All Press Releases for November 12, 2019

Robert E. Weems Jr., PhD, Presented with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award by Marquis Who's Who

Dr. Weems has been endorsed by Marquis Who's Who as a leader in the field of African American history

Dr. Weems' next research project (and future book) will examine the history of the National Negro Insurance Association.

    WICHITA, KS, November 12, 2019 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Marquis Who's Who, the world's premier publisher of biographical profiles, is proud to present Robert E. Weems, Jr. with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award. An accomplished listee, Dr. Weems celebrates many years' experience in his professional network, and has been noted for achievements, leadership qualities, and the credentials and successes he has accrued in his field. As in all Marquis Who's Who biographical volumes, individuals profiled are selected on the basis of current reference value. Factors such as position, noteworthy accomplishments, visibility, and prominence in a field are all taken into account during the selection process.

The highlight of Dr. Weems' career is serving as the Willard W. Garvey Distinguished Professor of Business History at Wichita State University since 2011. As a young scholar, he was influenced by his mentor at the University of Missouri-Columbia, Dr. Arvarh Strickland. Strickland was the first full-time African American faculty member at the University of Missouri.

Dr. Weems earned a Doctor of Philosophy in history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Master of Arts in history from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He graduated with a Master of Arts in African American studies from Boston University and a Bachelor of Arts in history from Western Illinois University.

When Dr. Weems had to decide on a dissertation topic while pursuing his PhD, he realized that choosing a dissertation topic strongly impacts future research options. Because he grew up in Chicago, Weems wanted to explore a topic related to the history of African American political or business activity in the Windy City. Professor Weems ultimately decided to do his dissertation research on an African American insurance company based in Chicago. Within a short period of time, it became clear to him that the insurance business was vitally important to African American communities. Insurance companies regularly ran surpluses so African American insurance companies reinvested their surpluses back into their communities in the form of mortgage loans and other types of investments. These discoveries were fascinating to him and important in terms of economic development within the African American community.

Before joining Wichita State University in his current role, Dr. Weems worked in numerous positions at the University of Missouri from 1990 to 2011. He moved up the ranks from assistant to full professor and also served as interim associate vice chancellor for equity. At an earlier juncture in his career, he assumed the post of visiting assistant professor of history and African American studies at the University of Iowa from 1988 to 1990. Prior to teaching at the university level, Weems acquired teaching experience while employed as a history teacher in the Milwaukee Public Schools from 1977 to 1983 and as an history instructor at Middlesex Community College (Boston, MA) from 1974 to 1975.

In addition to his successful teaching career, Dr. Weems is also an accomplished author. He has written four books related to African American business history: Black Business in the Black Metropolis: The Chicago Metropolitan Assurance Company, 1925-1985; Desegregating the Dollar: African American Consumerism in the 20th Century; Business in Black and White: American Presidents and Black Entrepreneurs in the Twentieth Century; and Building the Black Metropolis: African American Entrepreneurship in Chicago. He is also the author of the forthcoming book The Merchant Prince of Black Chicago: Anthony Overton and the Building of a Financial Empire. Finally, he is co-editor of an African American reference book, The African American Experience: An Historiographical and Bibliographical Guide.

Dr. Weems' next research project (and future book) will examine the history of the National Negro Insurance Association. Established in 1921 as the National Negro Insurance Association, this now defunct business organization served as the trade association of black insurance companies.

Among other organizations that Dr. Weems is a member of include: the Association for the Study of African Life and History, the Organization of American Historians, the Business History Conference, Heartland Wichita Black Chamber of Commerce, African American Council of Elders of Wichita/South Central Kansas, and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

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