The Maegene Nelson Visiting Scholar Program in Cross-Disciplinary Arts
The Maegene Nelson Visiting Scholar Program, established with funds from her estate, recognizes her interests in multiple arts and her pleasure in extending support to others. The endowed program underwrites expenses for visits of scholars whose research experiences embody varied types of cross-disciplinary involvement with arts and other disciplines. Diverse combinations of expertise will provide exemplary case studies in combining multiple disciplines at high levels of achievement for students in the College of Visual & Performing Arts' flagship Fine Arts Doctoral Program. These students combine a multi-disciplinary core of coursework in art, music, theatre, and philosophical aesthetics with a specialization in one of the arts disciplines. Maegene Nelson Visiting Scholars, in addition, will stimulate TTU faculty members by integration of visiting scholarship within existing curricular offerings, and will enliven campus and community discourse by means of public presentation(s).
Maegene Nelson, avid supporter of cultural arts throughout her life, was honored by family members with establishment of the endowment that bears her name. Born in Ohio in 1943, Maegene Nelson grew up in Lubbock. Her parents Jack O. and Rose Mary Nelson encouraged her interest in the arts at an early age. Piano and viola studies, begun by the time of elementary school, led to a lifelong enjoyment of music and to her position as violist in the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra when still in high school. Nelson was also an enthusiastic student of watercolor. Following graduation, Maegene enrolled in Texas Tech, becoming the first Latin major to graduate from the university. She then taught Latin, English, and French at Glendale High School in Arizona, while undertaking graduate studies at Arizona State University and the Université Catholique de l'Ouest in Angers, France. She received a master's degree from the American Graduate School of International Management, and began a new career in banking as a commercial lending officer with Chemical Bank (now J.P. Morgan Chase) and Bank of Montreal. Nelson loved opera and, because of her employment posts in New York, Houston, and Chicago, she enjoyed performances by some of the nation's great opera companies. Maegene returned to Lubbock in 2001, where, for several years, she was a Vice President of Wells Fargo Bank. From this point until her death in 2008, Nelson was active in various organizations, including the Lubbock Women's Club, Executive Women's Forum, the Lubbock Master Gardeners Club and Lubbockview Christian Church, and she maintained membership in alumni associations, the National Ranching Heritage Center, and Texas Tech Friends of Music. The Maegene Nelson Visiting Scholar program fittingly attests to her memory by providing cultural capital in the form of engaged scholarship embracing a variety of fields of expertise in support of Texas Tech University's Fine Arts Doctoral Program and the Lubbock community at large.