Professor Emeritus William Seraile, of Lehman College’s African and African American Studies, returned to his alma mater, Central Washington University on October 12 to receive a 2012 Distinguished Alumni Award.
“It’s hard to believe that 50 years ago I was trying to finish my degree and graduate and here I am all these years later being honored by my college,” said Dr. Seraile. “When you’re going to school you don’t imagine that some day you college is going to honor you. It was a nice surprise.”
Professor Seraile retired from his post at Lehman in 2007, after thirty-six years of teaching. His most recent book is Angels of Mercy: White Women and the History of New York’s Colored Orphan Asylum, which was published last year. He is the author of four books, including Bruce Grit: The Black Nationalist Writings of John Edward Bruce (2003), New York’s Black Regiment During the Civil War (2001), Fire in His Heart: Bishop Benjamin Tucker Tanner and the A.M.E. Church (1999), and Voice of Dissent: Theophilus Gould Steward (1843-1924) and Black America (1991).
He also has won several awards for his work and his teaching, including the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History Award for “Unsung Historian” and Lehman College’s Teacher of the Year award. In 2009, Central Washington University awarded him their Outstanding Alumni Award.
He graduated from Central Washington University in 1963 with a B.A. in Social Science and holds an M.A. in the Teaching of History from Teacher’s College, Columbia University. He earned his Ph.D. in American history from the CUNY Graduate Center.