DSU’s 36th annual Juanita Brooks Lecture Series to host address on Dale Morgan

Dixie State University Library’s 36th annual Juanita Brooks Lecture Series will host Richard Saunders as he shares the unfamiliar story of the rapport between Juanita Brooks and her  friend and editor Dale Morgan, who was a Utah native and historian of western America.

Richard Saunders

Saunders’ address on this friendship and its influence on historical research is set to take place at 7:30 p.m. on March 28 in the M.K. Cox Performing Arts Center on the DSU campus. Attendees can meet Saunders during a reception immediately following the lecture. Admission is free, and the public is welcome to attend.

In his address, Saunders will describe the friendship and mentor relationship between Morgan and Brooks through several historical lenses. He will recount the influence and guidance Morgan gave Brooks as she navigated through researching and recounting the true history of the Mountain Meadows Massacre. Their combined efforts are still influential decades later.

“This promises to be an insightful lecture that gives depth to Brooks’ development as a historian and how she, with the help of Morgan and other historians, changed the field of Mormon and local history,” Kathleen Broeder, DSU special collections librarian and archivist, said.

Saunders is an academic librarian and former dean of library services at Southern Utah University. He holds graduate degrees in history from Utah State University and the University of Memphis.  His career in history has centered on preserving the sources of history as a certified archivist and special collections librarian, as well as researching and publishing on historical topics such as Yellowstone, the American West, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, American popular literature and the U.S. civil rights movement.  He presently is working on a biography of Morgan and a study of post-war social and economic change in rural America.

The Juanita Brooks Lecture Series celebrates the life and work of its namesake. Brooks, a historian whose work is well received by other historians and completely changed the landscape of LDS history, became a role model for LDS historians and women in research and academia. The annual lecture series in her honor is possible thanks to an endowment from Obert C. Tanner.

“Brooks is truly an icon in our community for her dedication to fact driven history,” Broeder said. “This lecture is especially poignant in today’s era where fake news and disinformation is all around us.”