April 03, 2012

Friends of Morris Library to honor Iseminger

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- William Iseminger is the recipient of the 2012 Delta Award from the Friends of Morris Library at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. 

Iseminger will receive the 36th annual award at a ceremony in his honor at 5 p.m. on April 25 in the John C. Guyon Auditorium at Morris Library.  A reception will follow in the first floor rotunda.  The ceremony, during which Iseminger will discuss his book, “Cahokia Mounds: America’s First City”, is free and the public is welcome.

The Friends of Morris Library are honoring Iseminger for his book, which explores the people and archaeological research of the ancient Native American “city” of Cahokia on the Mississippi flood plain. 

“I believed a book written more for the general public was in order that was mostly descriptive of the site -- its origins, florescence and demise -- and in language that was not full of jargon,” Iseminger said in explaining his thoughts when writing the book.  He said he relied on more than 40 years of experience working in various capacities at the site, including doing archaeological study and as museum curator.

“I continue to be amazed by this majestic site and the learning process has not ended as colleagues continue to do research at and around Cahokia to reveal more about America’s First City,” Iseminger said. 

Copies of the book, a History Press publication, will be available at the reception for $19.99.  A Bloomington native, Iseminger then hailed from Arlington, Va., before earning his bachelor’s degree at the University of Oklahoma in anthropology and completing his master’s in anthropology at SIU Carbondale.  Since 1971 he has lived and worked in the Cahokia area and he’s currently assistant site manager at the Cahokia Mounds.

The Friends of Morris Library presents the Delta Award annually to recognize an individual or organization for writing or publishing about or from Southern Illinois, library officials said.  Previous award recipients since its introduction in 1976 include the late Sen. Paul Simon and Professor John Y. Simon, as well as Robert Coover, Gary DeNeal and Jeff Biggers. 

For more than half a century the Friends have supported the library and its functions in a number of ways including hosting events, contributing to endowments, purchasing needed materials and underwriting the costs of special activities.  In recent years, the Friends of Morris Library coordinated and helped raise funds for construction of a new courtyard patio on the east side of the library.

For more information about the Delta Award celebration, contact Kristine McGuire at kmcguire@lib.siu.edu or 618/453-1633.