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Westminster College History Professor Recognized for Decades of Service to National History Day

Posted on Friday, April 19, 2013

NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. - Dr. David Twining, Westminster professor of history, was recently honored during History Day at Westminster College for his efforts to develop, promote, and coordinate National History Day. 

Twining has coordinated History Day at Westminster College across several decades.  Thousands of middle and high school students have participated at Westminster in the event which is held annually.  This year more than 50 students from seven schools and two homeschools participated in Westminster's History Day by presenting exhibits, websites and performances and offering research papers each designed to describe and interpret "Turning Points" in human history, this year's National History Day theme.

Twining was one of the founding developers of History Day while working at Case Western Reserve University in the 1970s.  This event, which began in Cleveland, spread across the state of Ohio and eventually developed into today's National History Day, an event in which more than 600,000 middle and high school students participate annually.  More than five million students nationwide have participated in NHD over the life of the program. 

Dr. Patricia Clark, associate professor of history and History Day co-coordinator, presented Twining with a gift and noted that Twining's consistent, steady leadership of History Day at Westminster has enabled the program to prosper and the event has been a positive influence on the lives of literally thousands of students in western Pennsylvania while on the national level the impact has been even greater. 

"Dr. Twining's devotion to National History Day and to the students who participate is inspiring to us all.  His deep concern for students' understanding of the past is evident in his tireless work to make this event happen as well as in his undergraduate teaching," Clark said.

The National Endowment for the Humanities and several U.S. presidents have supported and recognized National History Day for its efforts to develop a greater sense of the importance of history in the minds of the nation's young people.  In 2011, National History Day received the National Humanities Medal from President Barack Obama. The National Humanities Medal is awarded to individuals or institutions "whose work has deepened the nation's understanding of the humanities, broadened our citizens' engagement with the humanities, or helped preserve and expand Americans' access to important resources in the humanities," according to Ohio Historical Society.

Click here for more information about National History Day.

Twining, who joined the Westminster faculty in 1990, earned an undergraduate degree from the College of Wooster, master's from the University of Virginia, and Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University.

Contact Dr. Timothy Cuff, associate professor of history, at (724) 946-6152 or email for additional information.

Dr. David Twining, professor of history
Dr. Twining speaks to students at National History Day
Dr. Twining and alumnus Dan Cross `11 at National History Day