UWA Hosts History Conference

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History is a topic that most may consider boring. But for many historians, it's right up their alley.

And that's why dozens of professional historians and college history majors gathered at the University of West Alabama to make history come alive as they shared their passion for the subject.

"And it won't be the sort of boring names and dates which is not really history. History is a story and that's what we doing here," said UWA History Professor Richard Shellhammer.

It's the 37the Annual Meeting of the Alabama Association of Historians. It's the first time U-W-A hosted this two-day conference. And historians from across Alabama delivered papers on a wide range of local, state, national and international topics. Exhibits were also on display including one exhibit on the history of Sumter County.

"And one of the reason that you study history to see this inter-connection, these ideas," said UWA History Professor Jeff Gentsch.

U-W-A History Professor Jeff Gentsch coordinated the conference and he says everyone should have an interest in and appreciation of history.

"To know your history is to know about citizenship, your responsibility to your community, and the problems that have been overcome with what we've achieved today," said Gentsch.

About 20 U-W-A history honor students were also a part of the conference. Phi Alpha Theta members presented original research projects. One member says it's interesting to learn about how history shaped the present and leads us into the future.

"If it is history it was important. I mean you get the inside look to see how it was important, why it is important, how it changed, everything from that point on," said UWA History Graduate Student Drew Walters.

"They're learning how to tell stories, how to really reach people with their messages," Shellhammer said.

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