Frank Nickell

Storytelling is a gift. Whether through the written or spoken word, those who do it best combine topic mastery and a unique ability to engage audiences. One local individual who has done this for decades is Dr. Frank Nickell.

Nickell, director of the Center for Regional History at Southeast Missouri State University, recently announced he will retire at the end of the 2012-2013 academic year. With a career that has spanned four decades at the university, Nickel has engaged many students in his history classes. But his impact goes much further than classroom instruction.

In addition to teaching, Nickell helped start the university's Historic Preservation program and the Center for Regional History. His talks to area groups have helped connect Southeast to outlying areas, particularly in Missouri's Bootheel.

Nickell said he plans to spend more time at his farm north of Cape Girardeau in retirement. And we're happy to hear he plans on still being connected to Southeast's History Department.

Though he has received several awards, it's Nickell's passion for history and ability to communicate that make him a special treasure. We wish him the best in retirement and offer our congratulations on an impressive career.