La Salle University History Professor George Stow
Receives Lindback Distinguished Teaching Award
honestly, I wondered if my teaching would ever warrant the Lindback
Award," says Stow, who has been at La Salle since 1972. "Anybody
who says they don't think about the possibility of receiving it
just isn't being truthful."
George Stow, a La Salle University History Professor, received
a message in April informing him that he had been summoned to
the office of La Salle's provost, Dr. Richard Nigro, Stow immediately
thought that he was somehow in trouble. So it was something
of a relief for him when Nigro told Stow he was to be the recipient
of The Lindback Distinguished Teaching Award.
his high school years, Stow says he displayed little interest in
his course work.
who knew me in high school would never think I'd someday be a professor,"
says Stow: 'YOU are a college professor!?!' they remark at high
turning point in his life, says Stow, was a three-year stint in
the U.S. Army following high school. He credits the Army for instilling
a sense of discipline and for a period of reflection on his future.
Near the end of his two-year service in England, he had begun to
read voraciously, and he knew even before leaving the Army that
he wanted to some day teach at the college level.
graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Lehigh University as a Classics (Latin
and Greek) major at 27. He later earned his M.A. from the University
of Southern California and his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois,
specializing in medieval history. For his contributions to this
field of study, Stow has been elected a Fellow of the Royal Historical
for all his research accomplishments, Stow believes there is a connection
between research and publication on the one hand, and good classroom
teaching on the other hand. When asked what it is that he values
most about teaching, Stow says, "It seems to me that one of
the more important--not to mention interesting--aspects of a career
in academia is the opportunity to mold young minds." As he
puts it: "And what better way to do this than by passing on
to one's students not only the joy of learning for its own sake,
but also the more practical aspects of thinking through a research
problem and then presenting a solution in the form of a research
Stow is proud of his scholarly publications, "In the final
analysis it is the teaching that counts the most," he says.
"To have an influence in shaping the thoughts and careers of
young people is far more important in the long run than a list of
one's publications. Being named as the winner of the Lindback Award
is really the capstone of my academic career."
particular area of scholarly interest is the reign of England's
King Richard II, (1377-1399), who is often confused with other monarchs.
"People will say, 'Isn't he the Lionhearted?' and I say, No,
that's Richard the First," says Stow, "and then people
say, "Well, didn't he kill his two nephews in the Tower of
London?' and I tell them, No, that was Richard the Third."
Some scholars argue that Richard II was insane, says Stow, a notion
he completely disagrees with. "He may have been a tyrannical
ruler, and perhaps worthy of deposition from the throne, but nowhere
in the contemporary sources is there even a hint of his alleged
says Stow, "Richard was a Shakespearean figure, whose downfall
represents a personal tragedy, the result of deep-seated flaws of
character." Still, according to Stow, Richard II accomplished
a great deal during his lifetime: "We should never lose sight
of the fact that Richard was at the center of a brilliant court,
which included many prominent men of letters, including the poet
has published several works shedding new light on Richard II and
his reign. One of these was a critical edition of one of the more
important monastic chronicles of the reign. Stow has also published
numerous articles concerning Richard II (including one in which
he demonstrates that Richard very likely was the originator of the
pocket handkerchief) in leading medieval journals, including Speculum
and The English Historical Review.
announcing the award, Dr. Nigro remarked, "This year's awardee
has had an outstanding 30-year career at the University, distinguishing
himself in the classroom, at professional conferences, and in interactions
with both present and former students. He is praised by his students
as a teacher who helped them 'gain an overall understanding of the
flow of history' and is 'an excellent teacher who pushes his students
to do their best.' Nominations from his colleagues over many years
reveal similar reasons for his deserving this award: 'first-rate
teacher and scholar'; 'regarded by experts as one of the leading
authorities (in his field).' I am most happy, then, to announce
the 2003 Lindback Distinguished Teaching Award Winner: Professor
Dr. George Stow."