Celebration of Excellence: Endowed Scholar Lecture Set for October 10

Posted by Nichole Johnson |

Friday, October 05, 2012


Capital University will hold the inaugural Celebration of Excellence Endowed Scholar Lecture at 6 pm Wednesday, October 10, in Mettee Bridge of Learning, located in Ruff Memorial Learning Center on Capital’s Bexley Campus, 1 College and Main.

The Endowed Scholar Lecture will include an investiture ceremony for the university’s newest endowed professorship and chair holders. An investiture ceremony marks the formal installation of all the rights, responsibilities and privileges associated with a certain honor, such as a professorship or chair. 

On Wednesday, Capital will celebrate the investiture of Dr. Alexander Pantsov, professor of history, as the Edward and Mary Catherine Gerhold Chair in the Humanities; Dr. Kerry Cheesman, professor of biological and environmental sciences, as the Robert M. Geist Endowed Chair in Biological Sciences; and Dr. Christine Anderson, assistant professor of biological and environmental sciences, as the Merl and Margaret Primmer Distinguished Professorship in Biological Sciences.


University Provost Dr. Richard M. Ashbrook will welcome guests and Capital Trustee Moritz Ziegler will offer brief remarks about the celebration of excellence. University President Dr. Denvy A. Bowman will preside over the formal investiture of Capital’s newest chair and professorship holders.

The event also will feature an invited lecture from one of those newly named to the honored position, with the inaugural lecture being presented by Dr. Pantsov to commemorate the October 2 release of his latest book, MAO: The Real Story, published by Simon & Schuster. Pantsov also will be available for a book signing following the event, which is free and open to the public.

Chronicling Mao’s peasant background, Pantsov and historian Steven Levine provide a detailed examination of Mao Zedong’s political and personal life; the leader’s determination to succeed; his role in the upcoming Communist Party of China; and his architecture of the People’s Republic of China. The book explores Mao’s personal life, and with Pantsov’s exclusive access to the closely held archives of the Chinese Communist Party, undertakes a thorough reinterpretation of the legendary politician, who “lived and behaved” as China’s last emperor.News-Anderson-150


About Capital’s endowed chairs and professorship

Gerhold Chair in the Humanities – Edward L. and Mary Catherine Gerhold established an endowed chair in the humanities and the Mary Catherine Gerhold Annual Lecture in the Humanities at Capital University to promote peace and human understanding through higher education. The chair holder is expected to teach at least two integrative humanities courses within the general education program each year; actively engage in research and service in fostering the humanities at Capital; and take an active role in general education pertaining to the humanities.

The Robert M. Geist Endowed Chair in Biology – Dr. Robert Miller Geist, a 1923 graduate of Capital University, taught biology from 1926 to 1964, when he retired as full professor and head of the biology department. He also was the author of numerous articles and publications. The chair holder is must be recognized by the profession as an eminent teacher and scholar, and is expected to bring to the position a mature record of outstanding scholarship, distinguished academic credentials and a history of excellence in teaching.

The Merl and Margaret Primmer Distinguished Professorship in Biological Sciences – In appreciation of Capital’s distinguished heritage, Merl and Margaret Primmer established this endowed professorship in recognition of Capital’s service to society through training students to become proficient in their chosen fields and effectively instilling the tenants of Christian faith and life. Merl Primmer was a lifelong lover of nature, teaching and science. He and Margaret were devoted Lutherans, and Margaret was extensively involved with the church, writing and lecturing on the topic of women in the church. The professorship holder must be recognized by the profession as an eminent teacher and scholar; bring a mature record of outstanding scholarship and academic and teaching credentials in the biological sciences; may engage in research; and is expected to develop courses in botany, zoology and ecology and design student internship experiences centered in research and study at The Merl and Margaret Primmer Outdoor Learning Center.

Located in the Columbus, Ohio, community of Bexley, Capital University is a private, four-year undergraduate institution and graduate school. Capital prepares students for meaningful lives and purposeful careers through a relevant liberal arts core curriculum and deep professional programs. Influenced by its Lutheran heritage, Capital places great emphasis on the free and open exchange of ideas, seeking out diverse perspectives, active participation in society, leadership and service. With a focus on rigor and experiential learning, the University capitalizes on its size, location, and heritage to develop the whole person, both inside and outside the classroom.   

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