Tony and Margo Daniels Share Enthusiasm for the College, History, and Sculpture
LYNDON ALUMNI PRESENT LINCOLN BUST IN HONOR OF GRAHAM NEWELL
November 21, 2011
Tony and Margo Daniels, 1970 graduates of Lyndon State College, have presented a cast bust of Abraham Lincoln to the College in honor of long time Professor of History Graham Newell.
The bust was officially installed in the Vermont Room of the Samuel Read Hall Library the morning of October 27. Joining the Daniels for the occasion were Lyndon’s Interim President Steve Gold; Library Director Garet Nelson; Assistant Professor of Social Science and History Paul Searls, who holds the Graham Newell Chair in History at the College; and Dean of Institutional Advancement, Bob Whittaker.
Tony Daniels majored in history at Lyndon and thus had Professor Newell for “more classes than I can recall.” Daniels says, “In your life you’ll have half a dozen teachers who really make their mark—they’ll be with you forever. For me, Graham Newell was one of those teachers.” Like so many of Newell’s students, he cites the passion and enthusiasm Graham brought to his lectures. “He made it seem as if whatever he was talking about on any given day was absolutely the most important thing happening at that moment. I try to bring that energy to my teaching.”
Tony was a student at Lyndon at a time when he and classmates were able to partake in an early form of distance learning inspired by Graham Newell’s dual roles as college professor and Vermont State Senator. When the legislature was in session a phone line and speaker system occasionally had to be deployed so the professor could broadcast lessons from a cubbyhole office in Montpelier.
Both Tony and Margo, who earned her degree at LSC in Education, spent their teaching careers in Jackson, N.J., and both were selected for “Teacher of the Year” honors by their colleagues. They are now retired and split their time between Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom and Florida.
Tony’s love for history didn’t start or finish at Lyndon. American history figures prominently in both a favorite past time—Civil War reenacting—and an outside art and business interest. Which is where the story comes full circle.
The bust presented to the College was manufactured by Great Storm Gallery—an internet-based business founded by Tony Daniels and his son, Anthony, to make and sell museum-quality busts, plaques, masks, and jewelry of Abraham Lincoln, Civil War-era, and other American subjects. The “Volk” bust presented to the College was created by American artist Leonard Volk in 1860, and came to be known as the “Hermes” bust of Lincoln. The gallery’s customers include Tom Brokaw and filmmaker Ken Burns.