Dr. Dawne Raines Burke, will speak on "John Storer: A Renaissance Man for the Nineteenth-Century Shenandoah Valley" at 7 p.m. on March 2. The talk will be in the auditorium of the Robert C. Byrd Center for Congressional History and Education (formerly Byrd Center for Legislative Studies). Dr. Burke's talk will kick off the Historic Shepherdstown Commission's 2016 Speakers Series. Dr. Burke is the author of "An American Phoenix: A History of Storer College from Slavery to Desegregation, 1865-1955." Her book tells the story of the first college open to African-Americans in West Virginia from its origins during Reconstruction to its closure after the Supreme Court's Brown v. Board Education decision. John Storer, a New England philanthropist, gave $10,000 to establish the school, requiring that it be open to all, regardless of race, sex or religion. Dr. Burke is an Assistant Professor of Education at Shepherd University and a native of Martinsburg. She received her Bachelor's Degree from Shepherd and her Ph.D. from Virginia Tech. The event is free and open to the public. The Byrd Center is located on King Street on the Shepherd University campus next to Scarborough Library. Parking is available on the street or behind the library.