By Elyse Pitkin

Hiram College is pleased to present this year’s Howard Seymour Bissell and Robert Kenyon Bissell Symposium, “Following the Footsteps: Discovering the Faces and Places of Hiram’s Past” on Wednesday, March 22, 2023, at 7 p.m. in Hayden Auditorium, located in Bates Hall. Thomas Bacher ’78 will present highlights of Hiram history through stories, photos, and videos, all accompanied by live music and theatricals based on his recently published book, “The Essential Liberal Arts: Historical Sketches of Hiram College.”

Bacher graduated from Hiram College with a double major in history and German, and later pursued a career in publishing at Purdue University Press, followed by Akron University Press. He retired a short time ago but continues to write. The text featured at this year’s Bissell Symposium was a recent collaboration with David Anderson, Ph.D., professor emeritus of English, and edited by Kisten Parkinson, Ph.D., professor of English and director of the Lindsay-Crane Center for Writing and Literature.

This year’s Bissell Symposium was inspired by several students, who expressed a desire to learn more about Hiram and its people in the spring of 2022. And with the help of Betsy Bauman, M.F.A., associate professor of performing arts, and Isaac Windland, DMA, visiting assistant professor of instrumental music, the symposium is sure to delight its audience through theatrical and musical talent from a motley cast of Hiram characters.

“This presentation will show us where we came from and help us imagine who we want to be. A must-see for anyone at Hiram,” said Debbie Kasper, Ph.D., associate professor of environmental studies and Howard S. Bissell chair of the liberal arts. “Hiram is a really special place, with a remarkable history. We want to help everyone in the community discover that. Remembering where we came from is an important part of knowing who we are, and who we can be.”

The Howard Seymour Bissell and Robert Kenyon Bissell Symposium is intended to have sustained and significant impact on the academic life of Hiram College. Its purpose is to support students in their development toward becoming effective members of society through a variety of activities.

In addition to organizing the annual symposium, the role of the Howard S. Bissell Chair in the Liberal Arts is to support the College’s longstanding commitment to the liberal arts and the mentoring relationship between faculty and students. George Bissell established the Howard Seymour Bissell Chair of Liberal Arts in honor of his father in 1998. A respected attorney and business executive, Howard Bissell served as a friend and member of the College’s Board of Trustees for many years.

This event is free and open to the campus community, alumni, and the public. For more information about the symposium, please contact the Bissell Chair, Debbie Kasper, at

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