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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Work by former Sikeston resident brings honors from Frances Marion University

Sunday, September 16, 2007

FLORENCE, S.C. - McNair Auditorium, the principal academic arena of Frances Marion University, has been named after FMU Provost Richard N. Chapman, a native of Sikeston, Mo.

"Chapman Auditorium" was dedicated during a ceremony at the auditorium Aug. 20 where FMU President Luther F. Carter said it is Chapman's numerous contributions to the university that merit such an honor.

"Dr. Chapman has successfully established a true provost system at Francis Marion in a fashion that has won the faculty's confidence and restored their faith in academic administration," Carter said. "He approaches his job with charm, grace, style and an abundance of integrity, and every, single day he uses these traits to solve seemingly insolvable problems, defuse catastrophic situations, distill potential faculty divisiveness and focus his president in a productive direction."

Chapman earned an undergraduate degree at Washington University in St. Louis and two master's degrees and a doctorate from Yale University. His major field of research and teaching is 20th century United States political and economic history. Chapman first came to FMU in 1989 as the A.R. Avent Professor of History, serving as department chairman until 1966, when he was appointed director of the Honors Program. He left FMU in 1999 to become chairman of the Department of History at the State University of West Georgia, but returned as provost in 2000.

He has taught at Yale University, Wells College in Aurora, N.Y., Meramec Community College in St. Louis, Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau and at the University of Hartford in Connecticut.

At each campus, Chapman has held a number of committee appointments, including secretary of the faculty and chair of the Humanities Division at Wells College. His academic honors include a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship, a Yale University Fellowship and a Yale Prize for excellence in teaching. He also is a recipient of three National Endowment for the Humanities awards.

The author of numerous publications, Chapman's "Federal Housing Laws During in the 1960s" in The Sixties in America, was published by Salem Press in 1999.

Among his many professional presentations, while at FMU, he conducted a forum on "The Greying of South Carolina" and was project director for a television series on local history. His works have been published in the Oxford University Press Companion to the Second World War Encyclopedia USA: The Encyclopedia of the United States of America - Past and Present and in the Journal of American History.

Chapman is married to the former Marilyn Conrad of Sikeston and they have one son, Keith.