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Dr. William Issel, professor of history emeritus at San Francisco State University and the John E. McGinty Distinguished Chair in History at Salve Regina University for 2015-2016, will present the spring McGinty Lecture, “The Great Society at 50: Lyndon Johnson and the Progress of Racial Justice in America” on Wednesday, April 6.

Free and open to the public, Issel’s talk will be presented at 7 p.m. in Bazarsky Lecture Hall, located in O’Hare Academic Center.

In 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson launched an ambitious program to use federal government power to make sweeping reforms in American life. Presented by Dr. William Issel, Salve Regina’s McGinty Distinguished Chair in History, “The Great Society at 50: Lyndon Johnson and the Progress of Racial Justice in America” will explore Johnson’s historic achievements in civil rights and the subsequent 50-year political struggle to define and implement racial justice in the aftermath of the Great Society program.

Issel has B.A. and M.A. degrees in history from San Francisco State College, and A.M. and Ph.D. degrees in American civilization from the University of Pennsylvania.

His co-authored book with Robert W. Cherny, “San Francisco, 1865-1932” was described as “a major achievement” and his recent books have been praised as “illuminating,” “path breaking,” and “exemplary in scholarly integration of urban, political, and religious history.” He received the 2014 Award of Merit from the San Francisco Museum and Historical Society.

He served as a Fulbright Professor at the University of Westminster (formerly the Polytechnic of Central London) and the Laszlo Orszach Chair in American Studies at the University of Pecs, in Hungary. He taught in the history, humanities, and urban studies departments at San Francisco State for 38 years and served as coordinator of the American Studies Program and as associate chair of the history department.

Established in honor of the late John E. McGinty, former trustee and parent of 2001 Salve Regina graduate John W. McGinty, the McGinty Chair furthers the educational advancement of undergraduate students in the areas of American studies, cultural and historic preservation and history. After a nationwide search, Issel was selected as the second chair holder for the 2015-16 academic year. Dr. Maureen Montgomery, a longtime professor at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, was the first McGinty Chair, serving through the 2014-2015 academic year.

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