School of Arts and Humanities News

Professors Honored by Students, Benefactors at Investiture Ceremony


Ashbel Smith Professor Theresa Towner, with her husband, Steve Sloan, has held every academic rank at the University, from part-time senior lecturer to an endowed professorship.

Newly invested as an Ashbel Smith Professor, Dr. Theresa Towner took a moment to reflect on her path as a Comet.

“With the endowment of this chair, I have held every academic rank at The University of Texas at Dallas that is possible to hold, from part-time senior lecturer to full professor, and now, a named chair,” said Towner, literary studies professor in the School of Arts and Humanities. “It is a long, long way from the one-bedroom apartment I shared with my husband while writing my dissertation.”

Towner was among 20 faculty members to receive new appointments during the 2018 University Investiture Ceremony, where they were recognized before their families, colleagues, mentors and students.

UT Dallas has more than 120 chairs and professorships that recognize the scholarship and research of senior faculty members.

Dr. Jessica Murphy, Mary McDermott Cook Chair for Undergraduate Education, poses with doctoral student Alisa Bovda, University President Richard C. Benson and Provost Inga Musselman. Bovda introduced Murphy during the ceremony.

The honorees were each recognized briefly by a student speaker they selected. They then received a medallion from University President Richard C. Benson and their respective deans.