Roald Tweet's imagination was long ago captured by the history and culture of the Upper Mississippi Valley. As part of his ongoing radio series "Rock Island Lines," he has created more than 1,000 three-minute vignettes inspired by the region's lore. The series was honored in 2001 by the Illinois Humanities Council's Lawrence W. Towner Award, which recognizes and encourages risk-taking in the development and execution of public humanities projects. Mr. Tweet is Professor Emeritus of English at Augustana College in Rock Island, where he served as the Conrad Bergendoff Professor in the Humanities, and he has written and lectured extensively about the Upper Mississippi and its past. His publications include A History of the Rock Island District Corps of Engineers, 1866-1893 and The Quad Cities: An American Mosaic. His first published work on the river went to print in 1975 and resulted from research conducted while camping along the Mississippi with his family. The project, supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, led to the commission from the Corps of Engineers to document the history of its Rock Island District. Says Mayor Mark Schweibert of Mr. Tweet, "from the visual and performing arts to Mississippi River historian, his long and distinguished service has enriched our entire area."
Nominated By:The Honorable Mark W. Schwiebert