Dr. Arthur H. Mattingly Endowed Historic Preservation Fund for Student Experiential Learning Established at Southeast


The Dr. Arthur H. Mattingly Endowed Historic Preservation Fund for Student Experiential Learning has been established through the Southeast Missouri University Foundation.

Dr. Arthur and Nancy Mattingly of Cape Girardeau made a $10,000 gift to the Foundation to establish the endowment to provide financial assistance to students in the Historic Preservation program for experiential learning. These opportunities include unpaid or underpaid internships, conducting research and implementing projects that relate to the built environment, museum studies, historic site administration and archives, as well as participating in professional conferences and workshops to enhance their educational experience and more.

Dr. Mattingly was born in St. Louis, but spent his childhood in Charleston, Missouri. He joined the U.S. Air Force in 1954, serving three and a half years. He was discharged with the rank of staff sergeant and entered Southeast Missouri State College in 1958.

Dr. Mattingly’s personal goal of wanting to serve and help others, and his deep interest in history led him to a Bachelor of Science in Education in 1961. Not satisfied, and still eligible for the G.I. Bill, he went to the University of Missouri where he earned a Master of Arts in history in 1962.

In the fall of 1962, he started teaching high school social studies at the North Kansas City High School, North Kansas City, Missouri. While awaiting the start of school in 1963, he was offered, and accepted, a position in the Department of History at Southeast Missouri State University. In 1964, in addition to his teaching, Dr. Mattingly was appointed the coordinator of the American History program serving until 1968, when he applied for a leave of absence to pursue a doctorate in history.

He was accepted into the Kansas State University graduate program, won a graduate teaching assistantship in the History Department and started classwork and teaching in the fall of 1968.  He completed coursework, exams and his dissertation, receiving his doctoral degree in the summer of 1971.

Dr. Mattingly then returned to Southeast teaching new history courses and publishing several articles. He completed the hundred-year history of Southeast Missouri State University, “Normal to University:  A Century of Service” in 1979.

With his interest in local history, Dr. Mattingly was appointed director of the newly created Regional History Center in 1978, the Department of History’s outreach program that included academic work on local and state history to broaden student views of history nearby.  From 1979-1981, he advocated for and wrote with others a new degree, the Bachelor of Science in historic preservation. Upon approved by the Missouri Board of Higher Education in 1981, this program at Southeast was only the fourth such undergraduate program in the United States.  The new degree was unique in its structure and focus as it was designed to teach history outside the classroom.  Dr. Mattingly was chosen the program coordinator, serving in this capacity until retiring in 1993, after 30 years of learning from his students and sharing with them his humor and love of history.