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Bram Stoker

Abraham "Bram" Stoker was an Irish author, best known today for his 1897 Gothic horror novel Dracula. During his lifetime, he was better known as the personal assistant of actor Sir Henry Irving and business manager of the Lyceum Theatre, which Irving owned. Stoker was born on 8 November 1847 at 15 Marino Crescent, Clontarf, on the northside of Dublin, Ireland, his parents were Abraham Stoker from Dublin and Charlotte Mathilda Blake Thornley, raised in County Sligo. Stoker was the third of seven children, the eldest of whom was Sir Thornley Stoker, 1st Bt.. Abraham and Charlotte were members of the Church of Ireland Parish of Clontarf and attended the parish church with their children, who were baptised there, Abraham was a senior civil servant. Stoker was bedridden with an unknown illness until he started school at the age of seven, when he made a complete recovery. Of this time, Stoker wrote, "I was thoughtful, the leisure of long illness gave opportunity for many thoughts which were fruitful according to their kind in years."

He was educated in a private school run by the Rev. William Woods. After his recovery, he grew up without further serious illnesses excelling as an athlete at Trinity College, which he attended from 1864 to 1870, he graduated with a BA in 1870, pursued his MA in 1875. Though he in life recalled graduating "with honours in mathematics," this appears to have been a mistake, he was auditor of the College Historical Society and president of the University Philosophical Society, where his first paper was on Sensationalism in Fiction and Society. Stoker became interested in the theatre while a student through his friend Dr. Maunsell. While working for the Irish Civil Service, he became the theatre critic for the Dublin Evening Mail, co-owned by Sheridan Le Fanu, an author of Gothic tales. Theatre critics were held in low esteem. In December 1876, he gave a favourable review of Henry Irving's Hamlet at the Theatre Royal in Dublin. Irving invited Stoker for dinner at the Shelbourne Hotel where he was staying, they became friends.

Stoker wrote stories, "The Crystal Cup" was published by the London Society in 1872, followed by "The Chain of Destiny" in four parts in The Shamrock. In 1876 while a civil servant in Dublin, Stoker wrote the non-fiction book The Duties of Clerks of Petty Sessions in Ireland which remained a standard work. Furthermore, he possessed an interest in art, was a founder of the Dublin Sketching Club in 1879. In 1878 Stoker married Florence Balcombe, daughter of Lieutenant-Colonel James Balcombe of 1 Marino Crescent, she was a celebrated beauty. Stoker had known Wilde from his student days, having proposed him for membership of the university's Philosophical Society while he was president. Wilde was upset at Florence's decision, but Stoker resumed the acquaintanceship, after Wilde's fall visited him on the Continent; the Stokers moved to London, where Stoker became acting manager and business manager of Irving's Lyceum Theatre, London, a post he held for 27 years. On 31 December 1879, Bram and Florence's only child was born, a son whom they christened Irving Noel Thornley Stoker.

The collaboration with Henry Irving was important for Stoker and through him he became involved in London's high society, where he met James Abbott McNeill Whistler and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Working for Irving, the most famous actor of his time, managing one of the most successful theatres in London made Stoker a notable if busy man, he was dedicated to Irving and his memoirs show he idolised him. In London, Stoker met Hall Caine, who became one of his closest friends – he dedicated Dracula to him. In the course of Irving's tours, Stoker travelled the world, although he never visited Eastern Europe, a setting for his most famous novel. Stoker enjoyed the United States. With Irving he was invited twice to the White House, knew William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt. Stoker set two of his novels in America, used Americans as characters, the most notable being Quincey Morris, he met one of his literary idols, Walt Whitman. Stoker was a regular visitor to Cruden Bay in Scotland between 1893 and 1910.

His month-long holidays to the Aberdeenshire coastal village provided a large portion of available time for writing his books. Two novels were set in Cruden Bay: The Watter's Mou' and The Mystery of the Sea, he started writing Dracula here in 1895 while in residence at the Kilmarnock Arms Hotel. The guest book with his signatures from 1894 and 1895 still survives; the nearby Slains Castle is linked with Bram Stoker and plausibly provided the visual palette for the descriptions of Castle Dracula during the writing phase. A distinctive room in Slains Castle, the octagonal hall, matches the description of the octagonal room in Castle Dracula. Stoker visited the English coastal town of Whitby in 1890, that visit was said to be part of the inspiration for Dracula, he began writing novels while working as manager for Henry Irving and secretary and director of London's Lyceum Theatre, beginning with The Snake's Pass in 1890 and Dracula in 1897. During this period, Stoker was part of the literary staff of The Daily Telegraph in London, he wrote other fiction, including the horror novels The Lady of the Shroud and The Lair of the White Worm.

He published his Personal Reminiscences of Henry Irving in 1906, after Irving's death, which proved successful, managed productions at the Prince of Wale

USS Rigel (AF-58)

USS Rigel was a Rigel-class stores ship acquired by the U. S. Navy, her task was to carry stores, refrigerated items, equipment to ships in the fleet, to remote stations and staging areas. The second ship to be named Rigel by the Navy, AF-58 was laid down under Maritime Administration contract 15 March 1954 by the Ingalls Shipbuilding Corp. Pascagoula, Mississippi; the first of a new class of high-speed, large-capacity refrigerated stores issue ships, Rigel completed shakedown out of Newport, Rhode Island, her homeport of Norfolk, Virginia. In February 1956, she sailed south for the first time. In late fall, she completed her first U. S. 6th Fleet deployment which included her initiation in her primary mission - replenishment at sea. During the winter of 1957, she spent 2 months in the Caribbean sailed east, in May, for 4 months in the Mediterranean. January 1958 brought a return to the Caribbean, followed in March by the initiation of a regular schedule of 6-week replenishment deployments to the Mediterranean with intervening periods spent in loading, upkeep and shipyard overhauls.

On her second and third deployments of that year, she directly supported units of the U. S. 6th Fleet sent to Lebanon at the request of that country's president. Rigel maintained her regular Mediterranean logistic deployment schedule through the 1960s. Interruptions came with the replenishment of units engaged in good will visits to West Africa. Rigel was fitted out with an amidships helicopter platform in 1961, thus providing her with a vertical replenishment capability. Two years that platform was replaced with one on her fantail to simplify the pilots' problems when landing aboard or conducting replenishments. Rigel served until decommissioned on 23 June 1975. Rigel was placed in service by the Military Sealift Command as USNS Rigel, 23 June 1975, she continued operating with the MSC, resupplying U. S. Navy ships until 1992. Rigel was struck from the Navy list on 16 May 1994, was transferred to the Maritime Administration, she was laid up in the James River Reserve Fleet on 1 April 1998 off Virginia.

In 2008, she was sold to All Star Metals for $469,626 and scrapped in Brownsville, Texas. Rigel’s crew was eligible for the following medals: Navy Expeditionary Medal National Defense Service Medal Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal Southwest Asia Service Medal This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive - AF-58 Rigel

Texas A&M University–Texarkana

Texas A&M UniversityTexarkana is a public university in Texarkana, Texas. It is part of the Texas A&M University System. A&M-Texarkana was first established as an upper-level center of Commerce, Texas based East Texas State University in 1971; the university received separate accreditation in 1980, in September 1996, the Texarkana branch became a separate institution from the Commerce campus. A&M-Texarkana is a comprehensive regional residential institution dedicated to offering career-oriented studies, awarding undergraduate and doctoral degrees in the areas of business administration and sciences, engineering and education. Students who reside in Oklahoma and Arkansas attend at in-state tuition rates, 30 percent of the student body is from Arkansas. Louisiana residents who reside in a parish that borders Texas may attend at in-state tuition rates; the Texarkana metropolitan area is located one hour from Shreveport, two hours from Little Rock and less than three hours from Dallas, Texas. For many years, the university shared the same campus with Texarkana College.

In 2004, the university acquired 375 acres of land as a gift from the City of Texarkana and the Anita and Truman Arnold Foundation. The university received funding from the Texas Legislature for construction of buildings at the new campus near Bringle Lake in Texarkana, Texas. Construction of the new campus began in 2006. To date, six buildings have been built: Science & Technology, University Center, Central Plant, Bringle Lake Village, most the Student Recreation Center and Building for Academic and Student Services. Bringle Lake Village is a 294-bed furnished residence hall that features many amenities, including an in-ground swimming pool, sand-volleyball court and fitness center. Students have three floor plans from. A&M-Texarkana athletic teams are known as the Eagles; the university participates in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics as a non-football member and is an affiliate of the Red River Athletic Conference. The university fields teams in men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s tennis and softball.

The university added the intercollegiate athletics program in 2014 with women's soccer and men's and women's tennis and competed as an independent member of the NAIA. A&M Texarkana continued to expand the offerings with baseball in 2015, men's soccer in 2016, it announced the addition of softball in 2017. The university announced the addition of men’s and women’s basketball for 2019-2020 academic year, bringing the total number of intercollegiate sports to eight. Both the Men's baseball and Women's soccer teams have made appearances in post-season tournaments. In addition, nearly all of the sports teams have appeared in RRAC conference tournaments, the Men's tennis team has appeared in the NAIA national tournament. Student organizations play an important role in campus life at A&M-Texarkana. Throughout the year, the organizations sponsor a variety of extra- and co-curricular activities for the campus and local community. In addition, student organizations provide a means for students to develop and refine leadership skills and to interact and network with students and staff.

There are over 30 recognized student organizations at A&M-Texarkana in six distinguished categories: Student Governing Organizations Campus Activities Board Greek Council Residence Hall Association Student Government Association Student Organizations CouncilNational Honorary Societies Beta Beta Beta Chi Sigma Iota Delta Mu Delta Kappa Delta Pi Phi Alpha Theta Psi Chi Sigma Tau Delta Alpha Chi Greek Fraternities/Sororities Inter-Greek Council Omega Delta Chi sorority Zeta Phi Beta sorority Alpha Sigma Alpha sorority Phi Lambda Chi fraternityDepartmental Accounting Club Business Club Criminal Justice Association Future Teachers Association Mass Communication Club NTCC Education Club Political Science Club Psychology Club Sociology Club S. T. E. M. Club University HistoriansSpecial Interest Art Club Fellowship of Christian Athletes Fishing Club Multicultural Association Student Competitive Academics Student Veterans Association Spectrum Table Top Gamers Erwin Cain, BS, Republican member of the Texas House of Representatives from Sulphur Springs Judy Morgan, MBA, Owner and President of Jack B. Kelley Enterprises, Inc.

Former member of the Texas A&M University Board of Regents Joseph McCormick, MBA, COO of Conner Industries Bob Bruggeman, BBA, Mayor of Texarkana, Texas Kenneth Fudge, Professional baseball player Media related to Texas A&M University–Texarkana at Wikimedia Commons Official website