GHS Distinguished Fellow Program

Distinguished Fellow Edward L. Ayers with GHS President W. Todd Groce and Board Chairman Robert S. Jepson

GHS Distinguished Fellow

What is the GHS Distinguished Fellow Program?
The Georgia Historical Society Distinguished Fellow Program is an honorary membership bestowed annually for exceptional achievement in the field of scholarly historical research and in recognition of signal service to the Georgia Historical Society. Selection as a Distinguished Fellow is based entirely on merit and is therefore the highest level of membership offered by the Georgia Historical Society.

Who qualifies to be a Distinguished Fellow?
Individuals designated as Distinguished Fellows of the Society are national leaders in the field of history as both writers and educators whose research has enhanced or changed the way the public understands the past. In addition to their outstanding scholarship, Distinguished Fellows have served the institution as faculty in teacher-training seminars, as lecturers, as consultants, or in a similar capacity. Being designated as a Distinguished Fellow recognizes and formalizes the relationship forged through this service.

How are Distinguished Fellows selected?
Distinguished Fellows of the Georgia Historical Society are selected by the Society’s Board of Curators on the recommendation of the President and the staff and are inducted at the Society’s annual meeting, where the Fellow is asked to make a presentation on his or her current research to the members of the Society.

On May 28, 2015 Gary W. Gallagher was inducted as a Distinguished Fellow at the 176th Annual Meeting of the members of the Georgia Historical Society.

Past Recipients

2015: Gary W. Gallagher

Gary W. Gallagher is the John L. Nau III Professor in the History of the American Civil War at the University of Virginia. A native of Los Angeles, California, he received his B.A. from Adams State College of Colorado (1972) and his M.A. (1977) and Ph.D. (1982) from the University of Texas at Austin. He is the author or editor of more than thirty books, including The Confederate War (Harvard University Press, 1997), Lee and His Generals in War and Memory (Louisiana State University Press, 1998), Causes Won, Lost, and Forgotten: How Hollywood and Popular Art Shape What We Know About the Civil War (University of North Carolina Press, 2008), The Union War (Harvard University Press, 2011), Becoming Confederates: Paths to a New National Loyalty (University of Georgia Press, 2013), and Lens of War: Exploring Iconic Photographs of the Civil War (University of Georgia Press, 2015). He appeared regularly on the Arts and Entertainment Network’s series “Civil War Journal” as well as participating in more than three dozen other television projects in the field. Professor Gallagher delivered the 2011 Lamar Lectures at Mercer University, and in 2001-2002 he was the Times-Mirror Foundation Distinguished Fellow at the Henry E. Huntington Library in San Marino, California. He is also the recipient of the Cavaliers’ Distinguished Teaching Professorship for 2010-2012 (the highest teaching award conveyed by the University of Virginia) and the Philip Merrill Award for Outstanding Contributions to Liberal Arts Education from the American Council of Trustees and Alumni in 2013. Active in the field of historic preservation, he was president from 1987 to mid-1994 of the Association for the Preservation of Civil War Sites (an organization with a membership of more than 12,500 representing all 50 states). He also served as a member of the Board of the Civil War Trust and has given testimony about preservation before Congressional committees on several occasions.

2014: Edward L. Ayers

Dr. Edward L. Ayers is the president of the University of Richmond and the author of eleven books on American history. A Kingsport, Tennessee, native, he earned a B. A. in history at the University of Tennessee, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in history at Yale University. He received the 2013 National Medal for the Humanities; the Bancroft Prize for distinguished writing in American History; the Beveridge Prize for the best book in English on the history of the Americas since 1492; and has been a finalist for the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. Dr. Ayers was a founder of the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities and the Virginia Center for Digital History. He was recently elected president of the Organization of American Historians and is a co-host of the nationally syndicated public radio program “BackStory with The American History Guys.” He is one of the most distinguished historians and educators in the nation.