David J. Weber, former Humanities Texas board member and professor of history at Southern Methodist University, passed away on August 20, 2010. Weber, who served on our board in 1989 and then again from 1997–2001, was a leading scholar of the Spanish and Mexican borderlands and the American Southwest. In 2006, he delivered the keynote presentations at our summer teacher institutes in Houston and El Paso exploring the history and culture of the U.S.-Mexico border.
Dr. Weber joined SMU's Department of History in 1976 and served as its director from 1979 to 1986. He was also the founding director of the William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies at SMU. The Clements Center for Southwest Studies is widely regarded as the leading institute for the study of the American West and the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands. In leading the History Department's new Ph.D. program and the Clements Center for Southwest Studies, Weber was a mentor to numerous graduate and undergraduate students and was the author or editor of over seventy scholarly articles and twenty-seven books, which have won numerous honors.
Two governments gave Weber the highest honor they can bestow on foreigners: in 2002 King Juan Carlos of Spain named him to membership in the Real Orden de Isabel la Católica, the Spanish equivalent of a knighthood, and in 2005 Mexico named him to the Orden Mexicana del Águila Azteca (the Order of the Aztec Eagle). He was one of a few U.S. historians elected to the Mexican Academy of History. In 2007, he was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.