The study of the past challenges the intellect, builds the imagination and encourages critical thinking. To study history is to comprehend the human condition and to acquire the tools to live a more worthwhile life.
Classes in the department are characteristically small (15 to 25 students), and the faculty takes particular pride in its record of teaching excellence and its availability to students.
Each year, the William A. Settle award and the Bessie McAlpine Sullins award are given to outstanding history majors and the Kimberly S. Hanger prize is given for outstanding compositions. A chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, a national history honorary organization, is established on campus.
The history major provides a valuable background for students considering careers in law, journalism, library and museum work, education, local, state, national and international public service and business. Students of history are essential wherever a knowledge of domestic and foreign affairs is required; some devote their lives to teaching and historical research.