Texas A&M University-Kingsville

31st Annual A&M-Kingsville Faculty Lecture

Peacock Auditorium, Texas A&M University-Kingsville - 05/02/11 - 05/03/11

Contact: Adriana Garza
adriana.garza@tamuk.edu or 361-593-4979


Nestled between the James and York rivers nearly 45 miles from the capitol of Richmond, Virginia lies Williamsburg—a nostalgic reflection of American history. While Colonial Williamsburg is today a popular tourist attraction, the efforts to restore what was once the British capitol of the largest, wealthiest British outpost in the new world made Colonial Williamsburg the first professionally restored 18th century town in the United States.

The historic evolution and restoration of Colonial Williamsburg—the place where the ideas that came to form the cornerstones of American history were shaped—is the subject of the 2011 Texas A&M University-Kingsville 31st Annual Faculty Lecture. This year’s selected lecturer is Dr. Anders Greenspan, assistant professor of history.

The free lecture, “Colonial Williamsburg Then and Now,” will begin at 7:30 p.m. Monday, May 2 in the Peacock Auditorium in the Biology-Earth Sciences Building on the campus of Texas A&M-Kingsville. A reception with food and drinks will follow immediately after the lecture at the Pavilion area outside the Memorial Student Union Building.

Williamsburg’s role in American history cannot be overstated. The largest British colony in the Americas from 1699-1778, Williamsburg is recognized as the place where the nation’s forefathers, including George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, shared their visions for the new republic and launched their revolutionary efforts. Not long before the end of the Revolutionary War, the capitol of Virginia moved further north to Richmond. By the 1930s, famed philanthropist John D. Rockefeller Jr. began to invest in the restoration of the historic town. Today, Colonial Williamsburg looks much like it did 250 years ago, providing visitors with a realistic glimpse into the nation’s history.

“In the last 85 years, Colonial Williamsburg has grown into a multifaceted nonprofit educational institution that seeks to educate its visitors about our country's colonial past,” said Greenspan.  “This lecture will examine the origins of the restoration, the role of the Rockefeller family's philanthropy over several decades, and the varied educational roles Colonial Williamsburg has played during the Great Depression, World War II, the Cold War, and into the first decade of the twenty-first century,” he added.

Greenspan holds a bachelor’s degree from Brandeis University, a master’s degree and doctoral degree from Indiana University. He joined the faculty of A&M-Kingsville as a visiting assistant professor in the Department of History in 2008, becoming an assistant professor in 2010. Greenspan has published extensive research about Colonial Williamsburg, including his 2009 book, Creating Colonial Williamsburg: The Restoration of Virginia’s Eighteenth-Century Capital.

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