Georgia Historical Society Surpasses $1 Million in Contributions for K-12 Educational Programming

Will Celebrate with Sponsors and Donors this Saturday at
Trustees Gala in Savannah.

Atlanta, Ga., February 15, 2017 - The Georgia Historical Society announced today that the 2017 Georgia History Festival has surpassed all previous milestones by raising more than $1 million  ($1,000,000) for K-12 educational programs in Georgia.

“We are grateful to our 2017 Georgia History Festival Chairman H. Jerome Russell and the entire committee who worked so tirelessly to reach this goal,” said Dr. W. Todd Groce, President and CEO of the Georgia Historical Society. “It is only through their efforts and the generosity of our corporate sponsors who support the Georgia History Festival each year that we will continue to bring exceptional programming to future generations of Georgians.”

The 2017 Georgia History Festival will conclude this Saturday at the annual Trustees Gala in Savannah with the induction of A.D. “Pete” Correll and F. Duane Ackerman as the newest Georgia Trustees.

“We look forward to honoring the good works of Pete Correll and Duane Ackerman in both business and philanthropy, and celebrating the 284th anniversary of the founding of Georgia at the Trustees Gala this Saturday,” added Groce.

About the Trustees

A.D. “Pete” Correll is a native of Brunswick, Georgia, and served as CEO of Georgia-Pacific for 13 years. He is Chairman of the Board of Grady Memorial Hospital Corporation and serves on the boards of the Georgia Aquarium and the Mother Nature Network. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Georgia and Master’s degrees in Pulp and Paper Technology and Chemical Engineering from the University of Maine, as well as an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from the University of Georgia and an honorary Doctorate of Public Service from College of Coastal Georgia.

Among his many notable acts of service, when Correll learned that Ebenezer Baptist Church had stopped its renovation project for lack of funds, he called the church where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. preached and told them to re-start the construction. He'd get the money, he told them. "We got ten companies to give $100,000 each, and we did it in one afternoon," Correll says.

F. Duane Ackerman is the retired chairman and CEO of the BellSouth Corporation. Mr. Ackerman was named the president and chief executive officer of BellSouth Telecommunications, BellSouth’s local telephone service unit, and largest subsidiary, in November 1992. He was promoted to vice chairman and chief operating officer of the parent company, BellSouth Corporation, in 1995, and was elevated to the position of president and chief executive officer of BellSouth in 1997. One year later, the Board added the chairman’s responsibilities, and Mr. Ackerman served as chairman and chief executive officer until BellSouth’s merger with AT&T in 2006.

Additionally, Ackerman has served on the boards of The Allstate Corporation, United Parcel Service, and The Home Depot. He is a past chairman of Rollins College, The National Council on Competitiveness, as well as a past chair of the National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee. Additionally, Duane Ackerman is a former member of the Homeland Security Advisory Council and has served on the board of governors for the Society of Sloan Fellows of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was President of the Atlanta Area Council of Boy Scouts of America and chaired the Olympic Park Private Sector Campaign for Centennial Olympic Park.

Correll and Ackerman will join an illustrious list of modern day Georgia Trustees including James H. Blanchard, Retired Chairman of the Board and CEO, Synovus; Muhtar Kent, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, The Coca-Cola Company; Alana Smith Shepherd, co-founder of the Shepherd Center; Paula S. Wallace, President and co-founder of the Savannah College of Art and Design; Arthur M. Blank, owner & Chairman of the Atlanta Falcons and Home Depot co-founder; William Porter “Billy” Payne, Chairman of the Augusta National Golf Club, Chairman of Centennial Holding Company, LLC, and President and CEO of the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games; Truett Cathy, founder of Chick-fil-A; Herman Russell, founder of H.J. Russell & Company;  Tom Cousins, Atlanta real estate developer and sports franchise mogul; Andrew Young, former UN Ambassador and Mayor of Atlanta; Vincent J. Dooley, legendary UGA Football Coach; The Honorable Sam Nunn, former U.S. Senator; Hank Aaron, baseball legend; Ted Turner, CNN founder and Chairman of Turner Enterprises, Inc.; Bernard Marcus, Home Depot co-founder; and  Marguerite Neel Williams (honored posthumously), entrepreneur.

About the Georgia Trustees

In conjunction with the Governor’s Office, the Georgia Historical Society reestablished the Georgia Trustees in 2009 as a way of recognizing Georgians whose accomplishments and community service reflect the highest ideals of the founding body of Trustees. The original Georgia Trustees, a governing body chartered and appointed by His Majesty King George II of England in 1732 to establish a new colony in North America, founded Georgia upon the principle of Non Sibi, Sed Aliis, “Not for Self but for Others.” The Governor annually appoints new Trustees whose history-making accomplishments and service reflect the original Trustees’ ideals. It is the highest honor the state can confer.

The Georgia History Festival is the signature K-12 educational program of the Georgia Historical Society. Beginning with the new school year in September, the Georgia History Festival’s public programs, exhibits, in-school events, and educational resources bring history to life for students of all ages and encourages Georgians to explore the richness and diversity of our state’s past. The festival culminates in February, the founding month of the Georgia colony, with Founding City events like the popular Colonial Faire and Muster living history program held at Wormsloe State Historic Site, Savannah’s colorful Georgia Day Parade, and the annual Trustees Gala.

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.
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