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.


The Henszey-Pyle Distinguished Author Series is underwritten by the Anne Hamilton Henszey Pyle and Kenneth B. Pyle Educational Fund for Regional Heritage Preservation (Henszey-Pyle Fund.) The Series is coordinated by CCHS Board of Governors member Dr. Ford Risley. 

2021 Henszey-Pyle Distinguished Author Series:

Past programs that have been held by Zoom may be found on the CCHS YouTube Channel.

Stephen Browne

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

Sunday, March 14, 2021

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. 


This program is available to view on YouTube.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.  

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Charles Fergus

Nighthawk's Wing: A Gideon Stoltz Mystery

Sunday, April 18, 2021


This program is based on Fergus's latest historical mystery, "Nighthawk's Wing," set in 1836 in fictional Colerain County,   Pennsylvania featuring a young Pennsylvania German sheriff trying to solve crimes in a clannish Scots-Irish community in the central Pennsylvania backcountry.

Learn more about Charles Fergus HERE.

This program is available to view on YouTube.


Rebecca Inlow

The Rowland Story: Beauty from Ashes

September 27, 2020

Rebecca Inlow tells the story of coal mines and railroads and a 1,000-seat single screen movie theatre that has defied all odds to survive more than a century in a small town. Rebecca,  a Board member and volunteer at the Rowland Theatwill also share images of small treasures from the past century that have been found as work has continued on the lower balcony floor.

This program is available to view on YouTube.

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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. 

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William W. Donner

March 26, 2017

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

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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.


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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.

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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. 

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