Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
Dwight Pitcaithley, the chief historian (retired) of the National Park Service, comes to the College of Saint Benedict as a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow March 22-27. Pitcaithley will present two public events, which are free and open to the public. He'll speak on "Confronting the Causes of the Civil War: The National Park Service and American Memory" at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 24 at the Teresa Reception Center, Main Building, CSB. Earlier that same day, he'll speak on "Remembering the Civil War: Memorials and Monuments" at 9 a.m. at the Stearns History Museum, 235 33rd Ave. S., St. Cloud. Throughout the week, Pitcaithley will also visit classrooms at both the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University, working with reading groups of students and faculty. Pitcaithley has devoted his career to public history-history outside the classroom-and the preservation of national parks as the chief historian of the National Park Service from 1995-2005. He served as president of the National Council for Public History in 1998, served on the editorial board of The Public Historian from 1991-97, on the Council of the American Association of State and Local History, and currently serves on the editorial board of The Journal of American History. In addition, he has been a distinguished lecturer for the Organization of American Historians. He has published several papers pertaining to public memory and the role of historic sites in public education, including "Historic Sites: What Can Be Learned from Them," for which he won the James Madison Prize of the Society for History in the Federal Government. Pitcaithley was named a Distinguished American Scholar by the Fulbright New Zealand Board of Directors in 2000, received the Organization of American Historians' Distinguished Service Award in 2005 and the National Council on Public History's Robert Kelley Memorial Award in 2006. Since 1993, Pitcaithley has taught at the university level, first as an adjunct professor at George Mason University (1993-2004) and currently as a professor of history at New Mexico State University. Pitcaithley is the first of two Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellows to come to CSB and SJU this school year. In April, poet David Wagoner will visit the SJU campus. The Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellows program, which is administered by the Council of Independent Colleges, brings prominent artists, diplomats, journalists, business leaders and other non-academic professionals to campuses across the U.S. for a week-long residential program of classes, seminars, workshops , lectures and informal discussions. For more than 35 years, the Visiting Fellows have been introducing students and faculty members at liberal arts colleges to a wide variety of perspectives on life, society, community and achievement. The program has placed more than 3,500 Fellows at more than 250 private and public colleges. There are nearly 100 distinguished professionals currently serving at Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellows.