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Celebrating 10 years: a message from the President, Fall 1992.

[From the Fall-Winter 1992-1993 World History Bulletin]

1992 has been a year of Commemoration--of what? We have been bombarded with events, conferences, books, articles, and more about the global impact of the "Columbian Exchange"--the quincentenary. But, 1992 is also the year of Commemoration of the World History Association (WHA) decennary. The planning meetings at "Wingspread" (Racine, Wisconsin), where those in attendance were so regally hosted by the Johnson Foundation under the direction of Henry Halstead, seem to be eons, not a decade in the past. The WHA has flourished far beyond the expectation of the dozen who helped frame the basics of the organization. There were preliminaries to these draftings held in Annapolis, at the U.S. Air Force Academy, in Cameroon (West Africa), and in New York City; Wingspread brought concrete definition--and off we trod.

Kevin Reilly led us as an interim president until we could hold an election. Ross Dunn took over the helm by virtue of the ballot to be followed by Reilly, Arnold Schrier, and Marilynn Hitchens. This makes me number five. I enjoyed the ceremony whereby I was informed that I now held the office of the president of the World History Association. In the lobby of a hotel in Chicago, Marilynn Hitchens laboriously handed me two enormous notebooks each weighing in excess of fifteen pounds and said, "Ray, it is now all yours." And so it seems to be. The odds are in my favor to do a job of high achievement, for as editor of the World History Bulletin from its start, I have had to keep very close contact with my four predecessors and with Joe Dixon, our first executive director, and with Richard Rosen, our current one. All six of these people had their own obligations. All had important similarities: they were dedicated, imaginative and real work-a-holics. With these associations and benefits, how can I miss?

Under their respective leaderships, the WHA has grown in numbers with members in all states in the U.S.A. and on all inhabited continents. The WHA has maintained its blend of pre-collegial and collegial association. The WHA has had many regional conferences as well as its first national conference. (A second national conference is in the offing for 24-27 June 1992 in Hawaii.) The WHA now has six affiliates, with two others much in the advanced planning stages. How might one add to what has been wrought in ten years! I hope I shall be able to use the odds in my favor to add at least a modicum of progress built on the solid foundation set by the "famous four, " as one member recently called them.

Plans? 1) To continue to build the membership in the USA and in other parts of the globe, expanding publicity; 2) to continue to add to the WHA's affiliates in the U.S.A. and other countries, without which we shall not be able to advance as Marilynn Hitchens so often reminded me during her leadership; 3) and to secure a stronger financial position for the WHA than the present when we are only able to pay our bills.

The odds in my favor are not enough to reach the goals. I invite all members to join in the effort. The WHA is a professional academic collection of educated members, and it has functioned in the spirit of camaraderie. Let us all keep the elan and continue to work together. Join a committee of interest, form an affiliate, enlighten those who are still unaware of the WHA's existence.

Write, fax, phone your ideas and concerns. The famous four now rely on us to continue. Let us all direct ourselves toward the year 2002 when the cause for celebration will be even more dramatic than it was in 1992.

Raymond M. Lorantas

President 1992-94
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Title Annotation:A Look Back
Author:Lorantas, Raymond M.
Publication:World History Bulletin
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 22, 2007
Words:637
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