UND history student, football captain wins 2016 Merrifield Award for academic research


David L. Dodds

Document Type

News Article

Publication Date


Campus Unit

College of Arts & Sciences


Luke Mathewson’s paper examines life and times of North Dakota ‘Sioux Country’ missionary Aaron McGaffey Beede

Named in honor of Webster Merrifield, UND’s first librarian and third president, the Merrifield Competition awards a $1,000 scholarship for the most outstanding student research paper, using historic documents from the Chester Fritz Library’s Elwyn B. Robinson Department of Special Collections . The competition is sponsored by Special Collections and the UND Department of History.

Mathewson’s paper, "Missionary, Judge, and Intellectual: Why Aaron McGaffey Beede Does Not Belong in the Current Historiography," examined the history of Beede, a prominent Episcopal missionary in Sioux County, North Dakota, in the early 20th century.

Mathewson is originally from Libertyville, Ill., and is the youngest child of Steve and Priscilla Mathewson. He plans to attend seminary to become a pastor following graduation from UND. He was recently named as one of four captains for the UND football team for the upcoming 2016 season.

A five-member jury reviewed the papers submitted for the competition. The jury consisted of Curt Hanson, Head of Special Collections, and four UND faculty members: Christopher Basgier, English; William Caraher, History; Melissa Gjellstad, Languages; and Marcia Mikulak, Anthropology.

The papers were judged on quality of research, clarity of thesis and conclusion, writing skill, and the investigation of primary sources.