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CU’s KHIPP event to discuss impacts of Vietnam War; veterans invited

Sept. 15, 2014
For Immediate Release

By Hanna Hall, student news writer

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – Campbellsville University’s Kentucky Heartland Institute on Public Policy (KHIPP) will present Dr. George Herring, alumni professor of history emeritus at the University of Kentucky, speaking at a KHIPP symposium at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 23 titled “Impacts of the Vietnam War – 50 Years Later.”

Herring, who is considered one of the nation’s foremost experts on the Vietnam War, will be speaking at the Banquet Hall in the Badgett Academic Support Center, 110 University Drive, Campbellsville. This is open to the public and free of charge. Vietnam veterans are especially invited to attend the session.

“The Vietnam War was a pivotal event in the history of the United States in the modern era,” Dr. John Chowning, vice president for church and external relations and executive assistant to the president, said.

“The war was predicated on the containment of communism and resulted in a major political and military crisis for the nation. The politics of the 1970s and 1980s was driven by the post-Vietnam fallout, and the treatment of the veterans of the Vietnam War by our own people remains a travesty for our nation,” he said.

Chowning, the founder of KHIPP, added, “Fifty years after the dramatic escalation of the war in 1964 and following years, we need to pause and contemplate the lessons learned from the Vietnam War and to honor our Vietnam War veterans and give them their rightful respect they earned in service to our nation.”

Phi Alpha Theta, a professional society at CU whose mission is to promote the study of history, is helping with the event.

CU’s department of mass communication is working on a book about Vietnam veterans. Vietnam veterans are welcome to contact Stan McKinney at (270) 789-5035 if they wish to be interviewed.

Herring joined the UK faculty in 1969 after four years at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. A native of Virginia, he received his bachelor of arts degree from Roanoke College and, after service in the U.S. Navy, earned master of arts and Ph.D. degrees in history from the University of Virginia.

At UK, he taught classes at all levels, from introductory survey courses in U.S. history to graduate seminars. He directed the work of 35 doctoral students and more than 50 master of arts students.

Herring retired after 36 years at the University of Kentucky, including 11 as chair of the department of history. He was visiting professor at the U.S. Military Academy and the University of Richmond, as well as a Fulbright Scholar in New Zealand.

Herring’s connection to the Patterson School started in the 1970s. His research centered on U.S. foreign relations. His most recent work is “From Colony to Superpower: American Foreign Relations Since 1776,” (part of the Oxford History of the United States).

It has been favorably reviewed in the New York Times, Christian Science Monitor and Chronicle of Higher Education. It was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in non-fiction. It also received the 2008 Robert Ferrell Award given by the society of Historians of American Foreign Relations (SHAFR) for the best book in the field.

Other published works include “The Diaries of Edward R. Stettinius;” “America’s Longest War: The United States and Vietnam, 1950-1975;” “The Secret Diplomacy of the Vietnam War: The “Negotiating Volumes” of the Pentagon Papers”; and “LBJ and Vietnam: A Different Kind of War.”

Herring is a recipient of the UK Alumni Association Great Teacher Award and the Sturgill Award for Excellence in Graduate Education. He served three terms as history department chair and was acting director of the Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce in the spring of 2005.

A specialist in the history of U.S. foreign relations, his writing has focused on the Vietnam War and includes most importantly, “America’s Longest War: The United States and Vietnam, 1950-1975,” the fifth edition of which was published in 2013.

Herring was recently elected to The Society of American Historians, an honorary organization created to encourage literary distinction in the writing of history.

He served as president of SHAFR in 1989-1990, and was editor of its journal, “Diplomatic” History between 1982 and 1986.

He has received National Endowment for the Humanities, Fulbright and Guggenheim fellowships. In October 2005 he was a resident at the Rockefeller Study Center in Bellagio, Italy. He has been a visiting professor at the University of Otago in New Zealand, the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and the University of Richmond.
Now retired from teaching, he continues to write and give talks, and enjoys travel with his wife, Dottie, tennis, and time spent with his six grandchildren.

Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 3,600 students offering 63 undergraduate options, 17 master’s degrees, five postgraduate areas and eight pre-professional programs. The website for complete information in