Center for Public History and Civic Engagement receives Knight Foundation grant

Group of people holding an over-sized check

Pictured: Left to right, Lennon Keller, Center for Public History and Civic Engagement student worker; Dr. Neal Schnoor, Northern State University president; Dr. Alyssa Kiesow, NSU College of Arts and Sciences dean; Heath Johnson, Aberdeen Area Community Foundation chairman; Dr. Jon Schaff, Center for Public History and Civic Engagement director; Pat Gallagher, South Dakota Community Foundation community development coordinator; and Dr. Michael Wanous, NSU provost and vice president for academic affairs.

ABERDEEN, S.D. – The Northern State University Center for Public History and Civic Engagement has received a $35,000 grant from the Knight Foundation.

The grant, from the Knight Aberdeen Fund in the South Dakota Community Foundation (SDCF), will fund three years of activities, including a speaker series and continuing education opportunities for K-12 teachers in history and civic engagement.

The Center, which opened this fall on the Northern campus, also sponsors programming such as Constitution Day and National History Day.

“We are very thankful for the Knight Foundation and the South Dakota Community Foundation for helping to fund greater history and civic education,” said Dr. Jon Schaff, director. “Their generosity allows the Center to contribute to a healthier and more informed civil discourse, much needed in our day.”

Located within NSU Williams Library, the Center encourages public interaction with history and history education while promoting greater civic knowledge of an active citizenry through programming, research and archival preservation. It also promotes the importance of historical and civic knowledge as the foundation for a sound republican form of government, hoping to inspire greater appreciation for American history and American constitutional forms.

For more information, visit the NSU Center for Public History and Civic Engagement.

The Knight Aberdeen Fund was established in the SDCF when the Aberdeen American News was sold, and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation created the fund to support the community. The Aberdeen Area Community Foundation (AACF) board of directors makes grant recommendations to Knight Foundation.

"We're proud to be part of this important project,” said Heath Johnson, AACF chair. “We see many benefits from the Center’s mission in Aberdeen and beyond.”

About Northern State University

Northern State University is a student-centered institution that provides an outstanding educational experience, preparing students through the liberal arts and professional education for their future endeavors. A regional university, Northern offers rigorous academics; diverse civic, social and cultural opportunities; and a commitment to building an inclusive environment for all points of view. Northern also offers a broad-based athletics program, sponsoring 15 NCAA Division II intercollegiate varsity sports that compete in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (NSIC). The university strives to enrich the community through partnerships such as its Educational Impact Campaign, which opened a new South Dakota School for the Blind and Visually Impaired; new athletic and recreation fields; and an on-campus regional sports complex. With the $55 million campaign, NSU has been the recipient of more than $150 million in privately funded building projects and scholarships within a decade. To learn more, visit NSU Admissions.