Highlights of the Conference

  Friday, April 1


Participants may elect to take one of two tours at the Dallas Cowboys stadium. The optional tours start at 2:00 and 3:00 pm. The price is $20 for a guided tour. Transportation to and from the stadium is not provided. The tickets may be purchased at the check-in table starting at 1:00 pm. You must arrive at the stadium at least fifteen minutes prior to the start of the tour so please plan accordingly. A representative of the stadium will be present at the check-in table at UT Arlington for further information.

The UT Arlington Planetarium will offer two shows at 3:00 and 4:00 pm. The planetarium, one of the largest and most sophisticated in the Southwest, features a Digistar 4 projection system that can project stars, planets, galaxies as they look in the real sky anywhere on the earth. The theater provides comfortable reclining seats for an audience of nearly 150 and is wheelchair-friendly. The planetarium can provide radio headsets for the hearing-impaired.

Shuttle buses will circulate between the Arlington Hilton and the university Friday afternoon.


The plenary dinner is scheduled for 5:00 pm in the Bluebonnet Ballroom of the University Center on the UT Arlington campus. The featured speaker is Dr. Roy Hawthorne, a Navajo Code Talker during the Second World War. In 1942 Dr. Hawthorne and several friends left their reservation in Arizona to join the Marine Corps. They were members of a contingent of radiomen who communicated tactical information among U.S. fighting units in their native language. The Japanese intercepted their messages but were never able to decipher them. The Code Talkers' contributions were crucial to the success of many operations, including the Battles of Guadalcanal and Iwo Jima. Dr. Hawthorne is now a retired Baptist minister.

  Saturday, April 2


The plenary lunch will take place at the Hilton Arlington. Dr. Mary Vaccaro, Professor of Art History at UT Arlington and an internationally known specialist in Italian Renaissance art, will speak about The Torment of Saint Anthony (the only painting by Michelangelo in an American collection) as well as other outstanding works in the Kimbell Art Museum. Dr. Vaccaro has received fellowships, lectureships and research grants from the Metropolitan Museum, Harvard University, the American Academy in Rome, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

After lunch, coaches will depart for the museum district in Fort Worth. The Kimbell Art Museum, the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, and the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth all are within a few minutes' walk of one another and may be visited free of charge by GPHC meeting attendees. The Fort Worth Museum of Science and History and the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame are also located nearby.


Saturday after dinner at the Hilton Hotel, Dr. Dennis Maher, Associate Professor of Theatre Arts at UT Arlington, will channel the controversial and inspirational spirit of Mark Twain. He will perform "The Trouble Begins at Eight," an original one-man show he has adapted over the past 40 years from Twain's writings and speeches. Following the performance, Maher will remain in character as he takes questions from the audience.

At a St. Louis theatre, following a 1976 bicentennial celebration performance, Maher met one of Twain's cousins, Cyril Clemens, who paid him the highest of compliments. "He told me that, 'Next to the original, you're the best Twain I ever saw.'" Dr. Maher's opinions on popular culture, theatre, film and baseball have appeared in many national publications, including the New York Daily News, USA Today, and the Christian Science Monitor.

Great Plains Honors Council 2011 Conference at UT Arlington
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