Arthur Blank and Billy Payne Named 2014 Georgia Trustees


Arthur Blank and Billy Payne Named 2014 Georgia Trustees
Flannery O’Connor to be History Festival Historical Figure


Savannah, Ga., September 24, 2014 – The Georgia Historical Society announced today that Arthur M. Blank and William Porter “Billy” Payne will be the latest inductees to the Georgia Trustees in February 2014.

Arthur Blank is the Owner & Chairman of the Atlanta Falcons, Co-Founder of The Home Depot, and a philanthropist. Through his generosity, the Blank Family Foundation has granted nearly $300 million to support early childhood development, education, the arts, and parks and green-space.

Billy Payne is a native Georgian and Chairman of Centennial Holding Co and Chairman of the Augusta National Golf Club. In 1996 he brought the world to Atlanta as President of the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games.

“These two icons represent the best of the American spirit,” said Dr. W. Todd Groce, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Georgia Historical Society. “Their continued service to the state of Georgia, their leadership and accomplishments will inspire the youth of our state for generations to come.”

The new Georgia Trustees will be officially inducted February 15, 2014 by Governor Nathan Deal in Savannah at the Trustees Gala “Mojo Nights”. For tickets and information on how to purchase a table for the event, please visit

Additionally, it was announced that celebrated American author Flannery O’Connor will be the Georgia History Festival 2014 Historical Figure in commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of her death in 1964.

“We honor Flannery O’Connor, not only for the body of work she left but for her legacy as a Georgian who continues to influence writers, filmmakers, and lovers of great literature to this day,” said Christy Crisp, Director of Programs at the Georgia Historical Society.

Ms. Swann Seiler, Corporate Communications Support Manager for Georgia Power, presented the Georgia Historical Society with a check as the Trustee Level Sponsor for the Georgia History Festival.

Also on hand were Dr. Thomas B. Lockamy, Jr., Superintendent of Savannah-Chatham Public Schools and the children from Veritas Academy in Savannah, winners of the 2013 Georgia Day Parade banner contest.

The Georgia History Festival is the signature K-12 educational program of the Georgia Historical Society. Held annually around the anniversary of the founding of the colony of Georgia on February 12, 1733, this commemoration brings history to life for students of all ages through a variety of programs including a series of school events and curriculum, crafts workshops, the two-day Colonial Faire and Muster living-history program held at Wormsloe State Historic Site, and the colorful Georgia History Festival parade. By engaging students in interactive learning experiences, Georgia History Festival sparks the imagination, develops critical thinking processes, and opens the exciting world of the past to exploration, study, and understanding.



SAVANNAH: 501 Whitaker St., Savannah, GA 31401
ATLANTA: 260 14th St., NW, Ste. A-148, Atlanta, GA 30318

Georgia Historical Society (GHS) is the premier independent statewide institution responsible for collecting, examining and teaching Georgia history. GHS houses the oldest and most distinguished collection of materials related exclusively to Georgia history in the nation.