History Club prepares for second year

“How was the Roman Empire cut in half? With a pair of Caesars.”

This is a joke one might hear when becoming involved in Baker University’s History Club. The club is for “anyone who is nerd enough to join,” John Richards, club sponsor and associate professor of history, said.

“Its primary focus is a shared interest in history, and you do not have to be a history major to be a part of the club,” Richards said.

Senior Caleb Klugh came up with the idea of starting a history club last year when he and four of his friends discussed their interest in history.

“It was just the five of us hanging out outside of class, a little club of history majors,” said Klugh.

He then sought out Richards to start a formal club.

There was once a history club from 1998 to 2000, but it dissolved after the group that had started the club graduated.

“When the group left, there was no one there to pick up where they had left off,” Richards said.

This group of history buffs hopes the current club will last longer than its predecessor.

The club’s president, Krystyna Van Driel, is a sophomore. Van Driel was part of the founding group of club organizers last year.

“We’re just a bunch of nerds who are interested in history,” she said.

In club meetings, the attendees present and discuss papers and projects they are currently working on.

“We all have papers we are writing at some point in time,” Klugh said.

The club is not all work and no play, however. Movie nights and game nights are common.

“We do joint activities with Mungano,” Van Driel said. “And we may go on a trip to Haskell University.”

The biggest activity the club has been a part of is the annual Missouri Valley History Conference in Omaha, Neb. At last year’s conference, a paper presented by former Baker student Andrew Woodworth was awarded with the best graduate student prize, even though Woodworth was an undergraduate student.

“We thought there was some misunderstanding … but it turned out that the paper must have been that good,” Richards said.

Klugh said seven students plan to submit papers for the conference this year.

Anyone interested in becoming a member of the history club can join the Baker History Crowd on Facebook.

“It’s an open group where anyone can post what they find interesting,” Van Driel said.

Club meetings take place at 3:30 p.m. every Tuesday in Parmenter Hall.