More than 60 TI retirees, former TIers, and guests attended the Annual Meeting of the TI Alumni Association, held May 25, at the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library in downtown Dallas. Gary Stopani, President, Greg Boydston, Executive Vice President, and Dorothy McAllister, Secretary, were elected to another term. David Reid, was elected as Treasurer, and joins the TIAA Leadership Team, having retired in 2014, after 26 years, where he served 12 years as TI’s Vice President and Director of Ethics. Gary recognized Kate Newman for her service as Treasurer the past two years. (Short bios of the offficers may be seen in the Executive Committee submenu.
Following the business meeting, Gary recognized Jessica Stewart for her ten years of service to TIAA, and presented a plaque and gifts.
Gayla Bush, a manager at the library, welcomed attendees and introduced the speakers. She also pointed out TIAA Members, Ed Millis and Shirley Sloat, who have recently had publications accepted into the Dallas Public Library cataloging system. Gayla then told the audience there would be a surprise to start the program. With that the doors soon opened and the Director of the Library, Mary Jo Giudice and a security guard rolled in the rare copy of the Declaration of Independence in its protective case, and invited the audience to view it. Mary Jo gave the history of the printed document and told how it made its way to Dallas, after being discovered folded in a book in a Philadelphia book store as it was going out of business (six Dallas benefactors donated $50K each). One hundred copies were originally printed in 1776 and sent via Pony Express to the 13 colonies. It is said to be the only copy on display West of the Mississippi and one of only 26 known to be in existence.
Penny Castillo, Library Associate, responsible for the 7th Floor, gave a presentation on the TI Founders, and highlighted their contributions to many Dallas institutions, and other organizations around the world. She also mentioned the awards and recognitions received, including the Knighthood presented to Cecil Green in 1991 by Queen Elizabeth II. During the tour, attendees were able to view the rare Navaho Blanket collection given by Eugene and Margaret McDermott to the library, and from the 7th Floor meeting room, we were able to view the Dallas City Hall, considered one of the many contributions by Erik Jonsson to Dallas, while serving as Mayor.
Ari Wilkins, Genealogist for the library, then gave an informative overview of the collections available on the 8th Floor, and highlighted the digital resources that are now available for genealogy research. Some of these are available for online viewing, and others may be accessed by visiting the library. The Dallas Library is now considered to be in the top ten genealogy libraries in the country.