FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 6, 2011
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Virginia Historical Society Honors Twelve with Special Awards
Winners from Across the State Include Students, Educators, Authors, Volunteers, and Philanthropists
Richmond, VA—At a special luncheon in July, the Virginia Historical Society (VHS) presented awards to individuals who have made significant contributions to research, education, and the mission of the Society. A total of ten VHS awards were presented to a teacher, a businessman, an author, students, volunteers, and staff.
"It is in history that many of us find comfort, that we find meaning," Dr. Paul Levengood, VHS president and CEO, said to award winners and their guests, trustees, and staff present at the event. “We are here as a refuge and as a place to learn and put our lives in context. What else but history, and perhaps faith, allows us to do that? With these awards handed out today you will see those who have excelled in the fields of scholarship, service, and support of the Virginia Historical Society.”
Callie Marie Angle, a student at Mathematics and Science High School at Clover Hill in Chesterfield County, was awarded the 2010 Bobby Chandler Student Award. The Bobby Chandler Student Award, made possible by the Kip Kephart Foundation, is given to a secondary school history student who demonstrates intelligence, creativity, and research skills using primary source materials. Angle was recognized for her work on an applied history class project, “Between the Living and the Dead: A Study of the Inequity of Tuberculosis Treatment Between the Races in Virginia, 1900–1960.” Angle’s project included a comparison of the treatment of tuberculosis patients at Catawba Sanatorium in Roanoke and Piedmont Sanatorium in Burkeville. Angle is the sixteenth recipient since this award was created in 1996. Five out of the last six Bobby Chandler Student Award winners have attended Clover Hill High School.
The Honorable Nicholas F. Taubman, former chairman of Roanoke-based Advanced Auto Parts, Inc., and most recently United States Ambassador to Romania from 2005 to 2008, was awarded the Lora Robins Award. The Lora Robins Award, created in 2000, recognizes an individual who best emulates Lora Robins’s splendid leadership, generosity, and foresight in collecting the evidence of Virginia’s history for the benefit of future generations. Levengood, who presented the award, said “Nick is a dedicated history enthusiast. His leadership in collecting and his great devotion to preserving history made him an excellent choice for this award. But it is not only as a collector that he has mirrored Lora Robins. Nick has supported the preservation and interpretation of Virginia history by recognizing the need for financial support to enable institutions, like the VHS, to acquire artifacts for study, collections, and exhibitions.”
The VHS established the C. Coleman McGehee Award in 1995 to recognize the best article in the Virginia Magazine of History and Biography written by a graduate student. The prize was created in memory of C. Coleman McGehee, who served as president of the Society from 1992 to 1994, and after retiring as a banker, went back to school as a history graduate student. The 2010 McGehee award was conferred to David W. Houpt for his article entitled “Securing a Legacy: The Publication of James Madison’s Notes from the Constitutional Convention.” The article about Dolley Madison’s determined efforts to find a publisher for her husband’s notes appeared in volume 118, number 1 of the Virginia Magazine. The prize committee recognized Houpt’s piece as “well researched, written, and crafted” and overall “an impressive work.” Houpt is a doctoral student in history at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.
Margaret R. DeHart, a teacher at Belview Elementary School in Montgomery County, was awarded the Brenton S. Halsey Teaching Excellence Award. For fifteen years, the VHS has awarded the Brenton S. Halsey Teaching Excellence Award to a Virginia educator who displays scholarship, enthusiasm, and creativity in the classroom. For 2010, the award—which is named in honor of former chairman and long-time friend of the Society Brenton Halsey—was presented to DeHart for her work integrating Virginia history standards into her art instruction. DeHart developed art lessons on a number of history topics, including the Civil War, the Underground Railroad, Industrial Revolution, and the Civil Rights Movement, in which she has students analyze and interpret photographs, paintings, and illustrations.
Katherine Morse, a sixth grade student at Paul Laurence Dunbar Middle School in Lynchburg, was awarded the 2010 Anne R. Worrell Middle School Student Award. The Anne Worrell Award is given to a middle school student who exemplifies distinction in historical research and scholarship. Applicants must submit a paper or classroom project that is creative, uses primary source materials, and demonstrates an understanding of some facet of American history. The award is named in honor of Charlottesville resident Anne Worrell, a former member of the board of trustees, current honorary vice chairman, and long-time VHS supporter. Morse’s assignment was to turn Standards of Learning (SOL) facts into lyrics for a popular song. Morse wrote a song about geographical regions in Virginia and two songs about the Revolutionary War—one sung to the tune of “Up on the Rooftops” and the other to “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas.” This is the second year that the VHS has given the Anne R. Worrell Middle School Student Award.
Dr. Susan Kern, visiting assistant professor of history at the College of William and Mary, was awarded the 2010 Richard Slatten Award. The Richard Slatten Award, made possible by a generous bequest from the estate of Kathleen L. Slatten, recognizes distinguished contributions to Virginia biography. Kern’s book, The Jeffersons at Shadwell, has been highly praised for its accessibility and its scholarship on Thomas Jefferson and Virginia history. One reviewer noted, “Kern has produced a work of impressive yet accessible scholarship that will be of equal value to readers seeking a deeper and more nuanced understanding of Thomas Jefferson and his formative years, as well as those more generally interested in the process by which Tidewater plantation society was transplanted to Virginia’s expanding western frontier.” Kern is the fourteenth winner since the Richard Slatten Award was created in 1997. She joins the list of recipients that includes Civil War historian James I. Robertson, Jr., and Robert E. Lee scholar Elizabeth Brown Pryor.
In 1985, the William M. E. Rachal Award was established to honor the overall best article to appear in the VHS journal, the Virginia Magazine of History and Biography. The 2010 award, named for Will Rachal, the editor of the journal from 1953 to 1980, was granted to Gordon S. Barker for his article, “Secession and Slavery as a Positive Good: The Impact of the Anthony Burns Drama in Boston on Virginia.” The prize committee stated that “Barker’s narrative about the Anthony Burns drama is a fascinating exploration of North/South relations on the eve of the Civil War. His nuanced approach to the subject demonstrates the contingencies that make the run up to the Civil War so complex.” Barker received his Ph.D. from the College of William and Mary and currently teaches at Bishop’s University in Canada.
Every year the society recognizes the outstanding volunteer of the year with the Patricia Rodman and Martin Kirwan King Volunteer Award. For 2010 there were two recipients: husband and wife team Joyce and Jim Goetzinger. Since 1999, Jim has worked to preserve the character and integrity of the gardens at Virginia House as well as contribute to the care of the gazebo and stone retaining walls on the property. That same year, Joyce began working as a docent. She has led tours and conducted programs at the VHS for thousands of school children from across the commonwealth. Levengood said, “Jim and Joyce’s dedication and enthusiasm over the past twelve years has been much appreciated and very beneficial to the museum. They exemplify all that is good about volunteer work and richly deserve this award.”
The Howson W. Cole Award was created to honor Howson Cole, senior archivist at the VHS for nearly four decades before he retired in 1991. The award recognizes staff whom have shown great dedication to the VHS and is not given every year—only years in which the award committee feels it is merited. The 2010 Howson W. Cole Award recipient is Henrico County resident Kelly E. Winters, who left the VHS in June 2011. Winters worked for the Society for nearly sixteen years, starting as an administrative coordinator for the development department before being promoted to membership services manager. Levengood said that under her supervision, the membership doubled to an astonishing high of 8,000 members and during her tenure, the renewal rate climbed to a high of 90 percent. He further noted, “Kelly set high standards for exemplary customer service, an impeccable work ethic, and a willingness to go above and beyond the parameters of her published job description time and time again.”
Levengood concluded the luncheon and awards presentation by saying, “The VHS could not accomplish our goal of linking past with present and inspiring future generations if it were not for the many people we have gathered and recognized here today. All of the award winners should be proud of helping the VHS connect people to America’s past by telling the unparalleled story of Virginia.”
For 180 years, the Virginia Historical Society (VHS) has been connecting people to America’s past through the unparalleled story of Virginia. The VHS.–a history museum and research library—features award.–winning exhibitions that are entertaining and educational for visitors of all ages. The Society is the only museum with all of Virginia’s history under one roof—all centuries, all regions, and all topics are covered. Although designated the Official State Historical Society, the VHS is a privately funded non.–profit organization that relies on contributions from individuals, corporations, and foundations to sustain its operations. The VHS is located at 428 North Boulevard in Richmond’s Museum District. Admission is free. Museum hours are Monday–Saturday 10 a.m..–5 p.m. and Sunday 1 p.m..–5 p.m. Library hours are Monday–Saturday 10 a.m..–5 p.m. For more information, call (804) 358-4901, visit www.vahistorical.org, or find the VHS on Facebook and Twitter.