Dean's Roundtable honors Texas educators

Date: March 10, 2011

Next to parents, teachers are the individuals most responsible for helping young people chart a course for their life’s journey. These educators are often the unsung heroes of society and are seldom publicly recognized for dedicating their lives to their students. However, the College of Education and Human Development provides a unique opportunity through the annual Dean’s Roundtable to acknowledge and celebrate these Texas educators.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Dean’s Roundtable, which has the dual purpose of honoring educators and providing funding for the college. Six honorees were recognized at the inaugural event in 1991, with more than 50 donors contributing gifts of $25 to $1,000 to fund sponsorships. Modeled after a similar event at Vanderbilt’s Peabody College, the Dean’s Roundtable was begun by Dr. Jane Stallings, Texas A&M University’s first female dean.

“The roundtable at Vanderbilt provided an opportunity for donors to recognize individuals who had influenced their life or the lives of others. It was a wonderful event that helped to raise funds to advance education,” Jane says. “I wanted to bring something similar to the college when I became dean, with a specific focus on recognizing educators.”

The second Dean’s Roundtable was a tremendous success, with 29 educators being honored. “Initially, I just wanted to get through that first year,” Jane says, “but members of the Dean’s Advisory Council grabbed hold of this event and made it successful for two decades!”

Since its inception, more than 400 educators have been recognized at the Dean’s Roundtable, and over $400,000 has been raised for scholarships and various college priorities. With inspiring keynote speakers and deserving honorees, the event has become a perennial favorite.

“Over time, listening to people from all walks of life, I have learned that the best teachers are those who make students feel cared for and who provide opportunities for them to develop their potential. They love to teach and make it fun to learn,” Jane says. “These are the educators who are celebrated each year at the Dean’s Roundtable.”

Here’s to another 20 years of honoring educators and funding scholarships for the teachers of tomorrow!