Union University
Union University Dept of History

Department News

Rutledge Honorary History Club Celebrates 75th Anniversary

May 7, 2004 - The Rutledge Honorary History Club celebrated its 75th anniversary (1929-2004) at the history and political science department’s Annual Awards Banquet on May 6, 2004. The banquet speaker was Dr. Duane Bolin, Professor of History at Murray State University in Murray, Kentucky, whose talk was entitled “In Search of Adolph Rupp: Fans’ Delight, Critics’ Villain, and Historians’ Challenge.” Sixty people, including faculty, students, alumni, and friends of the university, attended the celebration, which was planned by the club’s president, Kari Barnhart, and its faculty advisor, Dr. Terry Lindley.

The club’s origins date back to November, 1929, when Professor Lovick DeWitt Rutledge and his wife, Rosa Dyer Rutledge, met with a select group of students to discuss the possibility of a history organization. Before November was over, the club adopted a constitution and by-laws, and the motto: “We seek historical truth and shun historical error.” It also adopted the following purpose: “To become better acquainted with the field of history and to become fully conscious of the place that knowledge of history occupies in the lives of educated people.” Initially the club was called the Union University History Club, but it voted to change its name to the Rutledge History Club in 1942 to honor Mr. Rutledge, who had passed away two years earlier.

In the 1970s and 1980s the club played an integral role in promoting and administering National History Day competitions and Annual History Contests for high school students. More recently, it raised more than $400 for the construction of the World War II Memorial in Washington, D. C. It currently makes an annual financial contribution toward the awards that the department offers to students in a history research paper contest known as the Dr. James Alex Baggett History Research Competition.

Dr. Duane Bolin of Murray State University presents his talk on Adolph Rupp at the department’s awards banquet; Dr. Terry Lindley is seated to Dr. Bolin’s right.