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McCaleb to receive oral history award

Aug. 1, 2006

The Texas Oral History Association will present the Mary Faye Barnes Award for Excellence in Community History Projects to Dr. Gary McCaleb, Abilene Christian University vice president, Wednesday, Aug. 2, at 10 a.m. at ACU's television studio in the Don Morris Building. McCaleb is being honored for significant contributions to Texas' oral history through McCaleb's oral history documentation on his television show McCaleb and Company.

Along with serving as vice president, McCaleb is also professor of management and organizational behavior and executive director of the Center for Building Community.

As executive director for the Center for Building Community McCaleb has been responsible for bringing well-known personalities such as film critic Michael Medved, former congressman J.C. Watts, and former prime minister of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto to Abilene. The center's purpose is to propose solutions to the crises of community that exist at all levels of society.

Interviews of those nature appear on McCaleb and Company, along with many interviews of Abilene pioneers and community leaders.

J.R. Kessler, producer of McCaleb and Company, also will be recognized at the award ceremony.

Many of McCaleb's historical Abilene interviews are archived at The Grace Museum in Abilene.

In 1999 TOHA created this award to bring recognition to oral history projects exemplifying distinguished preservation of community history. The award is named for longtime community historian and twice TOHA president, Mary Faye Barnes, of Lockhart, Texas.

Within the realm of this award, community history is broadly defined to include the history of a village, town or urban neighborhood, but also to include the history of a business, school, hospital, social organization, religious organization or other public or private institution.

The award criteria include:

  • The project displayed innovative applications of oral history research or utilized standard oral history practice successfully to preserve the story of its community, to enhance understanding among community members or to bring to light previously undocumented aspects of the community's history.
  • The project produced oral history recordings and possibly transcripts and provided for their preservation and availability for research in an appropriate archive or library.
  • The project followed the ethical and legal guidelines of the national Oral History Association, including provision for interview agreement forms or donation forms.
  • The project is a model for the use of oral history in community settings.
  • The project includes an educational component and/or outreach plans to share the outcomes with the community.


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