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Dr. Elizabeth Kaufer Busch Awarded Inaugural Walker Endowed Professorship in American Studies

Laura and Pete Walker provide gift to establish endowed professorship.

  Tuesday, September 3, 2019
Dr. Elizabeth Kaufer Busch
Dr. Elizabeth Kaufer Busch

Dr. Elizabeth Kaufer Busch, a prominent scholar in the field of civic education, has been named the inaugural holder of the Laura and Pete Walker Endowed Professorship in American studies.

Busch is co-director of the Center for American Studies (CAS) and director of American studies. She joined the Christopher Newport faculty in 2005. She was a driving force behind implementing the American studies major and minor, as well as creating the CAS in 2007 to promote faculty and undergraduate research on America’s founding principles, economics and national security.

The newly endowed professorship is named in honor of Laura and Pete Walker. The Walkers were inspired to provide the lead gift due to their close relationship with the American studies program. Their daughter, Rachel Walker-Kulzick was among the first students to graduate from the program in 2009 and was mentored by Busch. Pete Walker is the president of P.V. Walker, Inc., an accounting firm based in Front Royal, Virginia, and serves on the CAS Board of Advisors.

“We are grateful to Laura and Pete Walker for making this endowed professorship possible,” said President Paul Trible. “It is an enormous milestone for the American studies program and the University, ensuring that top faculty will continue to teach courses on American civics and responsibility – hallmarks of the CNU educational experience. We are also delighted that Dr. Elizabeth Kaufer Busch will be the inaugural holder of the Walker Professorship. She is a prized faculty member, a beloved teacher, a respected scholar and is highly deserving of this professorship.”

The focus of Dr. Busch’s research is the role of civic education in supporting democratic institutions and good governance. She has also done extensive research into evolving conceptions of sex, gender and feminist thought, and the role those concepts have on public policy. Busch’s 2018 book, Title IX: The Transformation of Sex Discrimination in Education explores the non-legislative processes by which the 37-word law has been transformed over four decades.

“We are grateful to the Walker family, who have taken a major step in investing in the teaching and mentoring of students in the American studies program at Christopher Newport University now and into the future,” said Dr. Quentin Kidd, dean of the College of Social Sciences.

Busch, along with the CAS co-director, has raised over $3 million to support the center’s programs, including a prestigious National Endowment for the Humanities “We the People” Challenge Grant in 2008. She was also the 2012 recipient of Christopher Newport University’s Alumni Award for Excellence in Teaching and Mentoring, the University’s most prestigious award given to one faculty member annually.

Dr. Kaufer Busch earned a BA in political science and sociology from Emory University and a PhD from Michigan State University in 2001.

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