Dr. Wallace Daniel to Give Cornelia Marschall Smith Professor of the Year Lecture

Sept. 18, 2008

by Lauren Venegas, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805

Dr. Wallace Daniel, the 2008 recipient of Baylor University's Cornelia Marschall Smith Professor of the Year award, will give the honor's annual lecture at 3:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 22, in the Baylor Sciences Building, room D.110, on the Baylor campus.

Daniel, a former professor of history and former dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Baylor, will speak on "The University as a Learning Community." He currently serves as provost at Mercer University.

The annual award is presented to a Baylor faculty member who makes a superlative contribution to the learning environment at Baylor. As this year's recipient, Daniel received $20,000 and the opportunity to present a public lecture on an academic topic of his choosing during the fall semester.

The criteria for the award includes:

• teaching, which is judged to be of the highest order of intellectual acumen and pedagogical effectiveness,

• research, which is recognized as outstanding by the national and international, as well as local, community of scholars, and

• service, which is regarded as exemplary in building the character of intellectual community at Baylor.

A member of Phi Beta Kappa, Daniel is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he earned a bachelor's degree in economics with honors in 1964 and a doctorate in history in 1973. An historian specializing in early modern and contemporary Russian and European history, Daniel joined the Baylor faculty in 1971 as an assistant professor of history, and was later named associate professor, professor, director of Soviet and East European Studies and director of the Honors Program.

Daniel served four years as chair of the department of history before being appointed as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences in 1996. He led Baylor's largest academic unit for nine years, returning to research and teaching in August 2005. He joined Mercer this past summer.

As an academic, Daniel has been named a Fulbright scholar three times: in 1969-70 as part of the official U.S.-Soviet Union Educational and Cultural Exchange Program in Moscow and Leningrad (now St. Petersburg); in 1979 for additional study in Moscow and Helsinki, Finland; and in 1996-97 for research in Moscow and Oxford University on "Religion and Democracy in Post-Communist Russia," one of only two funded studies at the time concerning all of Eastern Europe and Russia.

He is the author of the biography G.N. Teplov: A Statesman at the Court of Catherine the Great and The Orthodox Church and Civil Society in Russia. His articles on the intellectual and social history of Russia are published in Russian Review; The Slavonic and East European Review; Canadian-American Slavic Studies; and Religion, State and Society, among others. He also has been working on an intellectual biography of Father Aleksandr Men'.

A 1918 Baylor biology graduate, Dr. Cornelia Marschall Smith earned a master's degree from the University of Chicago and her doctorate from Johns Hopkins. She was a Baylor professor of biology from 1940-67, chair of the biology department from 1943-67, and director of Strecker Museum from 1943-67. Smith retired in 1967, but maintained an office in Armstrong Browning Library to assist charitable causes. In 1980, Baylor honored Smith with an endowed chair known as the Cornelia Marschall Smith Professorship in Biology. She passed away Aug. 27, 1997, at the age of 101.

Previous recipients of the award include Dr. D. Thomas Hanks Jr., professor of English and Master Teacher; Dr. Robert M. Baird, professor of philosophy and Master Teacher; Dr. Kevin G. Pinney, professor of chemistry; and Dr. Ann E. Rushing, professor and associate chair of biology.

For more information regarding the Cornelia Marschall Smith Professor of the Year award and lecture series, contact the Office of the Provost at (254) 710-3601.

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