Chamorro historian is UOG fall commencement speaker on Dec. 21


Dr. Lawrence J. Cunningham, an historian, educator and woodcarver, will be the featured speaker at the University of Guam fall 2014 commencement ceremonies this Sunday, Dec.  21 at the UOG Calvo Field House.

Cunningham spent 25 years teaching Social Studies and Science classes at Agat Junior High, Inarajan Junior High School, Agat/Santa Rita High School and Oceanview High School. As a junior high school teacher, he helped to develop the Exploring Guam class for 9th graders. This was an early model for teaching Guam Natural and Social History before Chamorro Week was developed.



“Dr. Cunningham is an early advocate of teaching Guam’s natural and social history with a particular focus on Ancient Chamorro society,” said UOG president Dr. Robert Underwood. “His published works serve as the basic texts for researchers and his perspectives and insights have increased our understanding about Guam for the past 40 years.”

After retiring from the Guam Department of Education in 1993, he worked at the University of Guam in a variety of capacities including: research associate at the Richard F. Taitano Micronesian Area Research Center (MARC), assistant professor of history and faculty advisor for the Traditional Seafaring Society.

Cunningham has written many Marianas history articles for newspapers, magazines and academic journals. His research of the effects of expository and narrative prose on student achievement and attitudes toward textbooks was published by The Journal of Experimental Education and reported in the fifth and sixth editions of Educational Research by Walter R. Borg and Meredith D. Gall.

He has authored the following books:  Ancient Chamorro Kinship Organization, 1984; Ancient Chamorro Society, 1992; and co-authored Guam A Natural History, 2001; A History of Guam, 2001 and Micronesian Texts for the K-12 Reader:  A Selection Guide, 2002.

Cunningham is also known as L. Joseph, the woodcarver.  His ifet wood creations, that frequently depict local legends, have been the official gift of Guam to the heads of state of several countries, including the President of the United States.

University of Guam fall 2014 commencement ceremonies will be held beginning at 2pm on Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014 at the UOG Calvo Field House.

To read Dr. Cunningham’s full bio, visit the UOG website at (UOG)

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