Presidential Transition

From the Cherokee Tribune and Ledger-News:

Kina Mallard resigns as Reinhardt University president

Reinhardt University President Kina Mallard is resigning, effective June 30 and is being replaced on an interim basis by Executive Vice President and Provost Mark Roberts starting July 1, the university Board of Trustees announced Thursday.

Roberts has been leading the university since February when trustees granted Mallard’s request for a sabbatical for the remainder of the academic year.

In an interview with the Tribune Thursday afternoon, Mallard said both her sabbatical and resignation were a result of wanting to take time away and consider her future.

“I’ve been in the profession for 30 years non-stop and had never taken a sabbatical,” Mallard said. “Sometimes it’s good to be able to take some time, clear your head. It’s hard being a university president. I’ve been at Reinhardt for five years and have loved it.”…

“Dr. Mallard has provided exceptional leadership of the University during her tenure. We thank her for her service and wish her the best in her future endeavors,” said Board of Trustees Chairman Ken White. 

More at the link.

Phi Alpha Theta 2020

Allen Fromherz, Josh Belden, Orbelin Pineda-Espino, Fredrick Harp, Tyler Leon, Tripp Wickard, Jamie Rhinehart, and Jonathan Good. Photo: Anne Good.

Congratulations to our newest members of Phi Alpha Theta at Reinhardt, who were inducted this afternoon in a ceremony in the Community Room of Hill Freeman Library. These are:

Josh Belden
Fredrick Harp
Tyler Leon
Orbelin Pineda-Espino
Jamie Rhinehart
Tripp Wickard

Our guest speaker was the entertaining Allen Fromherz of Georgia State University, who spoke on the social aspects of history and how studying history changes the historian himself.

Happy Birthday, Funk Heritage Center

From the FHC:

Osiyo.

Waleska was the name of a man who lived in Cherokee County in the early 19th century and was quite a noted person in his settlement. He was distinguished for always wearing feathers from eagles that he shot himself. He had six children, including “quite a handsome daughter.” Lewis Reinhardt moved to this area in 1834, one of the early settlers in this area, and he lived very near this man, Waleska, and his family. It was said that Mr. Reinhardt was very kind in his dealings with Waleska, the Four Killers, and other local Cherokees, and that they respected him in turn. Reinhardt was a Christian and often spoke of Jesus Christ’s teachings to the Cherokees. He spoke to them of what was “displeasing in the sight of the Lord,” which included working on holy days, and most especially the Sabbath.

One day, however, Mr. Reinhardt went down to his farm tend a burning log heap. In one heap he found that the chunks needed to be pushed closer together, and so he climbed over the fence to do so. As he was in the act of climbing, a group of his Cherokee neighbors came along and caught him tending to the fire. Instantly they began to upbraid him for his hypocrisy, shaking their heads dubiously. Waleska and Four Killer said they did not care much for the religion of a man who would work on Sunday clearing land, but did not want the Cherokees to do so. 

To his dying day, Lewis Reinhardt said he never forgot the rebuke.

Today is a special day for the Funk Heritage Center, as we mark the 20th anniversary of this place. In doing so, we welcome the descendants of the Four Killer family that was forcibly removed on the Trail of Tears. Today is a kind of holiday, at least for us. So take a lesson from our local history, and stop working, at least for a short while, and come help us welcome these friends back to their ancestral homeland this afternoon.

According to the 19th century newspaper report of Belle Kendrick Abbott in the Atlanta Constitution, as well as Nathaniel Reinhardt’s diary entries from the time, it was Mr. Reinhardt who stood up for the Four Killer family when Old Four Killer was “cruelly abused” by the soldiers.

The Four Killers and other area Cherokees, “headed by Mr. Reinhardt, struck out for the fort,” it was reported. As they neared Fort Buffington “suddenly they all halted and refused to go further. By persuasion they soon made known to Mr. Reinhardt that they had heard the drum beating in the fort, and they were afraid. Mr. Reinhardt reassured them, but before moving a step, they began to unpack a bundle of stuff they had with them, from which they took about two pounds of gunpowder and gave it to Mr. Reinhardt to keep. Four Killer asked for four days of grace, in which to dispose of his belongings as he chose, and he obtained it from the soldiers through the act of Mr. Reinhardt standing as his security for his appearance.

He did return, and with his family, along with the Waleska family and thousands of others, journeyed on the long Trail of Tears to Oklahoma.

Today at 2 p.m. they come home again, at the Reinhardt University campus. Please join us as we at last tell their story, with our newest exhibit, “Resistance & Resilience: The Cherokee Trail of Tears.”

Please also enjoy a slide show with us, looking back on our two decades as a museum family. Meet staff members past and present, as well as our volunteers. Help us recognize some of our family with some special presentations. Have some cake with us. We will see you soon.

(Please forgive us if you have to stand … we’re already out of chairs! But that doesn’t mean we don’t want to see you.)

Wado.

Exhibit and Speaker at the Funk Heritage Center

From Reinhardt’s Office of Communications:

The Funk Heritage Center will mark its 20th anniversary tomorrow, Nov. 21, with a special speaker and the opening of its newest exhibit, “Resistance & Resilience: The Cherokee Trail of Tears.”

Speakers will include Troy Wayne Poteete, national president of the Trail of Tears Association and former Cherokee Nation Supreme Court Justice, as well as Cherokee elder and Georgia chapter TOTA President Tony Harris. Special guests include Melanie Fourkiller and Paisley Fourkiller, descendants of the Fourkiller family who once lived near what is now the Reinhardt University campus, on Shoal Creek, next door to the Reinhardt family. The Fourkillers were forcibly removed from the area on the Trail of Tears in 1838, and this will mark their first return to their ancestral homestead.

The event begins at 2 p.m. It is free but seating is limited.

The John Inscoe Award

Very pleased to have attended the presentation ceremony this evening for the John Inscoe Award, which recognizes the best article published in the Georgia Historical Quarterly in the previous year. As reported, that article is entitled “Black Student Experiences in the Racial Integration of Reinhardt College, 1966-1972,” and was composed by Dr. Kenneth Wheeler and nine of his students in the fall of 2017. Seven of the co-authors were present tonight to receive certificates from W. Todd Groce, president of the Georgia Historical Society, in the Ken White Atrium in Reinhardt’s Falany Performing Arts Center. 

L-R: Kailey Payne, Madeline Gray, Madelyn Montgomery, Pres. Kina Mallard, Dr. Kenneth Wheeler, W. Todd Groce, Abigail Merchant, Aliyah Reeves, and Jessica Fanczi. Dane Nidal, David Busman, and Gladys Guzman-Gomez, unfortunately, could not attend. 

This is a great honor and a testament to the opportunities available at Reinhardt, where professors can work closely with students to produce genuinely original scholarship. Props to the African-American students who integrated Reinhardt in the late 1960s and early 1970s, such as Stanley Porter and Jay Jordan, for their courage and for their willingness to contribute to this project. 

Congress to Campus

Was very pleased to attend a Reinhardt community gathering last evening in Flint Hall entitled “Congressional Leadership and Action in a Time of Polarization,” sponsored by the Congress to Campus program of the Stennis Center for Public Service. 

We were privileged to hear two former congressmen, Dan Miller (R-FL) and David Minge (D-MN) speak of their service and sausage-making. Reinhardt history professor Ken Wheeler served as host. 

Congratulations!

Congratulations to Prof. Kenneth Wheeler and his students in IDS 317, whose article, “Black Student Experiences in the Racial Integration of Reinhardt College, 1966-1972,” published this spring in the Georgia Historical Quarterly, has won the 2019 John C. Inscoe Award. From Reinhardt’s Jordan Beach:

“I am surprised and thrilled to hear the news that I and my students have been awarded the John Inscoe Award by the Georgia Historical Society for the best article to appear in the Georgia Historical Quarterly in 2018,” said Wheeler, professor of history. “I’m so proud of my hard-working students. The award is a happy reminder of how talented our Reinhardt students are, and what a wonderful course we had together that led to the article.”

The award honors the legacy of Dr. John Inscoe, an editor of GHQ from 1989-2000, a professor at the University of Georgia and a mentor for historians in the South. The award presents the authors with a framed certificate and a $500 cash prize.

Wheeler previously co-authored articles published in GHQ in 2009 and 2013, however, this is the first time an article received an award.

“We were delighted to have that article accepted by and, after review by a number of historians, published in the Georgia Historical Quarterly. Winning this award from the Georgia Historical Society is the cherry on top,” Wheeler said.

The publication and award are just several of many examples that showcases the benefits of Reinhardt University’s low student-professor ratio.

“In a multitude of ways, Reinhardt professors provide opportunities for our students to go above and beyond,” said Wheeler. “This article and the John Inscoe Award are just one manifestation of how our students seek excellent educational experiences at Reinhardt.”

Congratulations, Graduates!

Congratulations to our history graduates of the class of 2019!

Grant Ashton, cum laude, Phi Alpha Theta, History Program Student of the Year 2019.

Madeline Gray, magna cum laude, Phi Alpha Theta, History Program Student of the Year 2018, Engaged Learner of the Year Award 2019, Arts and Humanities Student of the Year 2019.

Paige Oglesby, cum laude, Phi Alpha Theta, History Program Student of the Year 2019.

Aliyah Reeves, Phi Alpha Theta.

Followup

A followup to the post below about Hagan Chapel. Yesterday Reinhardt released the following statement:

Reinhardt University and Waleska United Methodist Church have mutually agreed on an expense sharing plan for Hagan Chapel, and vow to work cooperatively to build a relevant partnership in support of the community of students, faculty, staff and residents of Waleska.

Together, the university and the church mourn the breakdown in our relationship and have pledged to work for a full reconciliation between our communities in order to demonstrate the way of Christ, which is to love and serve each other.

We invite the community of faith known as Waleska United Methodist Church and the educational community of Reinhardt University to renew their commitment to cultivate the fruit of spirit of Christ: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23)