History Department
History Department

History Professor Emeritus Sidney Monas wins 2009 Pro Bene Meritis Award

Fri, February 13, 2009

The recipients will be honored at a special dinner April 16 at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum.

Leslie Blanton (B.A. Plan II Honors, '76) is a dedicated philanthropist and champion of numerous arts and philanthropic organizations, including the Blanton Museum of Art, Humanities Texas, Texas Cultural Commission, Houston Arts Alliance, Museum of Fine Arts-Houston, Teach for America, Children's Museum of Houston, Texas Women for the Arts, Young Audiences of Houston, Center for Reform of School Systems, Harris County Hospital District Foundation and Park People, Inc., to name a few. She is a member of the College of Liberal Arts Development Council, the Littlefield Society and the new liberal arts building advisory committee.

Maureen Decherd (B.A. English, '73), noted philanthropist and liberal arts alumna, is president of the Decherd Foundation, which has contributed more than $3.7 million to worthy causes since its inception in 1994. In 2007, Decherd donated $1 million to create the "Maureen Healy Decherd '73 Teaching Endowment for English" in the College of Liberal Arts. Decherd serves on the Commission of 125 and is an active member of the College of Liberal Arts Advisory Council. She is involved in numerous charitable organizations in Dallas, including the Women's Auxiliary of Children's Medical Center, YWCA, Junior League of Dallas and the Gladney Society, to name a few.

Sidney Monas, professor emeritus of history and Slavic languages, taught Russian history and literature at the university for more than 40 years. He joined the university in 1969 with a joint appointment in the Departments of History and Slavic Languages. Monas is a founding member of the British Studies seminar. His books include "The Third Section: Police and Society in Russia Under Nicholas I" and a popular translation of "Crime and Punishment" by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Monas served in the U.S. Army during World War II and was captured by the Germany army. He related his experience as a Jewish prisoner of war in the essay "My Life and Not So Hard Times," published in the collection "Burnt Orange Britannia."

Frances Vick (B.A. Education, '58) is a leading advocate of Texas authors and literature. She is president of the Texas State Historical Association, a board member of the Texas Council for the Humanities, and immediate past president of the Texas Institute of Letters. Since retiring as the director and founder of the University of North Texas Press, she has contributed to several books including "Texas Women Writers" and "Texas Women Up the Cattle Trail." Vick is a member of The University of Texas at Austin Development Board and the College of Liberal Arts Development Council. In 2000, The Dallas Morning News recognized her as one of "100 Texas Women Who Made Their Mark on Texas."

Kathleen Aronson
Assistant Dean for Development, College of Liberal Arts

Jennifer McAndrew
Public Affairs Specialist, College of Liberal Arts

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