Ralph Wright Steen Papers
- Steen, Ralph Wright (Person)
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Biographical or Historical Information
A noted historian, Steen authored a number of books on Texas and American history and government, many of which were adopted as textbooks for use in the public schools including Texas History (for High School) (1936); Texas: A Story of Progress (1937, 1942); History of Texas (1939); Twentieth Century Texas (1942); The Texas Story (1948, 1960), Texas Government (1952); Our Texas (1954); The Texas News (1955); Government By the People (1959, 1964); The United States: A History (1959); and Texas: Our Heritage (1962).
Steen also published about 75 articles in major journals and was a popular public speaker. He served as president of the Association of Texas Colleges and Universities, the Texas State Historical Association, and the East Texas Historical Association. Steen was the recipient of numerous awards including the Texas Association of State Senior College and University Business Officers' award for service to higher education in Texas in 1972, the Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Citizen Award for 1974, and the Nacogdoches Rotary Club Vocational Service Award in 1976. He was also named Mr. East Texas of 1976 by the Tyler County Dogwood Festival Committee. Steen married Gladys Edmonds on August 20, 1929 and they were parents of one son, Joe Ralph Steen. On January 24, 1980, Steen suffered a severe cardiac arrest while crossing the campus, and collapsed in front of the Rusk Building. He died in Memorial Hospital in Nacogdoches on January 30, 1980.
Steen's last book publication, The Texas Formula System, appeared in 1979. Steen was hired by the Coordinating Board, Texas College and University System in 1978 to direct a study on formula-generated state appropriations for higher education. During the year of the study Steen traveled throughout Texas and corresponded with university and college presidents, vice-presidents, deans and other officials within Texas and from other states. Most of the papers in this collection include correspondence and statistics gathered for the original formula study and follow-ups to the study. In addition there is a videocassette recording of the dedication of the Ralph W. Steen Library in 1976 and a lecture, "The Ferguson Years in Texas," which was presented before an education class by Steen.
("STEEN, RALPH WRIGHT." The Handbook of Texas Online. http://www.tsha.utexas.edu/handbook/online/articles/view/SS/fstay.html [Accessed Fri Jun 25 13:57:44 US/Central 2004 ]; "Steen, Ralph W." Vertical Files: Biography. East Texas Research Center. RAlph W. Steen Library. Stephen F. Austin State University).
- Guide to the Ralph Wright Steen Papers