History

The Thomas C. Fiddick Memorial Lecture Series

Thomas Fiddick

Thomas Fiddick served as professor of history at the University of Evansville from the fall quarter of 1963 to the spring semester of 2002. In the 39 years he spent at the University, he was a dedicated teacher, a productive scholar, and a tireless fighter in the cause of justice. His untimely death on the day of his retirement in 2002 stunned the entire University of Evansville community, especially his many former students.

"Fiddick was a gifted teacher who breathed life into the old dead guys of history. He was a passionate liberal long after it became unfashionable and a gifted musician who played the trombone in a traveling band. During his life, he accumulated a long list of former students who credit him for liberating their minds and altering their lives."
— Maureen Hayden
"He was terrifically patient with other people's ideas and their attempts to articulate them. He was a great, thoughtful man."
— Daniel Gahan, professor of history

Former students, with the support of Fiddick's friends and the University, established the annual Thomas C. Fiddick Memorial Lecture in 2002. Each year, a committee consisting of the full-time members of the Department of History, a member of the Fiddick family, and alumni of the Department of History select the lecturer. Lectures are related to such themes as social justice, free inquiry, history of the arts (music especially), or Russian history. Time is allotted for the lecturer to mingle with alumni, members of the larger community, and current students.

  • 2008
    Kevin Whelan, one of Ireland's best-known and most widely published scholars, spoke about "Ireland Today: The Challenge of Blending the Old with the New."

  • 2009
    Tsuyoshi Hasegawa, a professor of history at the University of California at Santa Barbara, delivered a presentation entitled "Were the Atomic Bombings on Hiroshima and Nagasaki Justified?"

  • 2010
    Marilyn B. Young, a world-renowned authority on both U.S. foreign policy and war, presented “Necessary Wars of Choice: America's 'Limited' Wars Past and Present.”

  • 2011
    T. Lloyd Benson, the Walter Kenneth Mattison Professor of History at Furman University, discussed "Blood and Ballots: The Midwestern Politics of the Army of the Cumberland."

The University continues its efforts to grow the Fiddick Lecture Series Endowed Fund. Its current book value is approximately $77,000 with a goal to reach $100,000.