News Archive

Gift Endows Chair in American Culture


    LYNCHBURG, Va. — Robert Manson Myers, prize-winning author, historian, and former resident of Lynchburg, has donated $1.5 million dollars to Randolph-Macon Woman's College to endow the Matilda Wynn Myers Chair in American Culture in memory of his mother. The gift will be formally announced in a ceremony preceding this year’s Thayer Lecture by political analyst Kathleen Hall Jamieson on Monday, September 17 at 4:30PM in Smith Hall Theatre on the campus of Randolph-Macon Woman's College. Both the announcement and the lecture are free and open to the public.

The Matilda Wynn Myers Chair in American Culture will benefit both the College’s American studies major and the American Culture Program by ensuring an interdisciplinary perspective in both teaching and scholarship. Endowing a chair in American Culture is a particularly appropriate gift for the historian and teacher. "My major work is in American culture," he said, referring to his book The Children of Pride, an archive of letters from the Civil War which won the National Book Award in 1973. "I hope my gift will continue to bring distinguished faculty to the College—strong scholars in American culture. I hope it will enrich young people’s lives substantially and enable them to be stronger Americans." 

Manson, who holds an M.A. from both Harvard and Columbia and a Ph.D. from Columbia, has taught at the University of Maryland and the University of London, among other institutions. He lived as a child in Lynchburg, where his father served as a Methodist minister. He now resides in Charlotte, North Carolina. 

Founded in 1891, Randolph–Macon Woman's College is one of the premier women’s colleges in the country, ranking among the top ten percent of all colleges and universities nationwide in the percentage of its graduates who go on to earn Ph.D.’s. The College is also home to the distinctive American Culture Program, an innovative example of experiential learning and integrated study that explores what it means to be an American by taking a thematic and hands-on approach to the study of American images and voices.

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CONTACT: Brenda Edson, Director of College Relations