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John W. Shy
Regents' Proceedings 237

John W. Shy, professor of history, will retire from active faculty status on December 31, 1995, after 28 years of service to the University of Michigan. Professor Shy received his B.S. degree in 1952 from the United States Military Academy, his M.A. degree in 1957 from the University of Vermont, and his Ph.D. degree in 1961 from Princeton University, where he also taught for 10 years. He came to Ann Arbor in 1967 as associate professor of history. He was promoted to professor in 1971.

Professor Shy is the preeminent American authority on the military aspects of the Revolutionary era. He has led the way in emancipating military history from its traditionally narrow focus upon strategy and tactics, making it instead an essential component of any full understanding of humanity's past. Professor Shy's first work, Toward Lexington: The Role of the British Army in the Coming of the Revolution, published in 1956, was instantly recognized as a seminal contribution, and received the John H. Dunning Prize from the American Historical Association. Since that time, he has published extensively. A People Numerous and Armed: Reflections on the Military Struggle for American Independence, published in 1976 and in a revised edition in 1990, is widely praised because of its perceptivity and breadth of vision.

Professor Shy's courses in military history and in the American colonial period are models of their kind, extremely popular with students, and he has been equally successful in teaching the survey course in American history. He has directed the graduate work of a number of Ph.D. candidates. He has presided over the creation of the Military Studies Group, an informal but impressive gathering of those with such interests that is now nationally recognized for its quality.

Within the Department of History, Professor Shy has been a frequent member of the executive committee and served a term as associate chair. He has been a member of the council of the Institute of Early American History, the Department of the Army Historical Advisory Committee and, during his entire service in Ann Arbor, the Committee of Management of the William L. Clements Library. He is also a trustee of the Society for Military History. He has been a visiting professor at the United States Army War College and the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales. In 1983-84, he served as the Harmsworth Professor of American History at Oxford, the most prestigious appointment in American history in the United Kingdom. Just recently, he received from this University both a Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award and a Distinguished Senior Lecturer Award.

The Regents now salute this faculty member by naming John W. Shy professor emeritus of history.