Bill Stueck ’67, PhD, recently returned to Springfield College to talk to our campus community about the value of history as a discipline in helping us understand issues as diverse as the COVID pandemic, the tobacco industry’s hiring of historians to research and testify in court, and the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The night was sponsored by the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences.
“I want to thank professor Tom Carty for helping make this lecture happen. It’s always great to return to campus and talk with current students, faculty, and staff,” said Stueck.
In Stueck’s lecture, he focused on having the audience understand the importance of historical methodology and the pursuit of a “useable past.” He has published widely on the Korean War and on U.S.-Korean relations, and has been studying the Cold War for more than 30 years.
“Dr. Stueck’s lecture provided expert opinion and insight upon the current crisis in Ukraine through historical comparisons with that of the 1930s and 1990s in the United States,” said history and secondary education major Molly Coates, who is a member of the Class of 2022. “I particularly enjoyed the conversation surrounding the impact of economic sanctions and the growing power of Asia.”
Stueck taught for more than 30 years at the University of Georgia before retiring in 2012 as Distinguished Research Professor of History. During 1995, he taught as a Senior Fulbright Scholar at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in Seoul, South Korea.
“I would like to thank Dr. Stueck and his wife, Pat, who were extremely gracious in sharing their time after the lecture to continue the discussion,” added Coates. “Overall, it was a fantastic presentation and informative topic.”
Stueck came to Springfield College in the fall of 1963 with the goal of pitching for a Major League Baseball team. However, Professor of History Frank Carpenter, a former China specialist in the State Department, encouraged Stueck to study a foreign language and think about attending graduate school. Eventually, Stueck’s dream of sport as a profession dissolved, and he pursued a different path.
“I owe a lot to professor Carpenter. He certainly was very instrumental in my career,” added Stueck. “It was great to be back on campus again, we love Springfield College, and to come back and have a great night with our current students was very rewarding.”