FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 6, 2006
Contact: Carol Anne Baker, Media Relations Specialist
(804) 342-9665 email:
Virginia Historical Society Names 2006 Wyndham B. Blanton Scholars
and Scholarship Winner
Students participated in a workshop with Pulitzer Prize-winner David McCullough
Richmond, VA – October 19 and 20 became memorable days in the lives of twenty high school students from across the Commonwealth. As participants in the eighth annual Wyndham B. Blanton Scholars Forum, the students were honored guests at a lecture featuring author David McCullough. The lecture, which took place on October 19, focused on George Washington and "lessons of leadership." The following morning, students participated in a seminar with Mr. McCullough.
"We are very proud of the Blanton Scholars program," says Dr. Charles F. Bryan, Jr., president and CEO of the Virginia Historical Society. "By providing the opportunity to connect with this renowned author and historian, we hope to inspire a future generation of historians as they move toward the next phase of their education. And with the addition of a scholarship this year, we are able to assist in that educational endeavor."
Blanton Scholar applicants are required to submit a research paper related to the chosen forum topic along with two letters of recommendation. The Society covers meals and lodging expenses for out-of-town students and their chaperones. Participants received an autographed copy of Mr. McCullough's book, 1776, which they read before attending the forum. During the forum, students were carefully evaluated based on their level of participation and quality of interaction with Mr. McCullough. Those criteria, along with the research paper, determined who would be named recipient of the $5,000 Wyndham B. Blanton Scholarship.
Michael Romais of Thomas Jefferson High School in Fairfax was named the Wyndham B. Blanton Scholarship recipient—the first to receive the honor. Jan Vallone, Romais's Advanced Placement U.S. history teacher, wrote of Michael, "In my thirty-two years of teaching . . . I have had many outstanding students. But for overall love of history and passion for furthering his personal understanding, none can compare with Michael Romais."
The program, named in honor of a former president of the historical society, was established eight years ago by a generous benefactor who wanted to create a statewide forum for high school students studying Virginia and American history.
Wyndham B. Blanton Scholars 2006
Jessica Allison, Powhatan
Connie Bayliss, Salem
Peter Breen, Falls Church
Katherine Brooks, Millers Tavern
Caroline Davis, Richmond
Michael Douglass, Mechanicsville
Stephen Loftus, Chester
Vanessa Lukas, Oakton
Jennifer McCarter, Chesterfield
Christina McClernon, Midlothian
Jessica Merry, Midlothian
Grover Mewborn, Annadale
Anne Minoff, Arlington
Alexander Newton, Lynchburg
Corinne Ridderhof, Richmond
Michael Romais, Fairfax
Caroline Rose, Richmond
Daniel Saboe, Centreville
Ben Swartz, Richmond
Rachel Vaughn, Richmond
The Virginia Historical Society is located at 428 N. Boulevard. The Story of Virginia, An American Experience,
a 10,000-square-foot exhibition with more than a thousand objects covering all of Virginia history from prehistoric
times to the present is featured in the Robins Center for Virginia History. Hours: Monday-Saturday 10am - 5pm
and Sunday 1pm - 5pm (Museum Galleries only). Admission: $5/adults, $4/seniors 55+ ($2/Tuesdays–galleries
only), $3/children and students, free/members. Admission to the galleries is free on Sundays. For group tour
information, call (804) 342-9652. For more information, please call (804) 358-4901 or visit