Elliot West

With a degree of success unparalleled in the enterprise of Western American history, you have provided Westerners with their most effective – and entrancing and engaging – remedy for the affliction of amnesia. In archives everywhere, you have sought out the words of the people of the Western past, performing as a one-person “search and rescue” team to free their voices from the silence forced upon them by time and by death. Exercising a combination of intensity, charm, analytic force, and humor, you have given Westerners of the present and future an extraordinary opportunity for self-knowledge. The providential fact that you launched your breathtaking career from this campus adds stature to every degree this University awards. Although they waited decades for their historian, the children of the Western past ended up with the best practitioner of this art and craft, and the children of the Western future will have you as their guide and companion in knowing their home.