William & Mary

Blaakman named 2008 Gilder Lehrman History Scholar

(Williamsburg, Va.) – Michael Blaakman, a rising senior at the College of William and Mary, was recently named a 2008 Gilder Lehrman History Scholar.

A native of Rochester, N.Y., Blaakman has excelled in U.S. history courses on a wide variety of topics, including architecture, religion, education and social history, according to David Holmes, the Walter G. Mason Professor of Religious Studies. Blaakman has also been highly involved in campus activities and organizations such as the William and Mary Choir, and he has worked as an assistant to Holmes.

"Highly respected by his peers and teachers and active in extracurricular affairs, Michael Blaakman has made leading a class look easy at William and Mary," said Holmes.

Blaakman, a history and religion major, will join the 14 other Lehrman scholars in New York City for five weeks this summer to conduct historical research, engage in seminars with eminent historians, and get behind-the-scenes tours of historical archives. Each scholar will have the opportunity to produce original research resulting from his or her work, and this year's class will work with primary source documents from the Revolutionary era in the Gilder Lehrman Collection.

"These are the brightest young historians in America," said James G. Basker, president of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, which sponsors the program." We see them as something like Rhodes Scholars among history majors. We hope this spurs them all to consider careers as scholars, history teachers, or public historians in the future."

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[[eazagu,Erin Zagursky]]