Virginia J. Laas is professor emerita of history at Missouri Southern State University in Joplin. She has authored, coauthored, and edited five books, including Love and Power in the Nineteenth Century: The Marriage of Violet Blair and Bridging Two Eras: The Autobiography of Emily Newell Blair, 1877-1951. Laas has also contributed chapters to several books and published extensively in journals. She is a past president of the Missouri Conference on History. In Joplin, Laas has been a board member of ProMusica and Spiva Art Center. Currently, she serves on the boards of Post Art Library and Sherwood/Rader Farm Civil War Memorial Park. Laas has been a trustee of the Society since 1995, a member of the Missouri Historical Review editorial advisory board since 1999, and on the executive committee since 2003.