History professor named Sperry Endowed Chair at Culver-Stockton

Scott Giltner

Scott Giltner | Photo courtesy of Culver-Stockton College

CANTON, Mo. — Culver-Stockton College recently announced Scott Giltner has been appointed as the John A. Sperry Jr. Endowed Chair in Humanities, one of the highest honors bestowed on faculty members who exemplify the teaching profession.

In a press release, Kim Gaither, provost and vice president of academic affairs, said, “Culver-Stockton College is excited to see the Sperry legacy continue with a long-time committed faculty member, Scott Giltner, known for excellent teaching in his discipline. Scott has served the college for 18 years and has become well-known for his vast knowledge and scholarship about the history of Culver-Stockton College. He will be an excellent professor to carry on the tradition of John Sperry and C. Patrick Hotle, elevating our college and the student experience.”

Giltner joined the Culver-Stockton faculty in August 2005. He teaches courses in history, with topics such as U.S. history before 1865 and since 1865, sports in American history, African American history, America in the 1950s and 1960s, American history through film and the Civil War era. He has served the college as chair of the history department, director of experiential learning, and associate division chair. He is the chair of the Applied Liberal Arts and Sciences Division.

Giltner was one of the inaugural recipients of the Dome Award, which recognizes C-SC employees who have played an important role in the advancement of the college, during the Alumni Honors Banquet in Oct. 2019. He received the Helsabeck Prize for Excellence in Teaching in 2014, and he was one of the three inaugural recipients of the Blue Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching presented by the Culver-Stockton Teacher Organization in 2019.

Giltner is a member of the American Historical Association, the National Society for Experiential Education, and a former president of the Association of Academic Programs in Latin America and the Caribbean. He is the chair of the board of directors of the Lincoln-Douglas Debate Museum in Quincy, Ill., and a board member of the Lewis County Historical Society in Canton. Giltner also serves as a member of the Higher Learning Commission’s Peer Review Corps.

Giltner, a native of Hartford, Ohio, is active in travel study, co-leading the biennial Belize and Guatemala expedition that has taken more than 120 students through the rainforests, reefs and ruins of Central America. He also the coordinator of the Culver-Stockton College Scholastic Bowl Invitational.

He previously taught at the University of Pittsburgh. He also has written a book, “Hunting and Fishing in the New South: Black Labor and White Leisure After the Civil War,” that was published in 2008. Giltner lives in Quincy, Ill., with his wife, Heather Keller-Giltner, and their four cats.

“To be named the Sperry chair is an incredible honor,” Giltner said of the appointment. “The opportunity to build on John Sperry’s legacy, of working to inspire new generations of C-SC students through exploring the humanities, is a privilege that I will cherish.  And to inherit the title from Patrick Hotle, a dear friend and colleague for many years who set such a high standard for engaged teaching and research in the humanities, makes it all the more special.” 

Sperry was a distinguished professor of humanities throughout his 35-year career at Culver-Stockton and was awarded emeritus status upon his retirement. He was best known for his enthusiasm and breadth of knowledge in the subjects of history and humanities.

Sperry served with the U.S. Army in World War II. He graduated from three universities and received several honorary degrees. Jean Sperry, John’s wife, established the Sperry Chair and Lecture in 1992 to commemorate her husband’s time at Culver-Stockton. The annual lecture honors Sperry for his dedication to the Culver-Stockton community.

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