The Madison Historical Society’s Annual Dinner Meeting will take place on Thursday May 16 at the Madison Hotel, at One Convent Road in Convent Station.  The Society’s guest speaker will be Dr. C. Wyatt Evans, Associate Professor of History at Drew University, who will discuss "Teaching History to the Digital Natives: Transforming Higher Education in the 21st Century."

Complimentary hors d'oeuvres and a cash bar will be available from 6:00 PM.  The dinner and meeting will follow at 6:30 PM.  The cost is $55 per person, and reservations can be made by calling the Society at 973-377-0722 Ext 8 between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM on a Tuesday or Thursday.

Society Vice President and Program Chairperson Cathie Coultas observed: “Like everything else in our society, the study and teaching history is being transformed by the digital age.  With the internet have come Google, Wikipedia, blogs, and access to numerous online libraries and scholarly journals.  All of which offer expanded opportunities for broad research but which require well-honed analytic skills to assess and evaluate content.  In addition, the potential impacts on college and university curricula of the emergence of massive open online courses (MOOCs) have been discussed in recent issues of The New York Times, Money Magazine, and numerous other publications.   How these all relate and where they may take the study of history will be explored by Dr. Evans.”

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Wyatt Evans served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Zaire, as a Civil Affairs officer in the U.S. Army, and as a project manager for a Fortune 500 construction and engineering firm before returning to academia to pursue his doctorate.  He earned his Ph.D. in Drew’s Modern History & Literature program and now teaches in the successor History & Culture program, and in the undergraduate college.  His courses include the Civil War, Modern American Legal History, Conspiracy Theories in American History, and American Intellectual History.

 His first book, The Legend of John Wilkes Booth, won the Organization of American Historians’ Avery O. Craven Prize in 2005 and Drew’s Bela Kornitzer Prize in 2007.  Dr. Evans is currently working on a study of Civil War northern domestic security, but is finding his attention increasingly focused on adapting historical study and higher education generally to the challenges and opportunities of digital learning in the global era.

The Madison Historical Society’s role is to assemble, record, and preserve all matters of historical interest concerning Madison and its residents.  Formed in 1922 to preserve the old Bottle Hill Tavern, the Society has organized a significant collection of historic documents, maps and photographs over the intervening years. These are housed at the Local History Center at the Madison Public Library.  For more information about the Society or to inquire about membership, call 973-377-0722, ext 8 or visit the Society’s website at