FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Director of Communications
Phone: (540) 335-5778
Wednesday, April 5, 2017
McCormick Civil War Institute And Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation Partner For Future Collaboration
Winchester, VA – Jonathan A. Noyalas ’01, director of Shenandoah University’s McCormick Civil War Institute (CWI), and Keven M. Walker, CEO of the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation (SVBF), are excited to announce a mutually beneficial partnership in which both the CWI and SVBF will collaborate on a wide array of projects throughout the Shenandoah Valley National Historic District.
This partnership will also afford opportunities for Shenandoah University’s students to work on special projects with SVBF that will provide unique experiences in areas such as historical research, development of public history programs and historic preservation.
“One of my long-term goals at Shenandoah is to make the CWI the ‘go-to’ resource for people seriously interested in studying the Civil War era in the Shenandoah Valley, and I believe that this relationship with SVBF will help foster that,” said Noyalas. “CWI has an opportunity to put an imprint on how the story of the period in the Valley is told to future generations.”
This collaborative effort—which will provide SVBF’s small staff with much needed support for its projects—will present students at Shenandoah University an opportunity to move from the theoretical practice of history in a traditional classroom setting, to the real-world application in the field, while simultaneously gaining a deeper appreciation for the many valuable Civil War era resources in the Shenandoah Valley.
“We’re excited about this partnership with Shenandoah University, and the multiple benefits it promises for everyone,” said Walker. “These battlefields are outdoor classrooms that teach lessons about valor and sacrifice, about democracy and freedom, about compromise, and what happens when we as Americans fail to compromise,” Walker noted.
Additionally, this partnership between Shenandoah and SVBF will aid the McCormick Civil War Institute in its mission of undergraduate education in Civil War era studies, public programs, and other scholarly efforts.
“Shenandoah’s students will benefit greatly from this partnership,” said Noyalas. “While students in history can currently intern and have worked on various projects with other faculty, this partnership with SVBF will allow for unique research, internship, and work opportunities.”
University students currently enrolled in the “Civil War and Reconstruction” history course are already gaining invaluable experience, researching a specific artifact from the SVBF’s collection at the Shenandoah Valley Civil War Museum in Winchester.
“This project will afford my students the opportunity to do some truly original research, produce an essay that might eventually be published by CWI, and provide information to SVBF for use in exhibit designs,” said Noyalas. “All of this, in my view, equates to greater visibility within the community and region, and presents some exciting opportunities for our students.”
In exchange for that increased visibility within the community, SVBF will have access to university resources to aid them in their efforts. “It is a great example of one of the core principles of the National Historic District,” said Walker. “The power of partnerships, and how working together allows us to achieve much more.”
“Shenandoah University and the Battlefields Foundation make a powerfully effective combination,” said James R. Wilkins, Jr., who serves as a board of trustees member for both Shenandoah University and the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation. “This collaboration strengthens both organizations in their shared mission to educate people about the history of the Civil War and the experiences of the people in the Shenandoah Valley.”
In 1996, Congress designated eight counties in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia as a National Heritage Area—the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields National Historic District—which preserves and interprets the region’s significant Civil War battlefields and related historic sites. The effort is led by the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation, which works with partners to preserve the hallowed ground of the Valley’s Civil War battlefields, to share its Civil War story with the nation, and to encourage tourism and travel to the Valley’s Civil War sites.
The McCormick Civil War Institute, founded in 1994, supports teaching and research about the Civil War. It was made possible by a gift from Hugh and Virginia McCormick. Mr. McCormick, a direct descendent of a Civil War veteran, held a lifelong interest in promoting preservation and education in this field. Find the McCormick Civil War Institute on Facebook.
Official, Public Statement of Partnership:
Shenandoah University’s McCormick Civil War Institute (under the leadership of Director Jonathan A. Noyalas) and the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation (under the direction of CEO Keven M. Walker) are pleased to announce a mutually beneficial partnership between both organizations. This partnership will afford an opportunity for both entities to collaborate on a wide array of projects throughout the Shenandoah Valley National Historic District as well as afford opportunities for Shenandoah University’s students to work on special projects with SVBF that will provide unique experiences in areas such as historical research, development of public history programs, and historic preservation. This collaborative effort—which will provide SVBF’s small staff with much needed support for its projects—will present students at Shenandoah University an opportunity to move from the theoretical practice of history in a traditional classroom setting, to the real-world application in the field, while simultaneously gaining a deeper appreciation for the many valuable Civil War era resources in the Shenandoah Valley. Additionally, this partnership between SU and SVBF will aid the McCormick Civil War Institute in its mission of undergraduate education in Civil War era studies, public programs, and other scholarly efforts.
Photo: Front row, from left to right: Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation CEO Keven M. Walker; Shenandoah University President Tracy Fitzsimmons; Shenandoah University Vice President for Academic Affairs Adrienne Bloss; and Director of the McCormick Civil War Institute Jonathan Noyalas. Back row, from left to right: Shenandoah University and Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation Board of Trustees Member James R. Wilkins, Jr.; Shenandoah University Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences Jeffrey Coker; and Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation Director of Interpretation, Education, and History Terry Heder. PHOTO CREDIT: Shenandoah University.
Shenandoah University was established in 1875, and is headquartered in Winchester, Virginia, with additional educational sites in Clarke County, Loudoun and Ashburn. Shenandoah is a private, nationally recognized university that blends the best of professional studies and the liberal arts. Shenandoah promotes a close-knit community rich in creative energy and intellectual challenge. With nearly 4,000 students in more than 100 academic programs in seven different schools, Shenandoah students collaborate with accomplished professors who provide focused, individual attention, all the while leading several programs to be highly nationally ranked. Through innovative partnerships and programs at both the local and global level, there are exceptional opportunities for students to learn in and out of the classroom. Shenandoah empowers its students to improve the human condition and to be principled professionals and leaders wherever they go. For more information, visit su.edu.