McDonald-Boswell Professor Emeritus of History Dr. David Grier will deliver this year’s Stukes Lecture Monday, March 22, at 3 p.m. in Lesesne Auditorium on the Erskine College campus. He will speak about “Hitler’s Favorite General: Ferdinand Schörner.” Admission is free and the public is welcome. Seating is limited. Masks and social distancing are required.
The son of two longtime Erskine professors, the late Dr. John Miller Grier and Marjorie Davis Grier, David Grier grew up in Due West. A graduate of Erskine College, he received his Ph.D. at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, having studied under Gerhard Weinberg, one of the nation’s top scholars on Nazi Germany. He joined the Erskine College faculty in 1991 and retired after 29 years following the spring semester of 2020.
Grier has studied Nazi Germany for many years. His book Hitler, Donitz, and the Baltic Sea: The Third Reich’s Last Hope, 1944-1945 was a revision of his dissertation, and he is now working on another book on the Nazi era. “I find the period fascinating,” he said in an interview for Inside Erskine. “How could one person lead an entire nation astray?”
The topic for Grier’s lecture, “Hitler’s Favorite General: Ferdinand Schörner,” is based on his continuing research. In his Inside Erskine interview, Grier said of the Nazi figure, “He has the worst reputation of all German army generals and is usually portrayed as an unquestioning servant of Hitler who was responsible for senselessly executing hundreds—or even thousands—of German soldiers for cowardice in the war’s final months.”
Grier is married to Dr. Sandra Chaney, who taught history at Erskine from 1994 to 2017. Grier and his wife traveled to China for the first time in 2004 when they adopted their daughter Anna Mei. They later taught in China at Sias International University in Henan Province during sabbaticals in 2011-12 and 2015-16.
The Joseph T. Stukes Lecture Series brings a distinguished lecturer in history to Erskine College each year. The fund was established by students and colleagues of Stukes, who served as professor of history (1966-74) and vice president for academic affairs (1966-71) at Erskine College. He died in 2016.