Trinity University Press skips across Trinity’s modern history like a kind literary morse code, publishing local and regional volumes before shuttering in 1989, only to return at the dawn of a new millennium with an intensity that has earned the small press kudos and awards around the globe.
When President John Brazil announced his intention to revive Trinity University Press in 2000, Trinity Trustee Gilbert Denman, chair of the Ewing Halsell Foundation, answered the call. The Foundation’s nearly $3 million gift heralded a new era for the press, then located in Chapman Graduate Center. Quickly, a leadership team of vision and talent was recruited, with the now-legendary press director and poet Barbara Ras at the helm, and current director Tom Payton at her side. Together, they and a team of talented editors and marketers grew the Press’ catalogue and reputation, expanding into digital books as well as online databases, podcasts and mobile app projects.
All along, the press has maintained an exceptional focus on its strengths in the areas of nature and the environment, architecture, urban planning, landscape, literature, memoir, place history and culture, and the American Southwest. More than 150 books later, the press has won more than 45 awards and earned a place on best-of and bestsellers lists time and time again.
Payton is proud of all Trinity University Press has accomplished, both as a small and formidable publisher, but for Trinity as well. “As a result of the quality books we publish, we are proud to garner broad-reaching and positive attention for Trinity University,” he told Trinity magazine in 2014.
This year, TU Press published a history of the University’s 150th Anniversary, Trinity University: Honoring the Past, Shaping the Future. The innovative compilation is the result of collaboration across the Trinity community and tells the inspiring and rather unlikely story of Trinity University in photographs, bursts of text, and infographics.