Celebrated annually since 1986, the Governor's Awards in the Humanities honor individuals and organizations who have made significant contributions to the humanities in Georgia. Organized by the Georgia Humanities Council, the awards luncheon and ceremony is attended by the governor, who presents the awards to each honoree. Prior to the ceremony, a distinguished speaker delivers the Annual Humanities Lecture, which is free and open to the public.
On May 8, 2008, the Humanities Lecture was given by John T. Edge, an award-winning food writer and the director of the Southern Foodways Alliance in Oxford, Mississippi. His lecture welcomed to Georgia the arrival of Key Ingredients: America by Food, a traveling exhibition by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. On that same day Speaker Pro Tempore Mark Burkhalter, representing Governor Sonny Perdue, presented the following two organizations and nine individuals with awards.
The Cook County Historical Society, based in Adel, is honored for its local history and genealogical research. The society also works extensively with schools in Cook County and is currently developing a museum in Adel's Old Post Office.
The University of Georgia Press is honored for publishing quality scholarship and creative works for the past seventy years. The Press has also formed notable partnerships with many entities across the state, including the Georgia Center for the Book, the Georgia Humanities Council, and the New Georgia Encyclopedia.
Mary Alice Budge, professor emerita of English at Youngstown College in Ohio, is honored for her volunteer contributions to the Columbus community, particularly for her efforts on behalf of the Springer Opera House.
James Caldwell, a high school teacher in Macon, is honored for forty years of exceptional teaching in French, the humanities, and social studies. He is also actively involved with local historical organizations and historic preservation activities.
Lee Ann Caldwell, chair of the history department at Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville, is honored for thirty years of scholarship and teaching at institutions around the state, including Augusta State University and Paine College. She is also involved in numerous outreach activities and is active in the Georgia Association of Historians and the Southern Association for Women Historians.
Dale Couch, senior archivist at the Georgia Archives in Morrow, is honored for twenty-five years of service to Georgia citizens and researchers. An expert on decorative arts, Couch serves on the Decorative Arts Advisory Committee and plans the biennial Henry D. Green Center Symposium at the Georgia Museum of Art in Athens. He lives in Decatur.
Rosemary Daniell, a resident of Savannah, is honored for her contributions to the literature of Georgia. An acclaimed writer of poetry, fiction, and memoir, Daniell is also the founder of Zona Rosa, a creative writing workshop for women offered on the local, national, and international levels.
George Hooks, a state senator from Americus since 1980, has served as cochair of the Joint Study Committee on Historic Preservation in the Georgia General Assembly and recently worked on the restoration of the state capitol. Hooks also promotes historic preservation efforts in Sumter County and serves on the board of the Georgia Historical Society.
Clifford Kuhn, a scholar specializing in labor, urban, and oral history, serves on the faculty of Georgia State University in Atlanta and has participated in public programs and outreach for thirty years. Kuhn was coproducer of the radio series Living Atlanta, which he later developed into a book of the same name published by the University of Georgia Press. In 2006 he worked on programs to commemorate the centennial of the Atlanta race riot of 1906, and he currently serves as cochair for the Center for Civil and Human Rights Partnership.
Erick Montgomery, the executive director of Historic Augusta, has worked with preservation and historical organizations across the state for the past thirty years. His many projects include the restoration of the Woodrow Wilson and Joseph Rucker Lamar boyhood homes, as well as the Springfield Village Park next to the historic Springfield Baptist Church, in Augusta.
Sue McLendon Moye has served for forty years on the board of Historic Westville, which runs the Westville living history museum near Lumpkin. She also maintains the historic West Hill home and has published a comprehensive decorative arts survey of Stewart County. She and her family donated a portion of the Singer-Moye Mounds to the Columbus Museum; ownership of the mounds is currently being transferred to the Museum of Natural History at the University of Georgia.
A project of the Georgia Humanities Council, in partnership with the University of Georgia Press, the University System of Georgia/GALILEO, and the Office of the Governor.