Spirit of the Centennial Award

The Spirit of the Centennial Award is presented annually by the Friends of Fair Park to individuals or organizations who have demonstrated outstanding service and commitment to Fair Park. The award draws its name from the beloved statue in Fair Park, designed by Raoul Josset in 1936 to celebrate the Texas Centennial. The luncheon will be held on Tuesday, April 5, 2022 inside the Hall of State at Fair Park.

2022 Spirit of the Centennial Award Recipient

Dr. Harry Robinson, Jr.

African American Museum

Fair Park | Dallas, TX

Since 1974 Dr. Harry Robinson, Jr. has served as President/CEO of the African American Museum along with several administrative positions at Bishop College, which included library director, associate dean of academic affairs, special assistant to the president, and vice president for development. As President/CEO of the African American Museum, he completed a Capital Campaign to raise 6.8 million dollars for the Museum’s new facility.

Dr. Robinson has dedicated his career and directed his energies towards establishing a Museum that will be a tribute to the heritage of the black people not only in Dallas, but nationwide. Associated with the establishment of the physical facility of the Museum are many auxiliary and educational events and activities. As a result of these activities and events, Dr. Robinson spends an inordinate amount of time and energy in community and church relations – his goal always in the forefront – to awaken and arouse the consciousness of people about the rich culture and heritage through exhibitions at the Museum and educational programs. In any conversation with Dr. Robinson, the emphasis is on chronicling the struggles and celebrating the accomplishments of black people the world over.

Dr. Robinson has carried this philosophy with him and has focused on it throughout his life’s career where he has served in various capacities with: The Society of Southwest Archivists; The American Library Association and President of the African American Museums Association. Other professional activities include serving as a consultant for the National Endowment for the Humanities; panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts; reader for the National Historical Publications and Records Commission; juror for the Studio Museum in Harlem; reviewer and panelist for the Institute of Museum Services; and The Council of the American Association of Museums. He has been involved in numerous local civic and cultural activities which include: Dallas Theater Center, Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Society, Inc., Booker T. Washington High School for the Visual and Performing Arts, Arts District Friends, and The Southwest Black Arts Festival.

Harry Robinson, Jr. was born in New Orleans, Louisiana and grew up in Lafourche Parish, Louisiana. He received a Bachelor’s degree from Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, a Master’s degree in Library Science from Atlanta University and a Doctorate degree from the University of Illinois-Champaign Urbana. His education was furthered in museum management and art history at the University of California-Berkley and the University of Texas at Austin and Dallas respectively. He also did further study at the University of Dallas.

He is very active at the Good Street Baptist Church where he serves as Chair of the Librarian / Historical Commission.

Sponsorship Information

Friends of Fair Park would like to send out a big "Thank you!" to our sponsors.

Title Sponsor

Phoenix 1 Restoration

Texas Woofus Level

Anitoch Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church

George Dahl Level

Dallas Progress Community Development

State Fair of Texas

Esplanade Level

African American Museum

Beclaire Realty, LTD.

Bell Nunnally Attorneys & Counselors

Ben E. Keith

On-Target Supplies & Logistics

Parking Company of America

Previous Recipients

1994 Judge David Fox

1995 Hugh and Matilda Robinson

1996 Walt Humann
1997 Lt. Governor Bob Bullock, Texas State Legislature
1998 Mary Ceverha, Rita Cox, Carol Reed
1999 State Fair Association
2000 Michael A. Jenkins
2001 Cathy Bonner, Matrice Ellis Kirk, Dealey Herndon, Candace O’Keefe
2002 Rep. Steven D. Wolens
2003 Paul Dyer
2004 Texas Instruments
2005 Rep. Terri Hodge
2006 The Field Scovell Family

2007 Craig Holcomb

2008 The Meadows Foundation
2009 Dallas Area Rapid Transit
2010 George A. Shafer
2011 Gold Metal Recyclers
2012 Joan & Alan Walne
2013 Mary Suhm
2014 WFAA-TV Channel 8
2015 James P. Graham
2016 Willis Winters
2017 Virginia Savage McAlester
2018 Bob Hilbun
2019 Mike Rawlings

2021 Trammell S. Crow 

Friends of Fair Park is a member-supported non profit advocacy group. Donate or join today!

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