University of Virginia establishes a new Civil War center

Historians in the News
tags: University of Virginia, Civil War center



In the pantheon of American events that charted the course of the nation, almost nothing comes close to the Civil War.

Maybe nothing at all.

The war was all things at once: Horrific. Historic. Gripping. Confounding. Liberating. Endlessly fascinating. Supercharged with characters and complexities, it would reverberate for decades and across generations.

Already a leader in Civil War studies, the University of Virginia is launching a new center that will deepen its engagement in this broadening field and will expand research opportunities for students, faculty and other scholars. The opening of the new John L. Nau III Center for Civil War History was celebrated Friday with a public opening ceremony on the South Lawn.

“The Civil War was such a gigantic event,” said Gary W. Gallagher, the John L. Nau III Professor in the History of the American Civil War and director of the new center. “It was the single biggest military event in U.S. history, and it touched everything. It dealt with the relationship of the central power and the states, it ended slavery and created what followed, and there was a question as to whether the work of the founding fathers would survive. There are many issues that still resonate.”

The Board of Visitors in June approved the center, which was funded by current and future gifts totaling $13 million gift from John and Bobbie Nau and the Nau Foundation. A 1968 history graduate, a founder of the College Foundation and a former member of UVA’s Board of Visitors, John Nau also contributed $11 million toward the construction of Nau Hall, which houses the Corcoran Department of History on the South Lawn. ...




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