Since 1919

The Prairie News

Since 1919

The Prairie News

Since 1919

The Prairie News

Tejas Society Membership Offers Exclusive Access for Supporters of WT’s Center for the Study of the American West


CANYON, Texas — History buffs can enjoy special access to Center for the Study of the American West’s events and activities, including select tours of historic area ranches, by joining the Tejas Society.

CSAW was formed in 2016 to foster the study of the American West at West Texas A&M University and build bridges between the University, the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum and the regional populace.

While CSAW events are almost entirely free and open to the public, Tejas Society members enjoy additional benefits.

Upcoming CSAW events will include “Building the Southern Plains: Migrantes and Mexicanidad,” a Forgotten Frontera event with Dr. Valerie Martinez on Sept. 20 and 21; “Wild New World,” the Garry L. Nall Lecture in Western Studies with Dan Flores on Nov. 2; and an evening with acclaimed author and Panhandle native George Saunders, also a Nall Lecture event, on April 4.

Membership levels range from $250 to $1,000 per couple per year, offering access for two to pre- and post-lecture receptions or luncheons, conversations with speakers, reserved seating, and exclusive invitations to CSAW-led tours of iconic Texas Panhandle ranches.

“The Tejas Society helps CSAW expand its reach by raising our profile among residents of this area and beyond who are as captivated as we are by the remarkable history of this region,” said Dr. Alex Hunt, CSAW director, Regents Professor of English and Vincent-Haley Professor of Western Studies. “Membership also helps us raise funds to support student internships, scholarships, outreach programs and lecture fees.”

CSAW is a premiere research arm of WT that promotes the American West both as a culturally unique region and as a product of broad historical forces. The center is a key component in WT’s efforts as a Regional Research University, a key aim of the University’s long-range plan, WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World.

That plan is fueled by the historic, $125 million One West comprehensive fundraising campaign. To date, the campaign — which publicly launched in September 2021— has raised more than $125 million and will continue through 2025.

Among its extensive activities, CSAW won a $150,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities in 2022 to fund its “Forgotten Frontera: The Mexican American Southern Plains” initiative, which examines the unique Mexican American presence in the Texas Panhandle region.

CSAW won the 2020 Autry Prize for Public History from the Western History Association for its “Red Dead University” project, which examined the popular video game “Red Dead Redemption II” from an academic perspective and inspired an exhibition at the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum.

CSAW also offers an internship program that encourages partnerships with private, corporate and governmental entities, offering WT students from a variety of majors important professional skills and credentials.

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