The North Texan, Volume 36, Number 2, Summer 1986 Page: 4
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Literary Conference Focusing
NTSU graduate and Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist
Larry McMurtry will be among the participants in the
Governor's Sesquicentennial Conference on the Literary
Arts to be held on the NTSU campus Sept. 25-27.
Novelist James Michener and writer-producer Horton
Foote also will participate in the conference, which will
include more than 40 other Texas-bom or Texas-based
authors, poets, songwriters and scholars.
"Several thousand activities have been planned in
communities throughout the state to mark the 150th
anniversary of the Republic of Texas, and I am delighted
that North Texas State University will round out this
exciting year with an event that celebrates our literary
heritage," Gov. Mark White said in announcing the
"The 'Texas mystique' has generated countless novels,
stories, plays, poems, songs and movies that have
captivated readers and audiences throughout the world.
During this three-day conference, Texas writers and artists,
as well as those who have made the Lone Star State the
subject of their work, will speak about the uniqueness
of Texas and Texans. Each session of the conference
will feature writers, performers and producers whose works
best reflect the images and realities of Texas," White
Dr. Alfred F. Hurley, chancellor of NTSU, said of
the conference: "All of us at NTSU are honored and
excited to have the opportunity to host what will certainly
be the premier literary event in Texas in recent years.
The diversity of the program and the caliber of the
participants ensure that no aspect of Texas letters—past,
present or future—will go unexplored."
Included on the list of participants are novelists David
Lindsey, Rolando Hinojosa and Shelby Hearon; short
story writers A.C. Greene, Carolyn Osbom and Hughes
Rudd; western writers Benjamin Capps, Elmer Kelton
and Judith Alter; poets Jose Flores and Lorenzo Thomas;
songwriter Steve Fromholtz; film director Ken Harrison;
hurmorist John Henry Faulk; and journalists Jim Lehrer,
Bob Ray Sanders and Leon Hale.
The NTSU Division of Drama will present the Horton
Foote play "The Courtship" beginning the evening of
Sept. 24 and continuing throughout the conference.
As a preliminary to the conference, Foote, who is
Texas' leading screenwriter, producer and playwright,
will lead a discussion on writing and producing plays
and movies on the afternoon of Sept 24.
The conference will open Sept. 25 with a morning
session entitled "Texas in Poems and Song." The
conference will continue that afternoon with a session
entitled "The Texas Novel and the Present."
Gov. White will open the Sept. 26 morning session
about "Filmmaking in Texas." That afternoon there will
be a session on "Texas Short Fiction." "The Texas
Novel and the Past" will wrap up the conference on
Special sessions on the western, crime fiction, humor,
essays, the media, new novelists and filmmaking, along
with poetry readings, will highlight the evenings during
For more information on the conference, write Dr.
James Lee, Department of English, NTSU, P.O. Box
13827, Denton, Texas, 76203.
The rest of the nation has found out during the last
few months what people at NTSU have known for quite
some time. The university is a gold mine for writers.
Confirmation of that fact came in April when Pulitzer
Prizes were awarded, and when the National Aeronautics
and Space Administration chose finalists for the journalist
in space program.
Novelist Larry McMurtry, a 1958 English graduate,
received the Pulitzer Prize for his novel "Lonesome
Dove." Howard Swindle, a 1969 journalism graduate,
was recognized as projects editor of the Dallas Morning
News team that captured a Pulitzer for national reporting
and Paul Recer, a 1961 journalism graduate, was one of
the 100 finalists in NASA's journalist in space program.
McMurtry is one of Texas' most prolific writers and
his Pulitzer for "Lonesome Dove" was the latest of
many awards for his writing. "Lonesome Dove" was
one of five books nominated for the National Book Critics
Circle's fiction award, and won the fiction award from
the Texas Institute of Letters in 1985.
McMurtry was on campus to receive a Distinguished
Alumnus Award the week before the Pulitzer winners
were announced. He stressed the important role NTSU
played in his development.
"You need to be fortunate in your accidents, and I
was fortunate that a series of accidents led me to North
Texas. I started out at Rice, but was broken by the
mysteries of calculus and arrived here in the middle of
"I immediately became happy. There were lots of
veterans and the campus drew an urban population from
Dallas and Fort Worth. The school attracted young
professors who were intellectually stimulating and sparked
their students. Their professional talent opened up the
world of literature to me, and they encouraged me to
write," he said.
Other works by McMurtry include "The Last Picture
Show," "Terms of Endearment" and "Horseman, Pass
By." "Horseman, Pass By," which was made into the
film "Hud," along with "Terms of Endearment" and
"The Last Picture Show" all received Academy Awards.
Swindle supervised the team of reporters who won
the Pulitzer Prize for their investigation of discrimination
in public housing projects. As projects editor, Swindle
is responsible for all investigative reporting at the Dallas
Morning News. "One of the side benefits of the Pulitzer
is that I have recently been promoted to assistant managing
editor/projects. My responsibilities are virtually the same,"
Swindle couldn't come up with enough good things
to say about Cecil "Pop" Shuford, the first chairman of
the journalism department, who died in January.
4 'Everyone in the department wanted to do something
to win his respect. He did not make idle compliments;
quite to the contrary, he was almost miserly with them.
While he was a very demanding professor, he was also
a very giving professor. He spent time analyzing every
story line by line, telling me how I could have said it
better," Swindle said.
Swindle also said that he was encouraged by Martin
Gibson, who was faculty adviser to the Campus Chat at
that time; Dr. Reg Westmoreland, now Chairman of the
journalism department; and Roy Moses of the journalism
Recer, who covers the Johnson Space Center for
Associated Press, formerly covered the space program
for U.S. News and World Report.
Chamber of Commerce
Honors Dr. Hurley
Dr. Alfred F. Hurley, chancellor and president of
NTSU, was honored by the Denton Chamber of
Commerce as winner of the Otis Fowler Award at the
chamber's annual banquet March 13 in the Silver Eagle
The Fowler award is named for the first manager of
the Denton Chamber of Commerce, who retired in 1959
after 31 years of service. The award has been given
every year since Fowler's retirement.
"This is not just a good citizenship or Mr. Nice Guy
award. The award is given to an individual who, through
his efforts to excel in his personal and business endeavors,
brings notoriety, fame and recognition to Denton. As
president of NTSU, Dr. Hurley has certainly done that,"
said Chuck Carpenter, president of the Denton Chamber
Other people connected with NTSU who have received
the award are former president J.C. Matthews in 1961;
Hayden Fry, former football coach, in 1974; and Leon
Breeden, past director of the One O'Clock Lab Band,
Dr. James Prothro,
Dies at Age of 63
Dr. James W. Prothro, an NTSU Distinguished
Alumnus, died Feb. 6 at the age of 63.
A professor of political science at the University of
North Carolina since 1973, Dr. Prothro was director of
UNC's Institute for Research in Social Science from
He graduated with a bachelor of arts degree from NTSU
in 1943, then known as North Texas State College.
He went on to earn a second bachelor's degree at the
University of Edinburgh in 1946; master's degrees at
Louisiana State University in 1947 and Princeton University
1949; and Ph.D.s at Princeton in 1952 and Columbia
University in 1955.
He wrote several bodes including "The Dollar Decade:
Business Ideas in the 1920s," all five editions of "The
Politics of American Democracy" and "Explaining the
Vote: Presidential Choices in the Nation and the States."
He also wrote many articles for political science
The North Texan
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North Texas State University. The North Texan, Volume 36, Number 2, Summer 1986, periodical, Summer 1986; Denton, Texas. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc98907/m1/4/: accessed May 14, 2021), University of North Texas Libraries, UNT Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting University Relations, Communications & Marketing department for UNT.