Winthrop professor honored with $25K endowed scholarship in his name

03/20/2014 10:50 PM

03/21/2014 6:54 AM

A new scholarship in honor of Winthrop University history professor Jason Silverman will help aspiring historians through a $25,000 endowment.

The university announced the scholarship during Silverman’s recent Palmer Lecture, during which he shared his latest research on Abraham Lincoln. Silverman is working on his 11th book, “Lincoln and the Immigrant,” to be published by Southern Illinois University Press.

He was honored with the Ellison Capers Palmer Jr. Professorship in 2010, which enabled his Lincoln research. Winthrop students helped with the research.

York Mayor Eddie Lee, also a Winthrop history professor, presented Silverman with a proclamation from the city of York, and the South Carolina Senate passed along a commendation recognizing his work.

Silverman is “an example of the best higher education can offer,” said Karen Kedrowski, dean of Winthrop’s College of Arts and Sciences. He “exemplifies Winthrop University’s commitment to excellence in teaching and personal relationships with students and engaged scholarship.”

Silverman’s previous university honors include the Outstanding Junior Professor and Distinguished Professor awards. He has been selected for the Phi Kappa Phi Excellence in Teaching Award three times and in 1990 became the first person from Winthrop to be named S.C. Professor of the Year.

Silverman joined Winthrop’s faculty in 1984 after teaching for four years at Yale University.

“Lincoln and the Immigrant” will provide an important perspective on a president who welcomed immigrants but also made derogatory comments about certain ethnic groups, he said.

While nearly 16,000 books have been written about Lincoln, few have addressed his views on immigration. Silverman’s book, part of the Concise Lincoln Library Series, will be published late next year.

“Throughout his legal and political career, Lincoln retained an affinity for immigrants, especially the Germans, Irish, Jews and Scandinavians,” Silverman said. “Indeed, immigrants and their plight were never far from Lincoln’s thoughts or plans.”

The scholarship in his name, Silverman said, is “humbling and indescribably rewarding ... the crown jewel of my career.”

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