Hartford, Conn., October 26, 2015 – The Connecticut Historical Society (CHS) has elected Dr. Stacey Close as a member of the organization’s board of trustees.
A native of Georgia, Dr. Close has worked in higher education for more than 20 years. He currently serves as associate vice president for equity and diversity at Eastern Connecticut State University (ECSU) in Willimantic, Conn. Also a professor of history, Close received his Ph.D. and M.A. from The Ohio State University and B.A. from Albany State College (Georgia).
“We are excited to have Dr. Close join the Connecticut Historical Society’s board. As a trained historian familiar with Connecticut’s history, Stacey will bring a great deal of knowledge and passion to the organization that is sure to advance our mission of connecting the public and story of Connecticut,” said CHS Board President Bichop Nawrot.
Close has taught courses that focused on African American, American, African, and Southern history. In addition, he has made paper presentations at conferences such as the Southern Conference on African American Studies, the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History, and the Professional and Organizational Development Network. Close served as chairperson for ECSU’s department of history, its department of political science, philosophy, and geography; as director of its Center for Educational Excellence and as NCAA faculty athletic representative.
A believer in mentoring and supporting students outside the classroom, Close served as the advisor for student clubs such as ECSU’s Nubian Society and West Indian Society. He has served as a co-conference and forum organizer for the New York Africana Studies Association, Connecticut African American Summit, and Dr. John Hope Franklin Symposium. Close has published with journals and presses such as the Journal of Negro History, Garland Publishing, Connecticut Explored, and Guilford Press. Close is a contributing editor and essayist for African Americans in Connecticut Explored, which is published by Wesleyan University Press. He frequently lectures and makes presentations on Black Hartford’s freedom struggle. In 2011-2012 Close received the prestigious honor of being named an American Council on Education Fellow. Other honors include the Eastern Connecticut State University’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Distinguished Service Award, Student Club Advisor of the Year, Faculty Teaching Award, and NAACP’s 100 Most Influential Blacks in Connecticut. Close and his wife are the proud parents of twin sons.
“Dr. Close has been a wonderful asset to the Connecticut Historical Society,” said CHS Chief Executive Officer Jody Blankenship. “As an advisor to our current exhibit, “Connecticut: 50 Objects/50 Stories” Stacey helped to advance the interpretation and diversity of the our common history. We’re very pleased to now have him as a trustee who will help to guide the CHS as we move forward.”
About the Connecticut Historical Society
A private, nonprofit, educational organization established in 1825, the Connecticut Historical Society is the state’s official historical society and one of the oldest in the nation. Located at 1 Elizabeth Street in Hartford, the CHS houses a museum, library, and the Edgar F. Waterman Research Center that are open to the public and funded by private contributions. The CHS’s collection includes more than 4 million manuscripts, graphics, books, artifacts, and other historical materials accessible at our campus and on loan at other organizations. The CHS collection, programs and exhibits help Connecticut residents connect with each other, have conversations that shape our communities, and make informed decisions based on our past and present. For more information, visit chs.org.