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Hackney Chair in History: Thomas Childers

Thomas Childers

Dr. Thomas Childers, professor of history, has been appointed to the Sheldon and Lucy Hackney Professorship in History, SAS Dean Samuel H. Preston has announced.

Dr. Childers received his bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Tennessee and earned his Ph.D. in history from Harvard University in 1976. Since then, Dr. Childers has taught at Penn and has held visiting professorships at Columbia University, Smith College, and Trinity Hall College, Cambridge.

He has been a fellow at the Smithsonian Institution and the Krupp Foundation and has received numerous honors, including the Alexander Von Humboldt Stiftung Research Grant, the West European Studies Research Grant from Harvard University, and a Fulbright Scholarship. His classroom teaching has been recognized by the Friar's Award for Outstanding Teacher at the University and in 1987 the Ira Abrams Award for Distinguished and Challenging Teaching in SAS. In addition, Penn's graduating class of 2000 honored Dr. Childers with the Senior Class Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.

Dr. Childers' research focuses on Nazi Germany, modern German history, and the Second World War. He is currently completing a historical trilogy on World War II. The first volume, Wings of Morning: The Story of the Last American Bomber Shot Down Over Germany in World War II, was published in 1995 to wide acclaim by scholars, critics, and mass market reviewers alike. The second volume, In the Shadows of War: An American Pilot's Odyssey through Occupied France and the Camps of Nazi Germany, is forthcoming from Henry Holt and Company.

The Sheldon and Lucy Hackney Professorship in History was created by the Trustees in honor of Dr. Sheldon Hackney, former president of Penn, and his wife, Lucy. In 1993, Dr. Hackney ended his 12-year tenure as president of the University to become chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities under President Bill Clinton. Dr. Hackney returned to Penn in 1997 and is currently a professor of U.S. history.


  Almanac, Vol. 49, No. 13, November 19, 2002