History Department
History Department

Alumni and Friends

List of doctoral students by decade

The University of Texas History Department has been training doctoral students since the 1920s. In that time, the department has granted over 600 Ph.D.s, including those earned by such distinguished historians as Walter Prescott Webb (1931), Carlos Eduardo Castaneda (1932), Nettie Lee Benson (1949), Forrest McDonald (1955), Richard Graham (1961), and John Lewis Gaddis (1968).

Here is a list by decade of all students who earned doctorates from the History Department, along with the titles of their dissertations, names of their supervising professors, and current jobs when available.

2000s | 1990s | 1980s | 1970s | 1960s | 1950s | 1940s | 1930s | 1920s

Alumni in the News

Storied lawyer and philanthropist Joe Jamail addresses class of 2011Storied lawyer and philanthropist Joe Jamail addresses class of 2011

The Department of History celebrated its 10th commencement ceremony with a speech from the renowned Houston lawyer and philanthropist, Mr. Joseph D. Jamail, J.D. '53, B.A. History '50, on Friday at 6 p.m., May 20, 2011. He received a standing ovation.

Josiah M. Daniel, III, holder of a history M.A. and an acquaintence of Jamail, introduced him to the graduates and audience of about 1,700 family and friends gathered to celebrate the momentous occasion in Bass Concert Hall. Daniel is the chair of the Department of History’s Visiting Committee and a partner in the international law firm Vinson & Elkins, LLP in its Dallas office.

Daniel described Jamail as “a passionate advocate for his clients—large or small.” He was born and raised in Houston, Texas and had worked in his parent’s grocery store—roots he has never forgotten.

Jamail started as a pre-med student at The University of Texas (UT) in 1942, but joined the Marines during WWII. After the war he returned to the university and earned his bachelor’s degree in history in 1950, and then his law degree in '53 from UT’s Law School.

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Carolyn and Peyton Townsend honored with College of Liberal Arts Pro Bene Meritis AwardCollege of Liberal Arts Pro Bene Meritis Award honors two Visiting Committee members — both history alumni

March 2, 2011 — The College of Liberal Arts has announced the five recipients of the 2011 Pro Bene Meritis award which include Carolyn Townsend (B.A. English and History, '66, with a teaching certificate) and her husband, Peyton Townsend (B.A. Government and History, '62). Both are members of the Department of History Visiting Committee.

Honorees are chosen for their outstanding service to the College of Liberal Arts. This year's recipients will be honored at an awards ceremony on Thursday, April 28 at the San Jacinto Residence Hall Multi-Purpose Room.

Carolyn Townsend is a civic volunteer and former academic language therapist. A dedicated supporter of the College of Liberal Arts, she serves as Chair of the Liberal Arts Advisory Council and on the Executive Committee for the Chancellor's Council. She also serves on the Department of History Visiting Committee.

She was a member of the Commission of 125 in the mid 2000's. The Commission was a group of citizens charged with recommending initiatives for the university to implement over the next 25 years on how to best serve the citizens of Texas and improve undergraduate curriculum.

Peyton Townsend
is First Vice-President at RBC Wealth Management. A longtime member of The University of Texas at Austin community, Townsend serves on the University of Texas Development Board, the Liberal Arts Advisory Council, the McCombs School of Business Advisory Council, and the Department of History Visiting Committee. He also served as Chair of the Investments Committee at the Texas Exes for seven years.

The Townsends are also both on the Longhorn Foundation Advisory Council, the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Study of Core Text and Ideas Visiting Committee, and in the Texas Leadership Society with a bequest to the Normandy Scholars Program.

Retired Distinguished Teaching Professor of History G. Howard Miller was also chosen this year.

Read about the rest of the receipents...

Josiah Daniel selected to The American Law InstituteVisiting Committee Chair Josiah M. Daniel, III selected to membership in The American Law Institute

Feb. 20, 2011 — Founded in 1923, The American Law Institute (ALI) has established itself as an organization “dedicated to clarifying and improving the law,” said ALI President Roberta Cooper Ramo when she welcomed 44 new members.

The institute's website describes it as “the leading independent organization in the United States producing scholarly work to clarify, modernize, and otherwise improve the law.”

Daniel (J.D. University of Texas School of Law, 1978; M.A. degree in history, 1986) currently chairs the Department of History’s Visiting Committee, where he has played an integral role since the committee's inaugural year in 2008.

The 28-member committee consists of history and liberal arts alumni, donors, and community members who have a strong interest in history and recognize the importance of having the UT History Department ranked among the very best institutions of higher learning in the country.

As academic units wrestle with recent economic conditions and consequent constraints on the university's budget, Daniel has directed key fundraising initiatives and led successful efforts to raise the profile of the department.

As a member of the prestigious ALI, and as part of its mission of law reform, its members present papers at numerous conferences. In January 2011, Daniel presented a paper at the American Politics Group (APG) Annual Conference at the Rothermere American Institute and St. Anne’s College at the University of Oxford.

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Baby DollEli Wallach to receive lifetime achievement award

History alumnus (B.A. '36) and actor extraordinaire, Eli Wallach, will soon be celebrating his 95th birthday in conjunction with the coveted Academy Award of Merit—as in the 13-and-a-half-inch tall statute known as "Oscar."

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) hosts the Governors Awards on an annual basis as they do the Academy Awards ceremony. Unlike the Academy Awards, the Governors Award is not voted on but at the discretion of the AMPAS Board of Governors. This year they will take place on Saturday, Nov.15, 2010 at the Grand Ballroom of the Hollywood and Highland Center. And Eli Wallach will be one of four honored for lifetime achievement  with an Oscar. The Academy Awards ceremony usually follows in February or March of the coming year.

It was while he was a student at The University of Texas that Wallach learned to ride a horse. It was just one of his many skills that he'd make good use of for his Hollywood roles as the villainous outlaw or bandit—most notably in "The Magnificent Seven" (1960), and as Clint Eastwood's foil in "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly" (1966). He was named a Distinguished Alumnus at The University of Texas in 1988.

Wallach's film career has spanned five-decades that started with his immensely successful first film in 1956, "Baby Doll", and counting—with two in 2010, "The Ghost Writer" and "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps."

Read more on the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences website

Read more on NPR "An Honoray Oscar for Actor Eli Wallach"

Photo caption: Eli Wallach in "Baby Doll" trailer (1956)

Dr. Adrian Bantjes, Ph.D. history alumnus, killed in auto accident

History Dept. alumnus, Dr. Adrian BantjesSept. 7, 2010 — The following story was adapted from University of Wyoming website:

Adrian Bantjes, an associate professor in the University of Wyoming Department of History, was killed in a head-on automobile crash at approximately 8:15 p.m. on Sept. 3 in Wyoming.

"The tragic death of Professor Bantjes is a tremendous loss for the University of Wyoming. He was an excellent scholar and a valued member of the faculty who was well-liked by students and colleagues alike," University of Wyoming President Tom Buchanan says. "He will be missed by all who knew him. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this difficult time."

Bantjes, 50, joined the University of Wyoming  faculty in 1991. He received his B.A. (1980) and M.A. (1983) degrees from Ryksuniversiteit Leiden, The Netherlands, and a Ph.D. (1991) from the University of Texas, Austin, where he worked under Dr. Alan Knight.

His research and teaching focused on modern Latin American history with an emphasis on the political, social, cultural, and religious history of 20th century Mexico. His doctoral research focused on the Mexican Revolution (1910-40) and resulted in a book, As If Jesus Walked on Earth: Cardenismo, Sonora, and the Mexican Revolution, which won the Michael C. Meyer Prize in 1997. Since then, he published a series of essays on cultural revolution in Mexico with a focus on the relationship between state formation and popular religiosity.

Bantjes, who was respected for his expertise in Latin-American history, taught modern and colonial Latin American and Mexican history, an introduction to Latin American studies, and specialized seminars on topics such as Latin American revolutions, popular religions and indigenous cultures. He also taught interdisciplinary courses in international studies, religious studies, American Indian studies, Chicano studies and American studies.

University of Wyoming's news story of Dr. Bantjes' death

Dr. Klaude Kendrick, former president of Evangel University, Ph.D. history alumnus '59 dies at 93Dr. Klaude Kendrick, first president of Evangel University, Ph.D. history alumnus, dies at 93

On Aug. 28, 2010, Dr. Klaude Kendrick passed away at his home in Fayetteville, Ark.

Kendrick was Evangel University’s first president when it opened in 1955 in Springfield, Mo. as Evangel College.

Kendrick’s dissertation in 1959 was entitled, “The History of the Modern Pentecostal Movement.” It was later published by Gospel Publishing House in 1961 under the title, The promise fulfilled: A history of the modern Pentecostal movement. It became standard reading for Pentecostal scholars and students.

The Klaude Kendrick Library at Evangel University honors his many years of service to the university as president, academic dean, and mentor to faculty, staff and students well after his retirement from academic life.

The web page about the Kendrick Library has a section titled “Recollections of Klaude Kendrick by Murl Winters”, the assistant director of the library. Winters states Kendrick “served in all capacities available to men on faculty and staff at Southwestern Assemblies of God University … worked as business manager when it was a day-to-day situation … academically determined — rode caboose cars or freights back and forth to Austin while he worked on his degree.”

Evangel University is an Assemblies of God university with a student body of more than 2,000 from all across the United States as well as many foreign countries.

Kendrick earned his bachelor’s degree in 1945 from Texas Wesleyan College and his master’s in 1948 from Texas Christian University. 

A public memorial service will be held at First Assembly of God Church on Sept. 4 in Springdale, Ark. The family had a private burial on Aug. 31, in Rogers, Ark.

(Photo of Kendrick was taken from a group photo in 1988 of the only three presidents Evangel University has had, including Drs. J. Robert Ashcroft and Robert H. Spence.)

Related Links:
Dr. Klaude Kendrick obituary by Paul K. Logsdon, director of public relations, Evangel University (PDF, 98K)
History of Evangel's Klaude Kendrick Library; Evangel University

Fess Parker, history alumnus, dies at 85

Remembering Fess Parker

Fess Parker, a UT history alumnus best known for his roles as Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone, died March 18. He was 85.

The following story, “Playing the Hero,” by Avrel Seale, appeared in The Alcalde’s July/August 2003 issue.

When most people think of Davy Crockett (or Daniel Boone), they picture Fess Parker circa 1960. On a recent trip back to Austin, the Texas Ex reflected on his unusual, iconic life.

Fess Parker makes grown men cry. Why? “They’ve just got this in their mind. It’s part of their childhood, and when they see me, it brings it back up.”

Parker, B.A. ‘50, became an instant celebrity when the film “Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier” debuted in 1955. With his coonskin hat, he toured 14 foreign countries and 42 cities. What wasn’t to love, especially for the little boys: a sort of mall Santa with a dead critter on his head who came packing serious heat in the form of a long rifle named “Old Betsy.”

In the ’60s, most of the television performers would film all week and then work all weekend. “So I worked from Riverton, Wash., to Kissimmee, Fla., and the Minnesota State Fair to Kansas City.” He’d start the morning with an interview, then go to a hospital or nursing home. “Then at 11 o’clock, I’d go to a department store and shake hands with about 2,000 kids in an hour. Then I’d go to lunch at the Rotary Club with the mayor and other dignitaries.” In the British Isles, he would always be escorted by the lord high mayor.

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Bette Oliver's book on the memoires of French Revolutionists Orphans on the Earth on ShelfLife blogAlumna publishes book on the memoirs of French Revolutionists turned fugitives
Bette Oliver (B.A., M.A. Journalism, Ph.D. modern European History) featured on university's ShelfLife blog

Oliver studied with the late Prof. Nancy Barker from the History Dept. It was Barker who encouraged Oliver to work toward a Ph.D. if she ever "wanted to do research and write about French history," Oliver remembers. She surprised even herself when she ended up doing just that "and my life path was altered in the best possible way!"

From ShelfLife blog:
The turbulent and violent period just after the onset of the French Revolution known as the Terror of 1793–1794, is the backdrop for University of Texas alumna Bette Oliver’s book Orphans on the Earth (Lexington Books 2009). The book tells the story of the Girondins, specifically those elected deputies who helped establish the new republic, and who would later became fugitives from their own government—hunted down by their political opponents the Jacobins. Read the rest of this story...

Alumni publish books

Alumnus publishes book chronicling Mexico's fight for independence
Timothy Henderson (B.A. History, '80) featured on university's ShelfLife blog

Alumna publishes book on civil rights movement in Alabama
Susan Youngblood Ashmore (B.A. History, '83) featured on university's ShelfLife blog

Alumnus' comic book illustrates Iraq war experiences
Richard C. Meyer (B.A. History, '07)  featured on university's ShelfLife blog

Alumnus' book shows subculture that baggy zoot suit represented
Luis Alvarez (Ph.D. History, '01) featured on university's ShelfLife blog