Centre/Lincoln Connections Part 2: memorabilia, memoirs
RELEASED: July 31, 2008
Many writers have emerged from Centre throughout the years, and several have focused on Lincoln. Betty Boles Ellison '56 has completed more than half the research needed for her biography of Mary Todd Lincoln. She became interested in Mary Todd when she served on the board of the Kentucky Mansions Preservation Foundation, which restores and operates Mary Todd's girlhood home in Lexington. (Mary Todd was the first cousin of John Todd Stuart, Centre Class of 1826, and Lincoln’s first law partner. According to some accounts, Stuart introduced Lincoln to Mary Todd.)
In addition to writers, Centre has connections to Lincoln collectors and scholars. One of these individuals, Pierce Lively '43, currently serves on Centre College's Board of Trustees and is an accomplished amateur Lincoln scholar. There is also Bob Harris '73, whose uncle, the Reverend David Ogletree, donated a huge Lincoln collection to Young Harris College (Georgia).
In addition, Stephen McCurty '60, the son of R. Gerald McCurty '26, tells his father's story:
"Author of many books and articles on Lincoln, Centre gave him an honorary doctorate in the early 1950s. He was the editor of “The Lincoln Herald” and “Lincoln Lore” for decades, and he amassed two of the largest collections of Lincolniana in the world. His work on Lincoln's early youth in Kentucky was original and ground breaking. And he did interesting work on Lincoln's brother-in-law and General of the Orphans Brigade, Ben Hardin Helm of Elizabethtown. Riding his coat tails, I'm on the Lincoln Advisory Committee of the Kentucky Bi-Centennial Commission and on the Board of Advisors of The Lincoln Library and Museum at Lincoln Memorial University in Tennessee."
McCurty's grandson, Todd McCurty, also attended Centre, Class of 1984.
Check out Part 1 of the Centre/Lincoln Connection series, "It's all in the family."
And be on the lookout for Centre’s “Year of Lincoln” Web section, which is coming soon.
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Founded in 1819, Centre College is ranked among the U.S. News top 50 national liberal arts colleges. Consumers Digest ranks Centre No. 1 in educational value among all U.S. liberal arts colleges. Centre alumni, known for their nation-leading loyalty in annual financial support, include two U.S. vice presidents and two Supreme Court justices. For more, visit http://www.centre.edu/web/elevatorspeech/
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