News from the 25th Annual Reunion

by Rodeo News

[ Texas Tech University is welcoming the NIRA Alumni History to their world-class Southwest Collection Library ]

story by Sharon  Adams

Don’t put Grandpa’s pictures and Grandma’s newspaper clippings about their college rodeo days in the attic or the dumpster! The college rodeo alumni have a better idea! Save it all (historians love first drafts, and little scraps of information) because now we have a place to store all those bits and pieces of the past.
Texas Tech University has a long history with college rodeo competing with other Texas schools before the formation of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association in 1948 and sending a team to the first college finals in 1949. Coach Brent Hodges will still be sending teams to the College National Finals Rodeo and their program will continue to compete in a tough region. But now there is another tie between Texas Tech and college rodeo.
This year Monte L. Monroe, Ph.D., Archivist of the Southwest Collection at the Special Collections Library at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, invited the NIRA Alumni to bring all our historical archives, records, pictures, and memorabilia to the TTU facility to be archived, protected and stored. All those records will be inventoried and catalogued, available for research at the library and, eventually, on line. There will be no display at the Texas Tech facility; it is an archive only but a secure storage and archive will mean that families know that there is a place where material important to elderly Alumni can be sent and will be safe and cared for in an appropriate environment.
At the June meeting of the NIRA Alumni, the Board of Directors unanimously approved sending all materials pertaining to the history of college rodeo to Texas Tech to be part of the Southwest Collection.
Sylvia Gann Mahoney, author of a history of college rodeo, College Rodeo, from Show to Sport, has already had the oral history and transcripts on which she based her book stored as part of the Southwest Collection. Two members of the Alumni, Larry Burgess and Dick Claycomb, have volunteered to drive to Manhattan, Kansas, to transport items in storage there to Lubbock.
The NIRA Alumni have been searching for years for a museum where we could tell the story of college rodeo. Now that we have a place to safely archive our history, we can devote time and effort into crafting an interactive display showcasing the College Rodeo Story that can be loaned to local museums for short periods of time.
The Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library contains a wide variety of subjects. It’s Archive of the Vietnam Conflict is the largest single collection of materials relating to that war outside of the U.S. government. The Southwest Collection holds records relating to every major era of U.S., American West, and Texas history. The largest collection of historic ranching related materials in the U.S. and possibly the world can be found in the Lubbock facility.
If you or someone in your family has materials pertaining to the history of college rodeo, you can contact the NIRA Alumni for more information.

Please visit our FaceBook page:
National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association Alumni

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