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Long-serving director Michael Gillette to leave Humanities Texas

Michael Barnes
Michael Gillette retires as director of Humanities Texas effective July 31, 2019. [Contributed]

Michael Gillette, longtime director of Humanities Texas, the state counterpart to the National Endowment for the Humanities, will retire at the end of July. His replacement will be familiar to the teachers, authors, historians and museum directors who depend on the services of Humanities Texas, since Eric Lupfer is the body’s current director of grants and admissions.

Gillette, an oral history expert who put out the authoritative “Lady Bird Johnson: An Oral History,” was an employee of the National Archives for 31 years. He directed Humanities Texas for a subsequent 16 years. During that time, the nonprofit raised almost $19 million in grants and gifts, including the $4 million used to buy and renovate the award-winning Byrne-Reed House at 1410 Rio Grande St.

During Gillette’s tenure, too, Humanities Texas conducted more than 250 development programs for the state’s classroom teachers; provided grants and touring exhibits for schools, libraries, museums and other cultural institutions; and created reading programs for veterans and families.

Like Gillette, Lupfer earned his PhD from the University of Texas. He has been a senior member of the Humanities Texas staff for 15 years. He oversaw the group’s Hurricane Relief Grants initiative, which granted 52 awards worth a total of $200,000 to Texas cultural groups hit hard by Hurricane Harvey.

UPDATE: A previous version of this post contained a wrong fundraising total.

Humanities Texas

Where: 1410 Rio Grande St.

Info: 512-440-1991,