Auburn University graduate receives History Scholar Award

AUBURN UNIVERSITY – Recent Auburn University graduate Hannah Riordan, a native of Cornwall, Ontario, has received one of 15 History Scholar Awards given each year by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.

The award recognizes outstanding graduating college seniors, selected from candidates across the United States, who have demonstrated academic and extracurricular excellence in American history or American studies. Selection is based on grades, letters of recommendation and writing samples.

Riordan, a history major and member of Auburn’s swimming and diving team, submitted an essay about how her experiences at Auburn stimulated her interest in the American Civil War and Canada’s role in the conflict.

Riordan traveled to New York City in June to participate in a series of events planned for the honorees, including meetings with eminent scholars, exclusive behind-the-scenes tours of historic archives and an awards dinner. Museum and archive visits included stops at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Gilder Lehrman Collection and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, with talks and discussions led by Kenneth T. Jackson, Khalil Gibran Muhammad and Adrienne Petty.

Riordan plans to continue studying Canada’s role in the American Civil War as a graduate history student at McGill University in Montreal this fall. She also will continue training as a competitive swimmer, with the goal of joining the Canadian national team.

While at Auburn, Riordan earned an array of athletic awards. She was an eight-time All-American and four-time SEC champion in the 200- and 400-meter freestyle relays, and she also swam for Canada in the 2010 Pan-Pacific Championships.

Fellow Auburn history major Jeffrey Lollar received the honor in 2012, making this the second consecutive year an Auburn University history major has received a History Scholar Award.

Founded in 1994, The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History is a nonprofit provider of K–12 teacher training and classroom resources. The institute’s programs, which include teacher seminars, the Affiliate Schools Program, online courses, traveling exhibitions and more, promote excellence in the teaching and learning of American history.

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