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VHS honors nine for significant contributions to museum, its mission

The ceremony recognized those making significant contributions to research, education, and the mission of the museum.

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At a luncheon on July 13th, the Virginia Historical Society presented awards to nine individuals who have made significant contributions to research, education, and the mission of the museum.

Samuel Lichtman, a student at George H. Moody Middle School in Henrico County, was presented the Anne R. Worrell Middle School Student Award. This award is given to a student who exemplifies distinction in historical research and scholarship in middle school. 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. For his project, Sam researched and developed a website on the cultural exchange between Virginia Indians and the English settlers at Jamestown and other early seventeenth-century Virginia settlements. In the process, he interviewed historians and museum professionals. His bibliography lists a number of primary sources, including early accounts by John Smith, Gabriel Archer, and William Strachey.

The Bobby Chandler High School Student Award was presented to Kelsey Vita, a student at Rockbridge County High School. Made possible by the Kip Kephart Foundation, this award is given to a secondary school student who demonstrates intelligence, creativity, and research skills using primary source materials. Kelsey received the award for her AP Government class paper, “The Marshall Court’s Establishment of a Strong Central Government.”  In her paper, Kelsey analyzed a number of cases, including Marbury v. MadisonMcCulloch v. MarylandCohens v. Virginia, and Martin v. Hunter’s Lessee, to explore the establishment and expansion of the Supreme Court’s power of judicial review.

Kathryn K. M. Hershberger, a sixth-grade teacher at George H. Moody Middle School, was presented with the Brenton S. Halsey Teaching Excellence Award. This award alternates annually between elementary and secondary school teachers. Ms. Hershberger is a mentor, trainer, and leader at her school. This year, she started a National History Day club at Moody, and two of her students participated at the state finals. She loves history and in her spare time works as a historical interpreter at Henricus Historical Park. According to Ms. Hershberger’s supervisor, “her passion for history and for teaching is reflected in everything she does.” The social studies specialist for Henrico County adds that she turns “sixth-grade students into historians.”

The William M. E. Rachal Award was presented to Dr. Jeff Broadwater, a professor of history in the School of Humanities at Barton College. Honoring the long-time editor of the Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, the Rachal Award was established in 1985 to recognize the overall best article to appear in the journal. This year, the committee gave the award to Dr. Broadwater for his article entitled “James Madison and the Constitution: Reassessing the ‘Madison Problem,’” which appeared in volume 123, number 3, of the Virginia Magazine. The prize committee commented, “we thought [the article] was beautifully written, persuasively argued, and significantly added to our understanding of that complex political thinker.”

The Richard Slatten Award for Excellence in Virginia Biography was presented to Diane Kiesel for her book, She Will Bring Us Home: Dr. Dorothy Boulding Ferebee, Civil Rights Pioneer. In 1998, the estate of Kathleen Littlejohn Slatten made a generous bequest, in memory of her son, to The Community Foundation Serving Richmond and Central Virginia. In 2012, family friend Edgar MacDonald established the Slatten-MacDonald Fund at the Community Foundation to complement the support the Society receives from the Richard Slatten Endowment for Virginia History. In partnership with the careful stewardship of The Community Foundation, the award encourages and recognizes distinguished contributions to Virginia biography. Ms. Kiesel is an acting New York State Supreme Court Justice, presiding over domestic violence cases in the Bronx County criminal term. In She Can Bring Us Home, she examines the life and accomplishments of an under-appreciated champion for women’s advocacy and racial justice. Often poignant, the book chronicles the life of a woman who made choices that sacrificed personal happiness for her profession and life’s passion: civil rights.

The Patricia Rodman and Martin Kirwan King Volunteer of the Year Award was presented to Maryan Smith. Named in honor of Tish and Martin King, the volunteer of the year award was established in 1994. Ms. Smith has been a VHS volunteer since 2007, when she and her mother donated the business collection of her father, Verlin W. Smith Sr., to the newly opened Reynolds Center for Virginia Business History. As a lifelong resident of Fairfax County, she has utilized her personal and professional connections to help the VHS fulfill its mission in northern Virginia. In 2015 she established the VHS/George Mason University History Department NoVA Banner Lecture Series. Ms. Smith is also facilitating the identification and capture of oral histories and private collections in the northern counties.

Three VHS employees were presented the 2015 President’s Award for Excellence: Caroline Legros, School Program Coordinator; Elaine McFadden, Senior Grants Officer; and Laura Stoner, Associate Archivist for Business Collections. The President’s Award for Excellence is given for outstanding performance and special achievement. The recipients were nominated by their VHS peers.

“History has always been one of mankind’s greatest tools,” said board chairman and interim President and CEO of the VHS John R. Nelson. “It humbles us, inspires us, helps us understand the present, and provides the key to the future. Above all, history is meant to be shared. The individuals here today understand that. Whether through research, writing, teaching, or volunteering, they have helped bring history to others in new and exciting ways.”

John R. Nelson concluded the luncheon by remarking: “These individuals have produced outstanding work that reflects the mission of the VHS. The VHS could not accomplish its goal of linking past with present and inspiring future generations without the passion and dedication of the people we recognized today.”

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Trevor Dickerson is the co-founder and editor of RVAhub.com, lover of all things Richmond, and a master of karate and friendship for everyone.

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Richmond honeymooners camping out in Cape Hatteras parking lot after storm causes suspension of ferry service

A Richmond couple who planned to spend their honeymoon in Ocracoke, North Carolina has been camping out in the Hatteras Ferry Terminal parking lot after ocean overwash caused the closure of NC Highway 12 and the suspension of ferry service.

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A Richmond couple who planned to spend their honeymoon in Ocracoke, North Carolina has been camping out in the Hatteras Ferry Terminal parking lot after ocean overwash caused the closure of NC Highway 12 and the suspension of ferry service.

From the Ocracoke Observer:

Katie and Matt Oldhouser didn’t expect to spend most of their honeymoon this week in the Hatteras Ferry Terminal parking lot.

They are among those in about two dozen vehicles that have been waiting in the stacking lanes since Sunday afternoon hoping for passage to Ocracoke Island but were thwarted again on Wednesday.

A large wave swell from the passing of Hurricane Teddy well offshore has battered the Outer Banks. Since Sunday, the ocean has over washed the hot points at high tides at the north end of Ocracoke and the northern part of Pea Island between the Basnight Bridge and Rodanthe.

“While we’d hoped to be able to open NC 12 today, the ocean had other plans,” the NCDOT posted Wednesday on its Facebook page. “The road will remain closed between the Basnight Bridge and Rodanthe as well as on Ocracoke between the Pony Pens and the Ferry Terminal until at least noontime Thursday.”

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UR President Ronald Crutcher announces plans to step down from post in 2022

Following a sabbatical, Crutcher will return to the faculty as a university professor.  

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Ronald A. Crutcher has announced his intention to step down as president of the University of Richmond with the goal of the next president taking office no later than July 1, 2022.

“As I considered the great disruption and challenges facing higher education due to the pandemic, and contemplated what would best ensure the success of a future presidential search and our institutional momentum, I decided that it was important for the University to have as much time as possible to effectively identify and recruit the next president,” Crutcher said in a letter to alumni, faculty, staff, and students.

“The Board is extraordinarily grateful for the thoughtful manner in which President Crutcher has approached his decision, announcing his plans now to ensure time for a successful presidential search in this challenging national and global climate,” said Paul B. Queally, the board’s rector. “As he indicated to the Board, the University’s momentum of recent years is too important to risk interrupting, and we fully agree.”

Crutcher will continue to advance a variety of critical University initiatives, including guiding UR through the pandemic and the uncertainty and disruption it has brought.

“This year will certainly bring challenges, but it will also offer all of us new possibilities,” Crutcher wrote in his letter. “In every instance, we must seize such moments as opportunities to advance our shared aspirations and dreams for the University — and to realize our goal of being, and being recognized as, one of the strongest liberal arts institutions in the nation. That work continues to encourage and inspire me every day, and I look forward to what we will accomplish together over these next two academic years.”

Under Crutcher’s leadership the University has achieved the following:

  • Enhanced resources available to faculty, including programs focused on academic leadership and the creation of the Teaching and Scholarship Hub.
  • The creation of the Office of Scholars and Fellowships and the growing record of students’ success in securing prestigious national awards.
  • An increased national reputation for academic excellence as evidenced by the University’s highest ever U.S. News & World Report ranking of 22 among the nation’s top liberal arts colleges for 2021.
  • Important attention to developing and implementing strategies to ensure greater diversity and a more inclusive community, as detailed in the University’s Making Excellence Inclusive initiative.
  • A more diverse faculty, with 36% of hires in the last five years being persons of color or international and 42% being women.
  • Increased pride among UR alumni, who are more actively engaging with the University and contributing to historic levels of fundraising success.
  • Outstanding new facilities for well-being and Athletics.
  • Renovations of academic facilities in the arts and in the humanities, including an expansion to Ryland Hall to develop a center for the humanities.

“We look forward to the further achievements that are sure to come under President Crutcher’s continued leadership,” said Susan G. Quisenberry, vice rector. “As he has indicated, he remains intently focused on what he intends to accomplish in the years to come, and the Board very much looks forward to our continued work together in this time.”

The Board will begin the search for the University’s next president this fall and will soon establish and charge a search committee to identify and recommend candidates. The search committee will include trustees, as well as members of the Spider community. Details about the search process, committee, and timeline will be communicated in the coming weeks. Input from the University community about the priorities the new president will be asked to advance and the qualities and skills most important to seek in candidates will also be crucial to the success of the search and the University’s next president.

Following a sabbatical, Crutcher will return to the faculty as a university professor.

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City rolls out grant application for childcare and facilitated learning providers

Starting this week, neighborhood and community organizations from across Richmond can apply for a grant from the city to continue or expand capacity for emergency childcare and facilitated learning centers.

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Starting this week, neighborhood and community organizations from across Richmond can apply for a grant from the city to continue or expand capacity for emergency childcare and facilitated learning centers.

On Wednesday, September 16th, Mayor Levar Stoney announced that he would reserve $1 million in CARES Act funding to support trusted providers from around the city. Providers will be able to use the funds to continue to provide care more safely or expand the number of slots available in their programs.

The application background information and materials are available on RVAStrong, here.

To prioritize the health and safety of children throughout the city, applicants are asked to provide various materials to ensure that programs have a plan to keep children safe and secure. This includes liability insurance, VDSS approval, and a COVID-19 policy and procedure manual, among other documentation.

“These neighborhood-based organizations are trusted voices in the community with a track record of caring for our kids,” said Mayor Stoney. “This funding should allow them to continue and expand that care now that working caregivers need it more than ever.”

“Our first priority is the safety and security of the children in care,” said Mayor Stoney. “It is incumbent on the city to provide safeguards to this effect.”

The application materials provide substantial guidance to support interested applicants in meeting the requirements. For example, detailed instructions on obtaining a VDSS exemption are included in the application.

Applicants may apply via secure Google form or through email.

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