Hello, my name is Monte Monreal, and I’m thrilled to introduce myself as the new Head of Membership at the Harry Ransom Center. Moving from within the Center, my career began seven years ago as a part-time staffer at the Visitor Services desk. In my most recent role as the Manager of Visitor Experiences, I may have had the pleasure of guiding you on an exhibition tour, or perhaps I worked with you in a capacity as a volunteer. I will be a new face to many, and I relish the opportunity to cultivate my relationship with our current Members and those interested in enhancing their cultural experience at the Center.
Having spent years inside the multifaceted effort to preserve, explore, interpret, and share material history, I have come to comprehend the narrative breadth objects contain. Whether it is the stitching on a centuries-old binding, an actor’s notes in the margins of their prompt book, a single image circled in wax pencil on a contact sheet, story boards quickly mapped out on a film set, or a sketch with present details as noteworthy as those erased, objects have a great deal to say. Though, I have learned in equal measure that these objects need advocates to amplify their stories. This duality is where the Ransom Center’s staff ply their wide-ranging skills, but it also speaks to the sustained support of our incredible Members.
To assign appropriate words to the myriad challenges faced in the past 18 months would require a new magnitude of vocabulary, but this I can say with certainty: the Ransom Center pressed onward. This is in no small part to the solidarity of our Members who stood with us in the face of unprecedented times. As a brighter horizon draws near—replete with the excitement of the Center’s many offerings—I look forward to connecting with you.