Dr. Gary Kremer, executive director of the State Historical Society of Missouri, will offer a lecture tied to his latest book at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 6, in Webster Hall’s Corley Auditorium.
“This Place of Promise: A Historian’s Perspective on 200 Years of Missouri History” was published in November 2021. Tied to the bicentennial celebration of Missouri’s statehood, the book includes personal perspectives from a native son as well as what it means to be a Missourian.
Presented by the Social Science Department, Kremer’s appearance at Missouri Southern was coordinated by Dr. Virginia Laas, a retired professor of history at the university who is currently wrapping up her three-year term as president of the historical society’s board of trustees.
“My term ends at the end of October,” said Laas. “We have never had Gary come to Missouri Southern to give a talk, and I was delighted that he agreed to come when I asked.
“He’ll talk about Missouri’s history, what it means to him and what he sees as the future for the state.”
Kremer is a fifth-generation Missourian who has written, coauthored and coedited a dozen books. He previously taught history at Lincoln University in Jefferson City and later at William Woods, and served as state archivist from 1987-91. He became executive director of the State Historical Society of Missouri in 2004.
“When Gary took over, we were located in the basement of the library at the University of Missouri in Columbia,” she said. “Today, we have a modern, three-story building across the street from Peace Park. The building itself epitomizes what he’s done for our organization. He oversaw the expansion of our programming and our outreach across the state. Under his management, the historical society gained a much greater presence in the state of Missouri.”
Kremer also led statewide efforts last year to commemorate the bicentennial through a variety of events.
“Dr. Kremer is a tremendous asset to our state and a valued colleague in our history community,” said Brad Belk, Missouri Southern’s community historian. “Gary did such a phenomenal job with Missouri’s 200-year celebration and was a compelling figure in the film (“Missouri! A Bicentennial Celebration”) that chronicled Missouri’s two centuries.”
Admission to his presentation at Missouri Southern is free and open to the public.