The Commerce Journal
Congressman Ralph Hall finalized the donation of his personal papers and memorabilia to Texas A&M University-Commerce today in a signing ceremony with President Dan R. Jones at the university’s Rockwall facility. Others taking part in the signing included Randy VanDeven, vice president of institutional advancement; Greg Mitchell, director of libraries; and Andrea Weddle, head of special collections and archives.
“I hope the papers in this collection are valuable to you, and I hope they’re a good resource to the students at A&M-Commerce,” Hall said. “They are a reflection of my life in public service, and it’s an honor to be a part of the future of this university.”
The Gee Library at A&M-Commerce currently houses 62 of nearly 100 processed boxes of Hall’s papers. A&M-Commerce will continue working with his staff to coordinate the transfer of additional boxes and electronic data from D.C., as well as regional and campaign offices, according to Weddle.
“It is hard for me to put into words just how excited I feel, and everyone at A&M-Commerce feels, to be the recipients of this generous gift,” Jones said. “This is truly going to be a world-class treasure trove of historical data. This is material that scholars, researchers, and students are going to be plumbing for generations to come. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for this priceless treasure. And thank you for all that you do, and continue to do, for this district and these United States.”
Representing The Texas A&M University System was Vice Chancellor Dr. James Hallmark.
“My undergraduate degree many years ago was in history, and I can tell you that there is no more appreciated and valuable resource for a history major or for historians than those primary documents that are left to our libraries by our leaders,” Hallmark said. “These primary documents allow these students and scholars to have an unaltered glimpse into the decisions and events of those times. They are truly a great treasure, and we are honored that you are providing this treasure to Texas A&M University-Commerce.”
Hall’s papers represent over six decades of public service and political history. He is a long-time friend of A&M-Commerce with a family history of alumni from the institution including his mother, sister, and wife.
Hall holds the 4th Congressional District seat previously held by the longest-running Speaker of the House and A&M-Commerce alumnus, Sam Rayburn.