Lt. Gov. Gregg present's state's highest awards for history

Posted on Monday, April 29, 2019

DES MOINES – Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg presented the state's highest awards for history this week at the State Capitol, including a lifetime achievement award to Robert Neymeyer of Waterloo.

Overseen by the State Historical Society of Iowa, the Excellence in History Awards recognize individuals, organizations and communities who have made outstanding contributions to the study and practice of Iowa history.

“Iowa's history is filled with exciting stories about the people, places and issues that have helped define our state for generations," Gregg said. "It’s an honor to partner with the State Historical Society of Iowa to present the Excellence in History Awards and congratulate this year's recipients for all they have done to share our state's incredible history."

"Today's award recipients have given their time and energy to make sure our state's history continues to be available to Iowans now and in the future," said Tova Brandt of Harlan, chair of the State Historical Society of Iowa's Board of Trustees. "We appreciate all their efforts in supporting our dual mission of education and preservation and we congratulate them for earning this wonderful recognition."

Neymeyer, who has taught Iowa history for more than 50 years, received the William J. Petersen and Edgar R. Harlan Lifetime Achievement Award during the presentation ceremony. In addition to teaching at the University of Northern Iowa, he has worked as a historian at Waterloo's Grout Museum District where he has completed more than 2,400 video interviews to capture and preserve the stories of Iowa veterans and farmers.

He has written books on a range of topics and has served on several boards related to Iowa history, including the State Historical Society of Iowa Board of Trustees, Iowa Historical Foundation, Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area, and the African-American Historical and Cultural Museum. He also is a past recipient of the Loren Horton Community History Award.

The lifetime achievement award is presented in honor of Petersen, a long-time curator of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and Harlan, who served as the second director and curator of the Historical Department of Iowa. Both played key roles in acquiring many of the historical society's most important collections of artifacts.

The State Historical Society of Iowa is a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs. More information is available at iowaculture.gov.