Baylor Institute for Oral History Receives Top Honor from Texas Historical Commission

2023 Governor’s Award for Historic Preservation honors Institute for Oral History for “efforts in preserving Texas’ cultural and historic resources”

May 8, 2023
Governor's Award for Historic Preservation being present to the Baylor Institute for Oral History by Texas Governor Greg Abbott and members of the Texas Historical Commission

(L to R): Baylor Institute for Oral History staff, editor Michelle Holland, lecturer and assistant director Adrienne Cain, senior editor and collections manager Steven Sielaff, director and associate professor of history Stephen Sloan, Ph.D., Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, Texas Historical Commission Executive Director Mark Wolfe and THC board chair John L. Nau III. (Photo courtesy of the Governor's Office)

Contact: Lori Fogleman, Baylor University Media & Public Relations, 254-709-5959
Follow us on Twitter: @BaylorUMedia

WACO, Texas (May 8, 2023) – The Texas Historical Commission (THC) has awarded the Baylor University Institute for Oral History (BUIOH) with the Governor’s Award for Historic Preservation, the highest honor in Texas in the field of historic preservation.

Presented at THC’s annual conference in Austin, the Governor’s Award recognizes an individual organization exhibiting exceptional efforts at preserving historic and prehistoric heritage. The Baylor Institute for Oral History provides fellowships and workshops while serving as host the Texas Oral History Association, a network for oral history practitioners that promotes the use of professional interviewing and archiving standards. BUIOH also shares its work through multiple avenues. More than 200 of the Institute’s projects are widely available to the public, making it one of the most important Texas history collections in the world.

“For the Baylor’s Institute for Oral History to be recognized at this level is really special and a testament to the dedication and expertise of our faculty, staff and student employees,” said Stephen Sloan, Ph.D., director of the Institute and associate professor of history at Baylor. “Our work of preserving the oral memoirs of Texas goes back to 1970, and for the Texas Historical Commission to recognize our efforts helps keep us motivated for the next 50 years.”

The THC hosted an award ceremony as part of the “Real Places Conference,” where speakers addressed the challenges and triumphs associated with preserving Texas’ cultural heritage and history. Joining Sloan at the event were Steven Sielaff, M.A., senior editor and collections manager of the BUIOH; Michelle Holland, M.A., editor of the BUIOH; and Adrienne Cain, M.L.S., lecturer and assistant director of the BUIOH.

At a separate ceremony hosted by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, members of Baylor’s Institute for Oral History were presented with a special commendation.


Through dynamic, recorded interviews, the Institute for Oral History at Baylor University preserves the stories of individuals who helped create the fabric of history and whose lives, in turn, were shaped by the people, places, events and ideas of their day. The Institute has recorded and preserved oral histories since 1970, earning along the way a strong reputation for multidisciplinary outreach to both academic scholars and community historians by providing professional leadership, educational tools and research opportunities. In 2019, the Institute joined the Baylor University Libraries, further strengthening the division for service to researchers and scholars. For more information, visit the Institute for Oral History website.


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked Research 1 institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 20,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.