Dr. Ward joined UTC’s History Department in September 1969, shortly after completing his Ph.D. at Louisiana State University. He earned tenure and promotion to associate professor in 1974, a UC Foundation professorship in 1980, and a Guerry professorship in 1992. His scholarly achievements included the publication of ten books and over twenty articles. He earned numerous grants and fellowships (both internal and external), and was named the UTC Student Government Association’s Outstanding Professor five times (1982-83, 1984-85, 1989-90, 1990-91, and 1991-92). Dr. Ward also received the UT National Alumni Association’s Outstanding Teacher Award in 1983-84, and was the College of Arts and Sciences’ Outstanding Teacher in 1985-86. He taught at least fourteen different courses, two of which students continue to request (History of the Vikings, and Heroes and Villains). Dr. Ward served on over twenty department, college, and university committees, chairing seven of them; served as president of UTC’s Alpha Society from 1982-84 and president of UTC’s Council of Scholars from 1994-99; and delivered the university’s commencement address in December 1983. Meanwhile, Dr. Ward made significant service contributions to the broader academy and community, as evidenced by his membership in nearly ten professional and local organizations.


Ph.D., Louisiana State University, 1969

M.A., Purdue University, 1965

B.A., Purdue University, 1964


Eight Faculty Research Grants, UTC

Two Research Grants, American Philosophical Society

Five times UTC SGA Outstanding Professor

The Society of Automotive Historians' Nicholas-Joseph Cugnot Award for the best book on automobile history published in English, 2004

The Railroad History Award for Outstanding Article published in 1991 and 1992, 1993

Outstanding Teacher, College of Arts and Sciences, 1985-86

University of Tennessee National Alumni Association, Alumni Outstanding Teacher Award, 1983-84

Publication Highlights

Railroads in America. Book Series Editor with H. Roger Grant. Northern Illinois University Press.

The USA from a Chevrolet: Scenes from Forty-Year Drive in a '65 Biscayne. McFarland Publishing Company, 2006.

Three Men in a Hupp: Around the World by Automobile, 1910-1912. Stanford University Press, 2003.

America, The Endless Quest. With H. L. Ingle and William Scott. Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company, 2003.

Ferrytale: The Career of W.H. "Ping" Ferry. Stanford University Press, 2002.

The Fall of the Packard Motor Car Company. Stanford University Press, 1995.

Southern Railroad Man: Conductor Nimrod J. Bell's Memoirs. Edited. Dekalb: Northern Illinois University Press, 1993.

Railroads and the Character of America. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1986.

J. Edgar Thompson: Master of the Pennsylvania. Westport: Greenwood Press, 1980.

American History: A Brief View. With H. L. Ingle. Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1978.

That Man Haupt: A Biography of Herman Haupt. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1973. 

Over two dozen articles in scholarly journals, dictionaries, and encyclopedias

Presentation Highlights

Commenter, Civil War Journal, with Danny Glover, program Civil War Railroads, Discovery Channel, 1995

Historian on the BBC series Locomotion. Discovery channel, 1994

Keynote address, York, England, at joint Smithsonian/British National Museum symposium on railroads and culture, October 1993

Keynote address, American Railroad Conference, Altoona, PA, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990

155th University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Commencement Address, December 21, 1983

Professional Service Highlights

Member, Board of Editors, Tennessee Historical Quarterly

Member, Board of Editors, Railroad History

President, UTC Council of Scholars

President, Friends of the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Bicentennial Library

President, Alpha Society, The Honor Society of the University

Member, Board of Editors, University of Tennessee Press