TSHA announces new award honoring renowned historian Randolph B. “Mike” Campbell The Randolph B. “Mike” Campbell Award will recognize authors of the year’s most exceptional new Handbook of Texas entries


November 16th, 2020 (updated 1 year ago)

AUSTIN, Texas – On Monday, in celebration of his 80th birthday and in honor of his decades-long career in the field of Texas history, the Texas State Historical Association announced the establishment of the Randolph B. “Mike” Campbell Award. The new award will be given annually to recognize the authors of the year’s most outstanding new entries to the Handbook of Texas, TSHA’s online encyclopedic resource on the history of the Lone Star State.

Mike Campbell’s celebrated career as a historian and educator began in 1963 with his first position as an instructor in history at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg. Three years later, after earning his PhD from the University of Virginia, he joined the faculty at North Texas State University, Denton (now the University of North Texas), where he remained until his recent retirement.

For more than five decades, Campbell was a staple of the UNT history department. At UNT, he earned the title of Regents Professor in 1988, received the UNT Foundation Eminent Faculty Award in 2013, and in that same year, became the inaugural Lone Star Chair in Texas History. While serving as a professor, Campbell authored numerous award-winning books on the history of Texas, including Gone to Texas: A History of the Lone Star State and A Southern Community in Crisis: Harrison County Texas, 1850-1880.

Beyond his career at the university, Campbell is one of the most prominent and influential members of the Texas State Historical Association. He served as president of TSHA from 1993-1994 and as the Association’s inaugural Chief Historian from 2008-2017. As Chief Historian, he oversaw the publication of the Southwestern Historical Quarterly and several special projects of the Handbook of Texas, including the Handbook of Civil War Texas, Handbook of African American Texas, and Handbook of Tejano History.

Campbell’s dedication to the growth and success of the Handbook continues today, even following his retirement from academia. He continues to research, write, and revise entries from his home in Denton, and he serves on the Handbook Committee. Throughout his career, TSHA estimates that he has individually authored dozens of original Handbook entries, revised hundreds of existing entries, and reviewed thousands of entries prior to their final publication online.

The Randolph B. “Mike” Campbell Award will celebrate the work of dedicated Handbook authors whose entries meet the high standard set by Campbell. Beginning in 2021, TSHA’s Handbook Committee will select the top two entries published to the Handbook of Texas during the preceding year. The award is open to all authors other than TSHA staff members, and entries will be judged on research quality, readability, and topic significance. The author of the first-place entry will receive a monetary award of $1,500 while the author of the second-place entry will receive $1,000. Winners will be announced at TSHA’s Fellows Luncheon and Presentation of Awards, held during the Association’s Annual Meeting.

For more information on the award, Dr. Mike Campbell, and the Handbook of Texas, visit https://tshaonline.org.

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