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Endowed professorship filled in the College of Liberal Arts

Monday, March 12, 2018 • Media Contact: Herb Booth

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After a nationwide search, Delaina Price has been selected as the Fenton Wayne Robnett Assistant Professor of History at The University of Texas at Arlington. 

The Fenton Wayne Robnett Endowment was established by the late Fenton Robnett to facilitate students’ learning of United States history.  

Robnett, who graduated with a UTA bachelor’s degree in history in 1965, taught in Dallas schools for more than 30 years. The Robnett Endowment provides funding in UTA’s College of Education, the College of Nursing and Health Innovations, and the College of Liberal Arts to benefit students who are pursuing degrees in social studies teaching and secondary school certification.

Delania Price

Delaina Price received UTA's Fenton Wayne Robnett Assistant Professor of History endowment.

The College of Liberal Arts Committee on Endowed Professorships recommended that Price be recognized for the early career excellence she has demonstrated as a teacher and scholar of United States history.

Scott Palmer, professor and chair of the Department of History, commended the committee’s decision noting that, “Dr. Price’s formal pedagogical training, along with her teaching experience and research specialization in African American business enterprises and entrepreneurialism, will greatly enrich the history department and the larger university.”

Price is an exceptionally well-qualified classroom leader. She earned a doctorate in history from Yale University, a master’s degree in African American Studies from Yale, a master’s degree in education from Harvard, and graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa with bachelor’s degrees in history and English from George Washington University. 

Price is currently a visiting assistant professor at Hollins University in Roanoke, Va.

While at Yale, Price was awarded two fellowships for graduate study from the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition at the Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies, a Bloomfield Fellowship and a John F. Enders Fellowship and Research Grant.

She has taught undergraduate classes in Public History, Black Women in the U.S., the American South, the Modern United States and African American History until 1863. Her graduate teaching has focused on slavery, abolition and modern African American history. 

Gerald Jaynes, professor of economics and African American Studies at Yale, said, “Black cooperative enterprises challenged state-sponsored discrimination, black economic deprivation, and in the larger realm of the early 20th century, struggle for racial equality provided a framework for African American economic protest.”

In her current book project, Price draws upon business records, statistics of sales, profit and loss, and historical documents such as sermons, speeches, papers of educators and articles in the African American press.

Jaynes said, “We still know relatively little about the group economic aspirations and ventures of the freed slaves and their immediate progeny during the period between the end of reconstruction and the beginning of the Great Migration about 1910. Dr. Price’s work promises to illuminate that story.”

Price joins an accomplished team of scholar-teachers in the Department of History. Leading experts in their respective fields, the department’s interdisciplinary faculty have been recognized for their path-breaking scholarship through fellowships and grants from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, American Council of Learned Societies, British Library, National Endowment for the Humanities, and National Humanities Center, among many others. Their accomplishments extend into the classroom where they have likewise garnered recognition for innovative instructional methods that promote student engagement and success.

History faculty are key contributors to the College of Liberal Arts’ mission, which focuses on elevating the human condition through research, scholarship and creative activity. The college boasts more than 300 faculty who are nationally and internationally recognized as experts in their fields and renowned for their award-winning research. These dedicated professionals serve a diverse population of more than 4,000 students in 12 departments and four centers; the college offers 47 majors in the humanities, social sciences and fine arts. 

With defining values of inclusiveness, diversity, community and collaboration, the College of Liberal Arts provides students with the ability to examine their place in the world. Faculty are expected to encourage the cultivation of partnerships and collaborative efforts to make an impact on a local and global society.

Stephanie Cole, who chaired the national search committee, observes that, “Dr. Price’s research on African American cooperative business enterprises in the Jim Crow South demonstrates not only a keen awareness of the oppressive world in which African Americans functioned, but also how talented business leaders worked together to navigate difficult terrain successfully. Her command of 19th and early 20th century national and regional economies as well as the literature on African American business history is impressive.”

Elisabeth Cawthon, dean of the College of Liberal Arts, said, “Dr. Price is an outstanding hire owing to her commitment to first-rate teaching as well as her exceptional research on black entrepreneurship. Her work dovetails with the focus of the College of Liberal Arts upon entrepreneurialism in the arts, humanities and social sciences. She is uniquely equipped to make a seamless entry into the College as we continue to support UTA’s Strategic Plan 2020 Bold Solutions | Global Impact."

Price officially joins the college as a faculty member at UTA in August 2018. She will teach U.S. history with a specialization in African American history.

Visit to learn more about the Department of History.