Governor Greg Abbott has appointed three new members to the Board of Humanities Texas: Laurie Morian, Ellen K. Ramsey, and Stephanie Tucker.

“We’ve been very fortunate with gubernatorial appointees,” Michael Gillette, Executive Director of Humanities Texas told The Southeast Texas Record.

Humanities Texas is the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. An equivalent organization exists in every state. Each one works with communities throughout their states to promote history, literature, language and philosophy. The Governor appoints six members of the 30 member board. The rest of the membership is elected by the board itself.

“They’ve been wonderful board members and have advanced our mission significantly,” Gillette said, of past gubernatorial appointees, “after they’ve finished their gubernatorial appointment they’re often elected to the board.”

Appointees serve two year terms, though they do not step down until they are replaced by a new appointee, so their terms can sometimes be longer.

Members of the board include University Presidents, professors, and civic leaders.

Laurie Morian is a former private wealth advisor with a resume that includes Avalon Advisors, Norther Turst, Chemical Bank New York, and Texas Commerce bank. She was the corporate secretary and co-manager of the 2005 Canada World Fair Exposition. Currently she serves as a board member and curator’s circle member of the Houston Museum of Natural Science, board member of the Museum Fine Arts Houston, member of the Junior League of Houston, supporter of the Inner City Nutcracker, and advisor for YES Prep. She has been instrumental in bringing important historical artifacts to Houston, including the “Lucy” fossil and an original edition of the Magna Carta.

Ellen K. Ramsey is a partner at Ramsey Petroleum, LP. She is an education committee member for the Midland Chamber of Commerce and serves as board member and treasurer for the Midland County Public Library Foundation, as well as board member for the I-20 Wildlife Preserve & Jenna Welch Nature Study Center and committee member for the City of Midland Hotel/Motel Tax Advisory Council.

Stephanie Tucker is a community volunteer active in organizations serving the Houston area. She is an active member of The Brookwood Community Volunteers and the United Way Women’s Initiative. She is a former member of the Junior League of Houston and the Zoo Friends of Houston. Tucker earned a Bachelor of Science in speech communications from the University of Texas at Austin.

The new appointees will help Humanities Texas to pursue its goal of promoting lifelong education in the humanities. The nonprofit’s primary focus is on improving the quality of classroom teaching, but they also work with museums and libraries to help them bring in traveling exhibitions and conduct public programs. They give 15 outstanding teaching awards each year, produce the public radio series Texas Originals, and provide grants to fund public programs.

“It’s a great board and both the gubernatorial appointees and the elected members really enjoy being on the board and assisting the organization in their communities,” Gillette said. “It’s a very collegial board, and one that enjoys getting together.”

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