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John F. and Jeanne A. Marszalek Library Fund & Lecture Series

Speakers: Dr. Michael J. Devine & Stephen Powell (March 22, 2017)

Dr. Michael J. Devine

Photo of Dr. Michael J. Devine

The MSU Libraries is pleased to announce the 15th annual John F. and Jeanne A. Marszalek Speaker Series featuring guest lecturer Dr. Michael J. Devine, former director of the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library. Being held on Wednesday, March 22, 2017 at 2:00 p.m., the event honors the Marszaleks for their support of the University Libraries.

John F. Marszalek, the Executive Director of the Ulysses S. Grant Association and the U.S. Grant Presidential Library and his wife, Jeanne, have long been strong supporters of Mississippi State University Libraries. Fifteen years ago, the Marszaleks approached Frances Coleman, Dean of MSU Libraries, with the proposal of creating a fund to donate historical materials to the Library’s Collection each year. Dean Coleman suggested that, in addition to purchasing materials, the library should also host a nationally renowned speaker each year and, with the aid of the MSU Department of History, provide graduate students with the chance to present their work. The John F. and Jeanne A. Marszalek Library Fund and Lecture Series thus began in the spring of 2003. This year’s event is the 15th annual lecture in the series. It will be held in the Mitchell Memorial Library’s Grisham Room on Wednesday, March 22, 2017, beginning at 2 PM.

The 2017 Marszalek Lecturer will be the long-time member of the Ulysses S. Grant Association’s board of directors. Dr. Michael J. Devine served forty years in the management of major historical organizations, culminating his distinguished career as director of the Harry S Truman Presidential Library, Independence Missouri (2001-2014). He is presently adjunct professor of history at the University of Wyoming.

Dr. Devine has published widely on the Truman era, U.S. diplomatic history, Illinois history, and the history of the American West. He has twice served as a Senior Fulbright Lecturer (Argentina, 1983 and Korea, 1995), and in 1998, he was named the Houghton Freeman Professor of American History to the Johns Hopkins-Nanjing University Graduate Center in Nanjing, China. In 1999, he was elected President of the National Council on Public History, and in 2014, he was given that organization’s Dr. Robert Kelley Memorial Award for life-time distinction.

A former Peace Corps volunteer to Korea (1969-70), Dr. Devine received his MA (1968) and Ph.D. (1974) from Ohio State University.

His lecture topic is “Presidential Libraries, An Inside Look.”

Stephen Powell

Photo of Stephen Powell

The 2017 Marszalek Lecture Series Graduate Student Award winner is Stephen Powell, a graduate student in MSU’s Department of History specializing in 19th century United States history, the Civil War, Reconstruction, and military history. A graduate of Davidson College, he spent a year working as an intern in MSU’s Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library and an earlier year in the Kentucky Historical Society. The topic for his lecture is The Simple Art of War; A Reinterpretation of Ulysses S. Grant’s Civil War Strategy.”

For more information on MSU Libraries, the Marszalek Lecture Series, and the upcoming lecture, please visit