The cover of the book Border Law by professor Deborah Rosen

Deborah Rosen, the David M. ’70 and Linda Roth Professor of History, won the Bancroft prize, considered one of the most prestigious honors in the field of American history, for her book, Border Law: The First Seminole War and American Nationhood (Harvard University Press).

Rosen describes in her book how that conflict, which lasted from 1816 to 1818, laid the legal groundwork for the Monroe Doctrine, westward expansion, and the Dred Scott decision of 1857.

The Bancroft Prize, was established in 1948 by the trustees of Columbia University with a bequest from the historian Frederic Bancroft.

It includes an award of $10,000. There were 197 books nominated that were considered for the 2016 prizes. Last year’s winner went to the much-talked about Empire of Cotton: A Global History by Harvard historian Sven Beckert.

Rosen’s scholarly work examines the history of colonial America, early national America, race, citizenship, sovereignty, borders, American Indians, women, American law, and international law. She is the co-editor of a three-volume collection of colonial-era treaties and laws pertaining to American Indians and is also the author of Courts and Commerce: Gender, Law, and the Market Economy in Colonial New York, and American Indians and State Law: Sovereignty, Race, and Citizenship, 1790-1880.

Rosen holds one of more than three dozen endowed faculty positions at Lafayette, some of which date back more than a century, across all four academic divisions. Funding for them includes additional support each year for research and professional travel. The professors holding these chairs enhance the College’s prestige when they use their titles as they publish and exhibit their work and participate in academic conferences and other activities.

Gifts to the Live Connected, Lead Change¬†campaign have endowed 10 new professorships and other key positions. These support the campaign’s goal of fostering excellence and innovation in teaching and learning. This is one of the three main areas of emphasis of the $400 million campaign, the most ambitious fundraising effort in Lafayette’s history.

Endowed professorships support Lafayette’s new strategic direction to strengthen financial aid resources to improve access and affordability, with a goal of admitting the most qualified students regardless of their ability to pay. This will be accomplished in part through revenues generated by growing the size of the student body from 2,500 to 2,850-2,900 over six to eight years through a carefully planned and managed process. In concert with this, 35-40 faculty positions will be added to maintain or improve Lafayette’s student-faculty ratio as the College enhances faculty recruitment and retention through competitive salaries.