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William Clark scholar headlines Conversations at BSC

Posted on 10/4/2012

William Foley
Dr. William E. Foley
Bismarck State College begins its fifth season of Conversations at BSC with "Lewis and Clark: Reassessing the Partnership" and program guest, William E. Foley, one of the nation's leading authorities on William Clark.

BSC President Larry C. Skogen and humanities scholar Clay Jenkinson will join Foley in a conversation based on Foley's 2004 biography, "Wilderness Journey: The Life of William Clark," and Jenkinson's 2012 book, "The Character of Meriwether Lewis: Explorer in the Wilderness."

The program begins at 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 7, in Schafer Hall's Sidney J. Lee Auditorium on the BSC campus. Comments and questions from the audience will complete the conversation.

Discussion will focus on whether the standard view that Clark and Lewis were close friends, as articulated by Stephen Ambrose, is truly the case.

Foley, a mentor of Larry Skogen, is professor emeritus of history at the University of Central Missouri and specializes in the histories of the American West and his native state of Missouri. He has authored and edited seven books and written numerous articles in historical publications and reviews.

"I am incredibly proud that Dr. Foley will be joining our BSC Conversation series," Skogen said. "He was my graduate advisor in my master's degree program, worked around my schedule as a Minuteman Missile Launch Officer to ensure I could complete my graduate studies, and was instrumental in my appointment as a faculty member at the United States Air Force Academy. He is an outstanding scholar whose work on Missouri, the early fur trade, and William Clark, just to name a few, is vital to an understanding of our national journey."

Foley's most recent essay, "James Wilkinson: Zebulon Pike's Mentor and Thomas Jefferson's Capricious Point Man in the West," was published earlier this year by the University of Oklahoma Press. Foley is a member of the Missouri Historical Review's editorial board and general editor of the University of Missouri Press's Missouri Biography Series. He has received the Distinguished Service Award from the State History Society of Missouri, the Missouri Governor's Award for Teaching Excellence, the American Association for State and Local History's Award of Merit and many other honors.

Both authors will sign books after the program. More conversations are scheduled Nov. 4, Dec. 16, Jan. 27, March 24 and May 5. Visit Conversations at BSC at or contact BSC Continuing Education, Training & Innovation at 224-5600 for more information.

About Bismarck State College
Bismarck State College, an innovative community college in Bismarck, N.D., offers high quality education, workforce training, and enrichment programs reaching local and global communities. For more information visit

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