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Steve Shively Participates with Former First Lady Laura Bush in the Dedication of the National Willa Cather Center


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Former First Lady Laura Bush
and Associate Professor Steve Shively

Associate Professor Steve Shively participated with former First Lady Laura Bush in the dedication of the National Willa Cather Center in Red Cloud, Nebraska, on June 3, 2017. The Center is a $7 million historic renovation project that includes a state-of-the-art archive, study space for visiting scholars, professional museum exhibits, a technology-rich classroom, offices, and other features that will enrich the experiences of researchers and other scholars as well as Cather fans who visit the Pulitzer-prize-winning author’s hometown.

Laura Bush is a former librarian and active promoter of literacy throughout the world. She has long been a fan of Willa Cather and featured the writer in a symposium on Women Writers of the West while serving as First Lady. In addition to being the keynote speaker for the dedication, Mrs. Bush hiked on the Willa Cather Prairie and toured historic buildings.

Shively is an active Cather scholar and has served on the Board of Governors of the Willa Cather Foundation for over 15 years. As a member of the Steering Committee for the National Willa Cather Center, he was involved with planning, fundraising, and managing construction of the Center. This summer he organized and led presentations on teaching Cather’s short story “Paul’s Case” at the International Cather Seminar held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and his essay “The Compatibility of Art and Religion for Willa Cather: From the Beginning” is the lead essay in Cather Studies 11: Willa Cather at the Modernist Crux (Ann Moseley, John J. Murphy, and Robert Thacker, Editors). Cather Studies, published by the University of Nebraska Press, is the premier venue for Cather scholarship.