Alumni Spotlight! Posted on February 19th, 2021 by

Author, Lillie Ortloff, History Major, ‘22

My name is Lillie Ortloff and I am a junior history major at Gustavus.  I serve as the student lead worker in the History Department. Over the next semester, the student workers in the Department will be highlighting history alumni who have gone into careers as historians, some as professors and archivists, as well as other alumni who used their History majors to pursue different professions. Not all history majors become historians, but over the years Gustavus has produced many who have fascinating careers and advice to share about how their History major at Gustavus launched them into their chosen professions.

Alumni Historian Spotlight – Timothy Thurber

Our first spotlight is Dr. Timothy Thurber, who graduated from Gustavus in 1989 as a history major. Currently, he is a History Professor at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia teaching classes on twentieth-century U.S. history. As a historian, he researches post-World War II political history.

On what it is like to be a historian, Dr. Thurber states: “Writer Gail Godwin is reported to have said, ‘When you don’t have time to think, you tend to pick up whatever society is offering at the time.’ An understanding of the past helps me not only to have a deeper understanding of the present but also to realize that whatever is being said at the moment is far from the only way of thinking about something. History invites us to think slowly, and broadly, in a world that prioritizes the fast and shallow.”

Listen to History Professor Greg Kaster’s Learning for Life @ Gustavus podcast episode “Race and the Party of Lincoln” to learn more about Dr. Thurber’s research and time at Gustavus!


One Comment

  1. Greg Kaster says:

    So proud of all of you!!