Dr. Stuart R. Givens
Dr. Stuart R. Givens was born April 1, 1924, in Honolulu, Hawaii. Following a move with his family to the west coast of the United States, he went on to attend George Washington University. His collegiate career was initially cut short in 1943, however, when he entered the United States Army. Serving as a paratrooper in the 17th and 82nd Airborne Divisions during the Second World War, Dr. Givens saw action at the Battle of the Bulge in the European Theater of Operations. He later returned to George Washington, where he completed both bachelor's and master's degrees. Subsequently, he earned a Ph.D. in history from Stanford University in 1956.
Dr. Givens began his career at Bowling Green State University in 1952 as Coordinator of Student Activities, and a part-time instructor of history, before being named an assistant professor and, later, full professor of the History Department. Teaching courses on United States, Canadian and British history, he challenged students to truly immerse themselves in their studies, and was always ready to give them the benefit of his experience and advice. Throughout his tenure he was known as a deeply caring and committed teacher, and served as mentor to three generations of BGSU students.
In his capacity as University Historian, Dr. Givens authored The Falcon Soars: BGSU's Growing Years of Distinction, 1963-1985. He also contributed to his profession by serving as editor of the Ohio Academy of History Newsletter, assistant editor of The Northwest Ohio Quarterly, and Canadian Book Review Editor of the Journal of American Culture. His contributions to his discipline were recognized by his election to the presidency of the Ohio Academy of History.
Dr. Givens was also actively engaged in a large number of campus posts, serving as chair of the History Department, Arts and Sciences Council, and Faculty Senate; director of the Historical Collections of the Great Lakes and the Canadian Studies Program; University representative to the Advisory Committee to the Chancellor of the Ohio Board of Regents; and University Historian. Dr. Givens was also highly instrumental in installing a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa on the BGSU campus in 1980, and acted as its chapter president. These outstanding accomplishments earned him the first Hollis Moore University Service Award, and he was named an honorary University alumnus in 1983. Following his retirement from BGSU in 1997, Dr. Givens continued as a professor emeritus of the History Department until his death in 2004.
Through his broad interests, humanity, and service to the Bowling Green community, Bowling Green State University, and its students, Dr. Givens exemplified the best qualities of a liberally-educated person. The spirit of the Givens Fellowships exemplifies his own convictions regarding the active pursuit of knowledge, and his belief in the importance of intellectual and spiritual growth, openness, curiosity, empathy, and engagement.