Since the revival of the Trinity University Press in 2002, the press has blossomed into a dynamic and ever growing publishing institution. The press boasts having more than 250 published books, numerous awards and multitude of accolades from around the globe with 15-20+ books being published a year.
In 1961, Trinity University President James W Laurie’s (1951-1970) eye’s were set on bringing more attention to Trinity’s graduate education program. To further this emphasis, the university acquired the Principia Press of Illinois, a small private press. Mathematics professor Harold T. Davis and History Professor Donald E. Everett, were largely responsible for bringing the press to San Antonio, with Everett serving as the managing editor. The press had a small staff and a modest budget, but by 1975, almost a hundred titles had been published. A few years later, in 1967, the name of the press was changed to the now greatly recognized, Trinity University Press. Under this new, more recognizable name, the press published books such as Baronial Forts of the Big Bend (1969) by Leavitt Corning Jr. and the psychology book Creating Theater (1968) by Ruth Byers. Despite its success, the press came to a temporary end in 1989 under president Ronald K Calgaard (1979-1999), but just on the horizon was a comeback greater than ever.
In 2000, president John R. Brazil (1999-2010) commissioned a reinstatement of the press and in 2002, a national search for Director of the Press commenced. The search concluded with the appointment of Barbara Ras, who had sweeping experience in the publishing industry, as well as being a Guggenheim Fellow and a Rockefeller Grant Recipient, among various other notable accomplishments. This revitalization was funded by a $2.9 million grant from the Ewing Halsell Foundation. Trinity Trustee and chairman of the Ewing Halsell Foundation, Gilbert Denman, was deeply invested in the resurrection of the press and was tremendously pleased with the appointment of Barbara Ras.
The first books were published in 2004 and the press hasn’t slowed down since. Under Barbara Ras’s innovative leadership the press cultivated both national and international acclaim in a time when the digital world was beginning to take over. The press celebrated its 10 year anniversary in January of 2014 and along with that, all of its accomplishments in just a decade. In 2015, the press acquired the San Antonio based Maverick Publishing Company, in hopes of growing their presence in books focused on the history and culture of Texas, as well as the American Southwest.
The next significant change took place on January 1st of 2016 when Tom Payton stepped up as the Director of the Press, with Barbara Ras assuming the position of Associate Director for Editorial. Tom Payton, who initially joined the press in 2010, is highly qualified, bringing with him 30 years of experience and has worked not only with the Trinity University Press, but also the University of Georgia Press, The Hill Street Press and has served on numerous boards and committees. Since the first books were published under Ras in 2004, there are now more than 250 titles in print with the publishing of 15-20+ titles per year. From the start of the press, during a time of growth and change for Trinity University, to the current press, Trinity University Press has had a rich history, deeply rooted in Trinity University, as well as San Antonio. The press continues to grow and strives to make an impact on the world, one reader at a time.