each year. The books are distributed and marketed nationally and internationally through a press consortium.

During Vick's tenure, books from the UNT Press won 15 national and 15 regional awards and recognitions, including the Western Heritage Award, the New York Public Library Books to Remember, the American Library Association Notable Books List, the Outstanding Academic Book List, the Kate Tufts Discovery Award and the T.R. Fehrenbach Award from the Texas Historical Commission. Vick was also instrumental in starting the Texas Poets Series and Texas Writers Series from the UNT Press.

"Petra's Legacy: The South Texas Ranching Empire of Petra Vela and Mifflin Kennedy," a book that Vick wrote with Jane Monday of Huntsville, was awarded the 2007 Coral Horton Tullis Memorial Prize for the best book on Texas from TSHA. The book also received the Jim Parish Award for Documentation and Publication of Local and Regional History from the Webb County Heritage Foundation and a San Antonio Conservation Society Award. Vick's latest book is "Literary Dallas."

As president and a longtime member of the TSHA, Vick was instrumental in helping to move the association's offices from the University of Texas at Austin, which had housed the association since it was founded in 1897, to the UNT campus in Denton. She also helped TSHA acquire the publishing rights of the Texas Almanac from the Dallas Morning News. The association also publishes the New Handbook of Texas and Southwestern Historical Quarterly.

A former teacher for the Brazosport and South Park school districts, Vick has also taught at several universities, including UNT. She is a member of the Philosophical Society of Texas, Texas Folklore Society, Texas Humanities Alliance and Texas Institute of Letters, among other organizations. In 2000, the Dallas Morning News named her to its list of "100 Texas Women Who Made Their Mark on Texas."

Nancy Kolsti with UNT News Service can be reached at nkolsti@unt.edu.

Read other stories in this issue:

April 2009

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