History Department Previous Feature Stories

  • Faculty Emeritus Spotlight: Harvey Asher
  • History Alumni Spotlight: Nancy Taylor Ganyard, class of 1949
  • Dr. Leah Blakey's Research: Focused on analyzing trends in project-based learning
  • Students Spend Summer in Rome
  • Harvey Asher taught at Drury from 1967 to 2003. His articles on Russia and the Holocaust have appeared in The Russian Review, The Journal of Genocide Research, Kritika, and the anthology Psychohistory. He is also the author of The Drury Story Continues, 1997-2004 and America: The Owner’s Manual. Passionate about teaching at Drury, Asher retains fond memories of the wonderful students he was privileged to serve. He resides in Lancaster, PA, where he especially enjoys his volunteer work with different groups of children ages three to six in the public schools, at a pediatric clinic, and a day care center. He is currently studying Spanish, goes to the gym regularly, and plays in a racquetball league where he usually finishes last in the player rankings.


  • Following in her mother’s footsteps (Ruth Wilson Taylor, Class of  ‘15), Nancy Taylor entered Drury University in the fall of 1945. It was not according to her plan, she said, but she fell in love with Drury.  She became a history major, joined Zeta Tau Alpha and Phi Alpha Theta, and participated in all sorts of sports and activities, including cheerleading.  Nan, as her friends called her, credited her choice of history as a major to Dr. Jacob: “I had no intention of majoring in History until I fell under the spell of Dr. Jacob, for whom I eventually became a Reader in my senior year.” 

    Nancy TaylorNan graduated from Drury University magna cum laude, and 3rd in her class in 1949.  She applied for a fellowship from Clark University in her hometown of Worcester, MA, where she earned her Master’s Degree in International Relations in 1951.  Her Master Thesis is about Sir Frederick Lugard and the development of the dual protectorate in Nigeria.  She did further study in The Hague through Johns Hopkins SAIS, and summer programs at Oxford and Cambridge. 

    She married Peter Ganyard in 1953; together they raised three children.  Nan eventually taught English and History at Saint Andrew’s School in Boca Raton, Florida, and retired last June at 87. 

    Nan is so proud of her foundation at Drury! She advises: “The sky is yours, history majors. Don’t let anyone tell you it is not the greatest major” or that “’a little college in Missouri is worth less than any other university.” Thank you, Nancy, for contacting us, so we can share your story.

  • Drury University has always been committed to preparing tomorrow’s teachers with the latest research and pedagogy.  Dr. Leah Blakey’s research ensures this applies to  future social studies teachers.  From preparing students for certification to ensuring they know the content they will be presenting in their own classroom, Dr. Blakey works closely with education students by sharing her research on national educational organizations.

    Dr. Blakey’s sabbatical during  fall 2015 focused on analyzing trends in project-based learning coupled with the latest certificate requirements for future social studies teachers.  This research ensures Drury University graduates are well-equipped with the  pedagogical foundation to take into their own classrooms.

  • Study abroad trip reveals history through cities and small towns

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