Retired US Naval Academy historian at MSU pending Marszalek Lecture Series

Contact: Patty Archer

STARKVILLE, Miss.—A US Naval Academy history professor emeritus is this year’s speaker at the Mississippi State John F. and Jeanne A. Marszalek Lecture Series.

Professor Craig L. Symonds of Annapolis, Maryland, will give “Black Americans in World War II” on Thursday. [March 9], 2 am at the Templeton Music Museum, Mitchell Memorial Library. Additionally, MSU English lecturer and history doctoral student Amber Morgan Gill will present “The Factory of Our Nation: A 19th Century Night Shirt Reveals the Complexity of Material Value.” And it is open again.

Craig L. Symonds (Photo below)

Amber Morgan Gill
Amber Morgan Gill (Photo by Grace Cockrell)

Held each March, the Marszalek Lecture Series recognizes MSU graduate students and instituted, nationally known historians for their dedication to their work and the use of primary sources in historical research, according to MSU Associate Dean for Archives and Special Collections David Nolen.

“The Marszalek Library Fund and Lecture Series allows for the purchase of primary materials that cover the Civil War and Reconstruction; Jacksonian America; and/or race relations. The audience allows for a student researcher to present their research at an event that also features an institutional scholar speaking about their research. “, Nolen said.

Symonds taught at the US Naval Academy for 30 years and served as chair of the Department of History. From 2017 to 2020, he was the Ernest J. King Distinguished Professor of Maritime History at the US Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. He is a four-time recipient of the federal government’s Superior Civilian Service Medal, and in 2014 he received the Dudley W. Knox Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Naval Historical Foundation.

He is the author of 17 books, including “Lincoln and His Admirers,” which won the 2009 Lincoln Prize. Other Civil War books of the era include biographies by Joseph E. Johnston (Norton, 1992), Patrick Cleburne (University Press of Kansas, 1997), and Franklin Buchanan (Institute Press, 1999), and “The Civil War at Sea” (Oxford University Press, 2009). His most recent book is “Nimitz at War: Command Command from Pearl Harbor to Tokyo Bay” (Oxford University Press, 2022).

Gill received her bachelor’s degree in art in 2010 from Jacksonville State University and her master’s degree in 2012 from Mississippi State. She is currently a lecturer for MSU’s English department and is in her second course of work toward a Ph.D. in history His research interests include 19th-century popular culture, nationalism, and the Civil War.

Nolen said the series offers MSU students, faculty and staff the opportunity to hear from great scholars.

“We hope that students will have the opportunity to acquire original research as both a student and a seasoned scholar,” he said.

Marszalek Library Fund and Lecture Series In 2002, the Marszaleks were awarded $20,000 to establish an endowment fund at the MSU Libraries for the purchase of primary source materials. The materials purchased for this program can be of any type except for monograms or newspapers. John Marszalek is the WL Aegidius Distinguished Professor of History at MSU and former executive director of the US Grants Association and the Presidential Library, both in residence at the university. As a board member of the Grant Association, he was instrumental in bringing the Grant papers to the university and building the president’s library inside the Mitchell Memorial Library. He is also an award-winning author and recipient of numerous book awards.

“Through the generosity of the Marszaleks, the library is able to add to its collections, and the research and teaching mission of the university is positively impacted by both the institute and the lecture,” Nolen added.

For more information about the lecture series visit http://library.msstate.edu/calendar/specialevents.

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Ava Grey

Hi there! I'm Ava Grey, an enthusiastic article writer with a passion for the arts, fashion, and staying informed about current events. As a journalism student at the New York Academy of Art, I'm driven to use my writing to create positive change and spark meaningful conversations. I'm particularly interested in contemporary art and sustainable fashion, and I love exploring how people use these mediums to express themselves and communicate their values. I believe that staying informed and hearing different perspectives is essential for personal growth and learning, and I'm always eager to engage in lively debates and discussions.

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