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UCM Partners to Bring National Endowment for Humanities Chair to Missouri for Historic Speech

By Jeff Murphy, August 25, 2023


WARRENSBURG, MO – Consistent with its role in providing educational programs and opportunities that promote history and culture, the University of Central Missouri College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences (CAHSS) is co-sponsoring the first visit to Missouri by the Chair of the National Endowment for Humanities (NEH). The history-making keynote speech by NEH Chair Shelly C. Lowe will be presented at Maple Woods Community College, 2601 NE Barry Road, Kansas City, at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 6 as part of a tour giving her an opportunity to learn more about Missouri’s cultural assets and humanities offerings.

According to the Missouri Humanities office, which is coordinating Lowe’s visit to the state, her free presentation will focus on the importance of humanities and will highlight how our “roots and routes” shape individual experiences and national stories. As a partner in making this event possible, CAHSS encourages campus members and the general public to attend the event. It is free but requires registration which is available by clicking on the link to the registration page.

NEH was founded in 1965, and this is the first time since its founding that a chairperson has visited Missouri, which contributes to the uniqueness of this event in Kansas City.  Chair Lowe’s tour and presentation also provides a significant opportunity for UCM to network and strengthen its collaboration with state and national organizations that support the types of programs CAHSS offers.

“The College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences is proud to collaborate with Missouri Humanities to co-host Chair Lowe’s keynote address,” said Michael Sawyer, Ph.D., dean of CAHSS. “The work of the National Endowment for the Humanities in fostering excellence in humanities scholarship and education is critical to our understanding of culture and history, and to American democracy itself.”

A seasoned educator with lots of higher education experience, Lowe has served as NEH Chair since Oct. 5, 2021. She is a proud Navajo Nation citizen from Garnado, Arizona, with a professional background that includes serving as Executive Director of the Harvard University Native American Program, Assistant Dean in the Yale College Dean’s Office, and Director of the Native American Cultural Center at Yale University. Additionally, Lowe spent six years as the Graduate Education Program Facilitator for the American Indian Studies Programs at the University of Arizona.

Individuals on campus who have questions about this event can contact Sawyer at 660-543-4750 or



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