The Hannibal Arts Council is bringing back its popular Coffee Talk Conversation Series after a three-year hiatus. The first program for 2023, titled “The True History of the American Founding” will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 12 at the Hannibal Arts Council, 105 S. Main St. The program is FREE and open to the public. Program partners include Wade Stables P.C. and the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency.
There are a number of versions of the history of the American founding currently which present a cynical, misleading and even false representation of the origin of the United States. Using examples of current historical scholarship, Dr. Sam Swisher seeks to provide a more balanced understanding of the American founding and the importance of that awareness for our current cultural climate.
The March speaker is Dr. Sam Swisher. Swisher served as Professor of History and Chair of the History Department at Hannibal-LaGrange University for 24 years. In the fall of 1996, Dr. Swisher came to Hannibal-LaGrange University as an Assistant Professor of history and Chair of the department, a position which he held until 2020. Dr. Swisher has been actively involved in pulpit supply in Northeast Missouri and Western Illinois and was involved in planting a church in Quincy IL which he also pastored for 2 and a half years. Dr. Swisher is married to Susan, having been married since 1978, and has two grown children, a son, Jonathan, who lives in San Francisco CA and a daughter, Linzi, who lives in Chicago IL.
Dr. Swisher was raised as a military dependent with his father having been a career Air Force enlisted member. After graduating from high school in San Antonio TX, he attended the University of Texas at Austin on an ROTC scholarship. Having completed the Army ROTC program, being designated a Distinguished Military Graduate, Dr. Swisher entered the United States Army where he served first as a platoon leader, and then battery Executive Officer at Ft. Hood TX. Subsequently, Dr. Swisher attended Western Conservative Baptist Seminary in Portland OR. where he earned an M.Div. degree. Believing that God had called him into educational ministry, he then entered a graduate history program at the University of North Texas, in Denton TX, where he earned a Ph.D. in Renaissance-Reformation history. He then taught history at Cistercian Preparatory School in Irving TX, a Catholic boys’ school for 5th through 12th grade students prior to coming to Hannibal in 1996.
The Coffee Talk Conversation Series is designed to be relaxed, informal and informative. Through the Coffee Talk Conversation Series, the Hannibal Arts Council will present community members speaking on various topics, including travel, history, health, food, well-being and yes, art. The series is designed on the premise that everyone has a story and a wide variety of interests and are sometimes willing to share that with an audience.