In 2000, Jack Williamson inaugurated the Jack Williamson Endowed Chair in Science and Humanities with one of the largest single gifts ever received by Eastern New Mexico University. The endowed chair makes it possible periodically to bring a visiting professor to campus for one semester to teach, conduct research and present public lectures.
The first holder of the chair was Dr. Jonathan Smith in spring 2002. An associate professor of English at Michigan State, he is the author of several books and articles on literature and science. During his semester at ENMU, he organized a colloquia showcasing Darwin's impact on science, literature and religion. He presented public lectures in Portales and Roswell, and taught a senior seminar in Portales.
In spring 2007, the chair supported Dr. Alberto Rojo, associate professor in physics at Oakland University (Michigan). He taught a course titled Twentieth Century Concepts of Time, Space and Matter and gave several lectures on science in literature. He has collaborated on many articles with scientists like Gerald Mahan and Anthony Leggett (2003 Nobel Prize winner in physics). His book with Anthony Bloch, "The History and Physics of the Principle of Least Action," was published by Cambridge University Press in 2008. An accomplished guitarist, he has performed with well-known Argentinean musicians.
Endowed Chair Visit 2019
Published authors Dr. Don Mitchell and Dr. Ruth Thompson will be visiting ENMU on March 18-29 as the Williamson Endowed Chairs. Don is a cultural anthropologist who uses his experience with the Nagovisi in his book, "A Red Woman Was Crying." Ruth is the author of four books of poetry: "Whale Fall & Black Sage" (2018), "Crazing" (2015), "Woman With Crows" (2012; 2013), and "Here Along Cazenovia Creek" (2011). Ruth and Don run Saddle Road Press, a small literary press which was featured in Poets and Writers (pw.org) in 2018.
Don and Ruth will be teaching one class: English 493 – Writing for Publication. They will also host a reading and several other workshops.