june 11, 2003

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Wallis collection given to OSU-Tulsa; tribute dinner planned

Award-winning author Michael Wallis has donated his collection of literary papers, including his personal Route 66 files, to Oklahoma State University-Tulsa and the Oklahoma Center for Poets and Writers.

OSU-Tulsa President Gary Trennepohl said the university will honor Wallis for his contributions at a reception and dinner June 13 at Gilcrease Museum. The extensive Wallis Collection includes written material such as research notes, transcripts, and various generations of manuscripts and correspondence from all 11 of the best-selling author's published works.

Wallis also contributed his extensive files covering every facet of Route 66, the legendary highway that is the subject of one of his most noteworthy and popular books.

"Michael Wallis is one of Oklahoma's and the country's finest nonfiction authors," said OSU-Tulsa President Gary Trennepohl. "His choice of OSU-Tulsa as the home for his important collection increases the prestige of our university and our growing literary archives."

The files have been carefully archived, catalogued and indexed and will be available for students, scholars, and other serious researchers, according to Beth Freeman, OSU-Tulsa library director. The Wallis Collection is located in the Special Collections area at the OSU-Tulsa Library. Other prominent Oklahoma authors whose papers are housed in this facility include William Bernhardt, Carolyn Hart, Dr. Lydia Wyckoff and Teresa Miller, executive director of the Oklahoma Center for Poets and Writers.

"I selected OSU-Tulsa and the Oklahoma Center for Poets and Writers to house and maintain this collection so it may inspire other authors and also make this important research material available to others," Wallis said.

Wallis, a three-time Pulitzer Prize nominee, was recently named scholar-in-residence and serves as a distinguished visiting lecturer for OSU-Tulsa in the American Studies program. Other honors Wallis has received include the first John Steinbeck Award, the Lynn Riggs Award and the Arrell Gibson Lifetime Achievement Award. He is a member of both the Oklahoma Writer's Hall of Fame and the Missouri Writer's Hall of Fame, and was the first inductee into the Oklahoma Route 66 Hall of Fame.

Tickets to the Wallis dinner are $66 each with the proceeds to benefit the OSU-Tulsa Library and student scholarships for the OSU American Studies program. Folk musician and noted scholar, Dr. Guy Logsdon will perform, and a video scrapbook will present images of Wallis' life as a writer. The reception begins at 6:30 p.m. followed by dinner at 7 p.m. For further information, please call 594-8133.

Story contact: Mary Bea Drummond, OSU-Tulsa