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Renowned Tulane University historian leaves bequest for Latin American Library and Stone Center for Latin American Studies

The gift will allow the library to buy rare and unique research materials and will establish a research support fund at the Stone Center. 

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Photo of Tulane historian and professor Richard E. Greenleaf.


January 15, 2013

Mary Sparacello
msparace@tulane.edu

The Tulane University Latin American Library and the Roger Thayer Stone Center for Latin American Studies have received generous gifts from the estate of the late Tulane historian and professor Richard E. Greenleaf. Greenleaf, former chairman of Tulane’s history department and director of the Stone Center, was a towering figure in Latin American colonial history.   

Greenleaf’s gift to the library will fund special acquisitions, allowing the library to buy rare and unique research materials, a cause close to Greenleaf’s heart, said Hortensia Calvo, Doris Stone Director of the Latin American Library. “He knew the value of rare and unique materials to research,” Calvo said.  

Greenleaf had been a committed supporter of the Latin American Library, even after his retirement from the university in 1998. In 2005, Greenleaf gave a generous gift to the Latin American Library to establish the Richard E. Greenleaf Library Fellowships program. The program has allowed some of the most recognized scholars from Latin America and the Caribbean to live in New Orleans and use the library’s resources for research in a wide vriety of disciplines for short-term stays.   

The Stone Center will use Greenleaf’s recent gift to establish a research support fund for the scholars who come to Tulane every year as Zemurray-Stone Post-Doctoral Teaching Fellows in Latin American Studies, said Thomas Reese, who succeeded Greenleaf as the Stone Center’s executive director. Greenleaf was a major supporter of graduate and post-doctoral research. “We thought this would be something he would care deeply about,” Reese said.   

Greenleaf died in 2011, in Albuquerque, N.M., at the age of 81. He came to Tulane in 1969 and was an indomitable force at the university until his retirement. At his retirement, he was the France Vinton Scholes Professor of Colonial Latin American History and director of the Stone Center.   

Greenleaf received his bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of New Mexico and began teaching at the University of Albuquerque in 1953. He moved to Mexico City the next year and taught at the University of the Americas before coming to Tulane. During his career, he authored 11 major scholarly books, served as co-author or contributor on 17 others, published almost four dozen articles and won numerous distinguished awards. During his teaching career, Greenleaf served as mentor to 34 doctoral students, and countless graduate and undergraduate students.   

Tulane is a leader in Latin American studies among the world’s universities. With 460,000 holdings, Tulane’s Latin American Library is one of only three stand-alone Latin American research collections in United States universities. The Stone Center was established in 1962 and is one of the few federally-funded National Resource Centers on Latin America in the Deep South. 

Mary Sparacello is a writer in the Office of Development.

 

 

Office of Development,  P.O. Box 61075, New Orleans, LA 70161-9986 | 504-865-5794  |  888-265-7576 | giving@tulane.edu