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January 24, 2013

Frank Allan Burdick

Frank Allan Burdick

GROTON — Frank Allan Burdick, Professor Emeritus of History at SUNY Cortland, died at Groton Nursing Home, Groton, on Jan. 19, 2013.

He was born in Brooklyn on Feb. 21, 1933, to Frank A. and Marie Connor Burdick, but was raised by foster parents “Floyd and Ethel Sholes” on a farm in Columbus, Chenango County.

He graduated from New Berlin Central School, and was a Korean War veteran. After serving in the Army he attended SUNY Albany where he received a BA and MA degree in history. He then taught for four years at Liverpool High School in Liverpool, before accepting a position at SUNY Cortland.

In August 1963, he attended the march on Washington and heard Martin Luther King give his “I Have a Dream” speech.

From 1964 to 1966, he attended the University of Iowa and studied under Christopher Lasch for a PHD in history, returning to Cortland to rejoin the History department. At Cortland he taught the series of courses in Recent U.S. History, and due to his growing interest in U.S. foreign policy he developed one of the first college courses in the Vietnam War, an area where he devoted his research and writing.

His interest in the war led him to review numerous books on the war and he wrote several articles on the Military’s role in the development of strategies and tactics in the war. He also won three NEH fellowships for further research on the war and spent one summer on a fellowship at the United States Military Academy at West Point.

At Cortland he served as Associate Dean of the Arts and Sciences Division several times and as Chair of the History department. He was also active in the facility union “United University Professions” and served four years as president from 1979 to 1983. Along with membership in the American Historical Association, he was also a member of the Society of Military Historians.

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