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History and Political Science Studies Continue in Name of Beloved Former Valley Professor
10.04.11 |
The lead donors to The Richard A. Joyce Endowed Fund for History and Political Science, Lloyd Helt ’70 and his wife Ruth Gray, were on campus today to visit with students and faculty of the Department of History and Political Science. The Joyce Fund has supported initiatives of that department since its inception in 2009.

“The Joyce funds have proved very crucial in a variety of ways,” said Dr. Michael Schroeder, assistant professor of history. “Most important is its facilitation of a collaborative student-faculty experience.”

The fund was established with a $250,000 gift from Helt and Gray, and grew with additional gifts in memory of Richard Joyce, a professor of European history at LVC for 32 years. They established the fund to provide support to the history and political science department in areas of faculty professional development and faculty-student sponsored initiatives in or on Western tradition, with emphasis on European history.

It supports many activities of the department, including the European Simulation and faculty studies. With future funds, the department plans to grow the library’s European history book collection, begin a speaker series, and support sabbatical studies in France.

“Having these funds gives us the power to translate our visions into realities for the students,” Schroeder said. “It gives our department a future and is empowering.”

Two students who have benefited from the funds were on hand to meet with the donors: Luisa Perez, a senior secondary education and Spanish double major, and Wade Meyerhoffer, a junior political science major. Both students partnered with department chair Dr. John Hinshaw in research projects. Perez, Hinshaw, and fellow students surveyed a population of Hispanic students at Lebanon High School to determine their interest in higher education. Their research findings gained national attention through an editorial that posted on numerous blogs and in the Lebanon Daily News. Meyerhoffer will present his research at an upcoming historical conference.

“I’m glad to see that you’re planting a lot of seeds with the funds,” Helt said. Gray echoed his sentiments, saying, “You have been able to do many impactful things by efficiently managing these funds.”

Throughout the group’s luncheon meeting, they exchanged fond memories of “Dick” Joyce. Helt and Gray also told of their career in politics – Helt was mayor of a small town in Maryland; Gray an alderman in Annapolis. They first met at a municipal leadership conference and have since been happily married.

To learn more about opportunities to support student-faculty experiences at LVC, visit

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