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Travelstead Endowment Supports Faculty Excellence

“A highly qualified, dedicated, and industrious faculty is the very heart
and soul of a first-rate university.”
—Dr. Chester C. Travelstead, UNM’s first Provost and Dean of the College of Education (1956-1968)

Chester TravelsteadOn October 29, 1976, in a speech titled The Spirit of a Great University, Dr. Chester C. Travelstead told the UNM Alumni Association, “A highly qualified, dedicated, and industrious faculty is the very heart and soul of a first-rate university.” He also spoke about attracting and retaining a great faculty, noting the necessity of offering “enough money” as compensation. As Dean of the College of Education, Travelstead put these ideas into practice, as he actively recruited outstanding professors.

In 2002, the Chester C. Travelstead Endowed Faculty Fellowship for Teacher Education was created by the former dean, family, friends, and alumni and was matched by New Mexico legislative funds. Today, Travelstead’s legacy continues to support the exceptional faculty whose work makes a profound and positive impact on the children of New Mexico.

Chester Travelstead was a much loved dean whose leadership and commitment to excellence and inclusion led to significant developments in the College of Education. Travelstead created the first doctoral program in education at UNM, set admission standards for education majors, and focused on recruiting outstanding faculty. Under his watch, the College of Education expanded its coursework to include special education, guidance and counseling, school administration, and teaching English to Hispanic and Native American children.

Dr. Travelstead obtained national notice in 1955, when he was dismissed from the University of South Carolina, where he was Dean of the College of Education, for publicly stating, “It is my firm conviction that enforced segregation of the races in our public schools can no longer be justified on any basis and should, therefore, be abolished…”
Under President Popejoy, UNM hired Travelstead in 1956 as the Dean of the College of Education. In 1968, he was appointed Vice President for Academic Affairs, and in 1976 he became UNM’s first provost. Dr. Travelstead’s exemplary leadership was honored with the naming of Travelstead Hall.

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