Chowan Hosted the Inaugural Dan and Sallie Surface Lecture in History on October 14, 2019
On Monday, October 14, 2019, Chowan University hosted the inaugural Dan and Sallie Surface lecture in History. The lecture was funded by long time supporter Warren Chauncey of Virginia Beach, VA and delivered by Matthews, VA resident, Robert Garnett. Garnett’s lecture, entitled “Civil War Prison Camps: an Ancestor at Hellmira” explored the life, death, and legacy of his fourth- great- grandfather who was a Civil War prisoner of war.
A random act of kindness led to a friendship over many years with the Surface family, initially with Dan Surface and very quickly, with wife Sallie and children Eric, Julianne, and Brian as well. Mr. Warren Chauncey was the beneficiary of Dan Surface’s generosity who served the university for many years as both a staff and faculty member. The Dan and Sallie Surface Lecture in History was Chauncey’s vision to commemorate and honor his dear friends Dan and Sallie Surface. Chowan University celebrates Dan Surface’s memory and honors Sallie Surface as well as her commitment to the Roanoke-Chowan area over many years.
President Kirk E. Peterson, in his opening remarks, thanked Chauncey on behalf of the university for his commitment and investment in Chowan’s academic program. He acknowledged that the lecture has the impactful capability to stretch the imaginations of both students and the community on a topic relative to history.
Furthermore, President Peterson affirmed the importance of Chowan University having an annual lecture honoring various historical topics. He stated, “Chowan has been blessed with a rich history now for more than 171 years. This institution withstood the Civil War and the McDowell Columns is one of the few structures of its size and significance standing as a testament today.” Chowan University is rooted and upheld by a long, resilient history and today, more than ever, it is important to embrace the past as we chart a course for the future.
Ultimately, Warren Chauncey’s generous gift to the university has made the vision of making the history lecture series program a reality. His selfless display of stewardship has secured invaluable learning experiences for generations of Chowan students to come.