Henszey-Pyle Distinguished Author Series

The inspiration for the Henszey-Pyle Fund include the interest that Anne and Kenneth have in the history of the community in which they grew up and their belief in the value of the study of history. Anne is the great-great-grand daughter of Moses and Mary Irvin Thompson and great-grand daughter of John Hamilton all of whose contributions to regional history are honored at the Centre Furnace Mansion and within the Centre County Historical Society. Kenneth, who acquired a love of the study of history growing up in State College, is the Henry M. Jackson Professor of History and International Studies Emeritus at the University of Washington where he has taught history for over fifty years.


This author series is coordinated by CCHS Board of Governors member Dr. Ford Risley.

This distinguished author series is underwritten by the Anne Hamilton Henszey Pyle and Kenneth B. Pyle Educational Fund for Regional Heritage Preservation (Henszey Pyle Fund.)

2021 Henszey-Pyle Distinguished Author Series:


Sunday, March 14

George Washinton's First Inaugral Address and Why it Still Matters presented by Stephen Browne

In this brief presentation Browne will explore the festivities leading up to the big event, what the first president had to say about it, and the several legacies he thereby gifted to the American people.

This program will be held via Zoom and will be streamed and available on YouTube.

Sunday, April 18

Nighthawk's Wing: A Gideon Stoltz Mystery book talk by Charles Fergus

Set in 1836, Nighthawk's Wing is the sequel to Fergus's 2019 A Stranger Here Below. Fergus brings the period to life as he expertly melds setting and plot. 

This program will be held via Zoom and will be streamed and available on YouTube.

Stephen Browne

George Washington’s First Inaugural Address and Why It Still Matters

Sunday, March 14, 2021

@ 3pm via Zoom

Stephen Howard Browne is a Liberal Arts Professor of Rhetoric at The Pennsylvania State University. He is the author of five books, including, most recently, The Ides of War: George Washington and the Newberg Crisis, and The First Inauguration: George Washington and the Invention of the Republic. 

Dr. Kurt Carr

First Pennsylvanians: The Archaeology of Native Americans in Pennsylvania”

February 2, 2020

Carr has been the Senior Curator of Archaeology at the State Museum of Pennsylvania since November 2007.

R. Thomas Berner

A Two Newspaper Town

October 18, 2020

Retired journalism professor R Thomas Berner, who worked for both newspapers, the Pennsylvania Mirror and the Centre Daily Times, shares some memories of those days.

This program is available to view on YouTube.

Peter Gilmore

Irish Presbyterians and the Shaping of Western Pennsylvania, 1770-1830

March 31, 2019

Peter Gilmore, adjunct lecturer in history who teaches at Carlow University, Carnegie Mellon University, and the University of Pittsburgh.

Dr. Patrick Parsons

January 15, 2017

Presented by Dr. Patrick Parsons, College of Communications, Penn State

Dr. Carolyn Kitch

Pennsylvania in Public Memory: Reclaiming the Industrial Past

June 25, 2017

Presented by Dr. Carolyn Kitch, Temple University

Dr. Gary Cross

Consumed Nostalgia: Memory in the Age of Fast Capitalism

October 15, 2017

Presented by Dr. Gary Cross, Distinguished Professor of Modern History at Pennsylvania State University.

Roger L. Williams

March 25, 2018

Presented by author Roger L. Williams, past Associate Vice President and Executive Director of the Penn State Alumni Association.

Dr. Sally McMurry

Pennsylvania Farming: A History in Landscapes

September 9, 2018

Presented by Dr. Sally McMurry, Professor Emerita of History, Penn State University

Harry West

The History of Beaver Stadium

October 23, 2016

Harry West is Professor Emeritus of Civil Engineering.  

Charles Fergus

Nighthawk's Wing: A Gideon Stoltz Mystery

Sunday, April 18, 2021

@ 2pm via Zoom

More details about his book HERE.

Rebecca Inlow

The Rowland Story: Beauty from Ashes

September 27, 2020

Presented by author and Rowland Theatre volunteer, Rebecca Inlow. 

This program is available to view on YouTube.

Russell Frank

Among the Woo People: A Survival Guide for Living in a College Town

January 15, 2019

Frank worked as a reporter and editor for newspapers in California and Pennsylvania for 13 years before joining the journalism faculty at Penn State in 1998. 

Dr. Roger L. Geiger

American Higher Education since World War II: A History 

July 28, 2019

Dr. Roger L. Geiger, distinguished professor of higher education emeritus at Pennsylvania State University. 

William W. Donner

March 26, 2017

Presented by William W. Donner, Department of Anthropology, Kutztown University

Dr. Amy S. Greenberg

Lady First: The World of First Lady Sarah Polk

October 3, 2019

Amy Greenburg is the George Winfree Professor of History and Women’s Studies at Penn State University.


Simon J. Bronner, Ph.D.

January 28, 2018

Presented by Simon J. Bronner, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor Emeritus of American Studies and Folklore and Founding Director Emeritus of the Center for Pennsylvania Culture Studies at Penn State Harrisburg.

Ralph Seeley

Native People and Their Paths in Central Pennsylvania

August 26, 2018

Ralph’s greatest legacy stems from his love of the outdoors which he has shared with and helped to instill in generations of Centre Countians.

Lee Stout

The History of Beaver Stadium

October 23, 2016

Lee Stout, Historical Society Board member, is a Librarian Emeritus and former Head of Public Services and Outreach for Special Collections at the Penn State University Libraries. 


Tel: 814-234-4779

Email: info@centrecountyhistory.org

1001 E. College Ave.  |  State College, PA 16801



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Research by appointment.

This website is being made possible in part through a grant provided by the Centre County Board of Commissioners and Happy Valley Adventure Bureau.

Funding for the Centre County Historical Society is supported by a grant from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

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