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CCU President Michael T. Benson’s latest book earns No. 2 ranking on Amazon, to be featured at upcoming events

October 17, 2023

Coastal Carolina University President Michael T. Benson’s latest book, Daniel Coit Gilman and the Birth of the American Research University (Johns Hopkins University Press, October 2022), is now in its second printing and recently made Amazon’s top 40 in three categories: education history and theory (No. 2), United States history (No. 32), and educator biographies (No. 38). He is scheduled to discuss his book at two upcoming events.

Benson will be a featured author at the 42nd annual Kentucky Book Festival (KBF) on Saturday, Oct. 21, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Lexington, Ky. According to KBF, Benson’s book is the first full-dress biography in the last 60 years dedicated to the most important educational leaders of the latter part of the 19th century.

On Friday, Oct. 27, from 3-5 p.m., Benson will hold a book reading and signing at the newly opened Our Next Chapter Bookstore at 325 N. Main St. in downtown Conway, S.C. The event is free and open to the public.

Earlier this year, Benson participated in a JHU Press Author Meet and Greet during the school’s alumni weekend and held a book discussion at the University of Notre Dame.

Benson became the third president of CCU on Jan. 1, 2021. He also holds the title of professor of history at the University. This fall, Benson is teaching an honors seminar on World War I. In Spring 2022, he taught an upper-level course: History of the American University.

“In publishing and teaching in my discipline, I hope to lead by example that remaining current as researchers and writers will make us better teachers as well,” said Benson. “Students benefit from faculty who are committed to scholarship and bring their expertise into the classroom. I am so honored to teach alongside our superb faculty at CCU.”

According to JHU Press, Benson claims in the publication that Gilman’s enduring legacy will always be as the father of the modern research university – a uniquely American invention that remains the envy of the entire world.

Benson also explains in the book how many university elements that are commonplace today – the graduate fellowships, the emphasis on primary investigations and discovery, the funding of top laboratory and research spaces, the scholarly journals, the university presses, and the sprawling health sciences complexes with teaching hospitals – were put in place by Gilman at JHU.

Gilman’s career included serving as the third president of the University of California; the first president of JHU, a position he held for 25 years; and as one of the original founders of the Association of American Universities. Handpicked by Andrew Carnegie himself, Gilman also served as the first president of the Carnegie Institution of Washington.

Benson also is the author of Harry S. Truman and the Founding of Israel and the coauthor of College for the Commonwealth: A Case for Higher Education in American Democracy.

Benson graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in political science and double minors in English and history from Brigham Young University in 1990. He completed his doctorate in modern history from the University of Oxford (St. Antony’s College) in 1995, where he was a Rotary Foundation Scholar and recipient of the Oxford Graduate Overseas Fellowship. He also earned a master’s degree cum laude in nonprofit administration in 2011 from the University of Notre Dame Mendoza College of Business, where he was the recipient of the prestigious Father Theodore Hesburgh Founder’s Award. In 2021, Benson completed a Master of Liberal Arts from Johns Hopkins University, where he was initiated into the Association of Graduate Liberal Studies Programs National Honor Society.