From the Chair

Profile photo of Josh Rothman in front of a bookshelf.

Welcome to the Spring 2024 newsletter from the Department of History. It has been an unusually busy semester in the halls of ten Hoor, and as we come into the home stretch in the aftermath of Spring Break and begin looking toward the summer, we have a great deal to trumpet and celebrate.

Since the publication of the last edition of the newsletter, we have hosted numerous successful and well-attended conferences, speaker visits, and events, and we look forward to what promises to be an exciting set of panels of research presentations at the Undergraduate History Society conference upcoming in the first week of April.

Honors Day also takes place during the first week of April, giving us an opportunity to recognize some of the outstanding History undergraduate and graduate students who we believe are among the finest at the University. Our students continue to be standouts beyond the Department as well. Perhaps most notably, a History major is once again the winner of the John Fraser Ramsey Award, one of the most prestigious awards for undergraduates the University has to offer. Five of the last eight Ramsey Award recipients have been History majors.

While we salute the achievements of our students, however, we have had to deal with tragedy in the Department as well. Morta Riggs, a much beloved and invaluable member of our Department staff, passed away in November. Anyone who knew Morta would surely agree that she was a kind soul, rarely without a smile on her face, and someone who would do anything to make sure our students could make the very best of their experiences in the Department and the University. She is profoundly missed and irreplaceable, and we will be renaming an award given annually for departmental service in her honor.

Thank you for taking some time to catch up on the goings-on in the Department of History, and please do not hesitate to reach out and tell us what your time with us at the University meant and continues to mean for you. As always, we want you to be part of our future as we continue to explore our past!

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