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Honoring Excellence: Tulane Welcomes Inaugural Endowed Chairholders in Latin American Studies

March 06, 2024 4:00 PM

Honorees and speakers at the Investiture Ceremony. From let to right: Moisés Arce, Feliz rioja, Nora Lustig, Thomas Reese, robin forman, Michael A. Fitts, Brian Edwards, Arachu Castro, Dora María Téllez, Hortensia Calvo, Barbara Mundy and Kris Lane. (Photo by Tyler Kaufman)

On Tuesday, February 27, 2024, the Investiture Ceremony for Latin American Studies at Tulane was held at Dixon Concert Hall. On this occasion, we gathered to celebrate the investiture of the following inaugural endowed chairholders: Nora C. Lustig, Ph.D.,  Samuel Z. Stone Chair in Latin American Economics; Felix Rioja, Ph.D., Scott and Marjorie Cowen Chair in Latin American Social Sciences, Economics; and Moisés Arce, Ph.D., Scott and Marjorie Cowen Chair in Latin American Social Sciences, Political Science. The event also paid homage to the current endowed chairs in Latin American Studies: Arachu Castro, Ph.D., the Samuel Z. Stone Endowed Chair of Public Health in Latin America; Hortensia Calvo, Ph.D., the Doris Stone Director of The Latin American Library; Thomas F. Reese, Ph.D., the Executive Director of the Stone Center for Latin American Studies and the Thomas F. and Carol M. Reese Distinguished Chair in Latin American Studies; Kris E. Lane, Ph.D., the France Vinton Scholes Chair in Colonial Latin American History and the William Arceneaux Professor of Latin American History; Barbara Mundy, Ph.D., the Martha and Donald Robertson Chair in Latin American Art and Professor; and Dora María Téllez, the Richard E. Greenleaf Distinguished Chair in Latin American Studies.


Nora Lustig, Ph.D., inaugural Samuel Z. Stone Chair in Latin American Economics. (Photo by Tyler Kaufman)

Felix Rioja, Ph.D., inaugural Scott and Marjorie Cowen Chair in Latin American Social Sciences, Economics. (Photo by Tyler Kaufman)

Moisés Arce, Ph.D.,  Scott and Marjorie Cowen Chair in Latin American Social Sciences, Political Science. (Photo by Tyler Kaufman)

President Michael A. Fitts opened the ceremony. Robin Forman, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, and Brian T. Edwards, Dean of the School of Liberal Arts, introduced and welcomed the investees. Thomas F. Reese, Stone Center Director, gave the closing remarks. More than one hundred guests attended the investiture, celebrating Tulane's century-long commitment to research and teaching in Latin American Studies.


President Michael A. Fitts before delivering the opening remarks. (Photo by Tyler Kaufman)

The year 2024 marks one hundred years of research and teaching in the field of Latin American Studies at Tulane. The Stone Center will be "celebrating not only with events but also with the publication of digital historical resources that document the contributions of Tulane's Latin Americanists to the world—their research, their publications, their teaching, their MA and Ph.D. graduates, their leadership in area studies, and their service to the region," stated its director, Thomas Reese. In 1924, the Department of Middle American Research was created when Tulane acquired the William Edmund Gates library, and it became the Middle American Research Institute (MARI) in 1938. In 1962, the collection expanded and found a new home as The Latin American Library was created. The Stone Center for Latin American Studies, The Latin American Library, and the Middle American Research Institute come together to commemorate the centennial jointly and individually.


"Our Center's team decided that this occasion represented an ideally symbolic event to begin our centennial programming because it focused on our faculty and their achievements, and in particualr on an exceptional subset of our faculty — those who attainments have earned them the highly privileged status as holders of endowed chairs at the university."

Thomas Reese, Stone Center Director. Words taken from his closing remarks.


The Investiture ceremony is the first event of the centennial year, launching the celebrations and The LAST 100, a digital humanities project tracing this endeavor from the first academic programs to today.


Investiture Ceremony reception at Audobon Place. Faculty, staff, family and friends attended the reception. (Photo by Tyler Kaufman)