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October 24, 2008

Mary and Donald Gonzales Field Experience Fund announces fall award winners

Several Colonial Williamsburg employees have been selected to receive awards from the Mary and Donald Gonzales Field Experience Fund. The fund provides individual grants of up to $5,000 for continuing education opportunities for non-management employees within the landscape services department, Historic Area division, or collections and museums division.

Fall 2008 cycle recipients are:

  • Bassett Hall interpretive staff (Cynthya Nothstine, Carol Callahan, Mary Dickens, Cathy Edmonds and Sandy Holsten), completed their visit to Kykuit, the Rockefeller family home in Pocantico, N.Y., and the Hudson Valley Area today. The experience, which lasted from Oct. 21-24, provided these interpreters the opportunity to compare and contrast two Rockefeller family homes: Bassett Hall and Kykuit. Traveling as a Bassett Hall team also allowed the group to focus specifically on questions and discussions that pertain to their unique interpretive challenges;
  • Robert E. Brantley, Historic Foodways journeyman in Historic Trades of Yorktown, Va., will take the course, “Ice Cream 101: Introduction to Frozen Desserts,” at the Pennsylvania State University in January 2009. This program is the oldest, best-known and largest educational program dealing with the science and technology of ice cream.
  • Thomas T. Hay, site supervisor of Capitol, Courthouse and Gaol Ensemble, of Gloucester County, will participate in the General Court Digital Docket Project that includes a research trip to the Massachusetts Historical Society in Boston in early 2009 to create a digital collection of all surviving Virginia General Court records in its dockets and in the Jefferson-Coolidge Collection there. The digital docket also will benefit the research department.

    In April 2006, Colonial Williamsburg received a $250,000 gift from Deborah S. Pulliam of Castine, Maine, a longtime friend of the Gonzales family and former Colonial Williamsburg employee, to establish the fund. Ms. Pulliam died in May 2007.

    Qualified employees may annually apply for grants in the spring or fall, and grants of up to $5,000 per person are determined by a three-member selection committee.

    Application deadline for the spring Gonzales Field Experience award is March 15, 2009. The spring award winners will be announced by late May.

    The scholarship was named in memory of the late Donald Gonzales, retired Colonial Williamsburg senior vice president, and in honor of his wife Mary, a musician and community activist.

    Established in 1926, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational institution that preserves and operates the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia as a town-sized living history museum, telling the inspirational stories of our nation’s founding men and women. Within the restored and reconstructed buildings, historic interpreters, attired as colonial men and women from slaves to shopkeepers to soldiers, relate stories of colonial Virginia society and culture – stories of our journey to become Americans – while historic trades people research, demonstrate and preserve the 18th-century world of work and industry. As Colonial Williamsburg interprets life in the time of the American Revolution for its guests, it also invites them to interact with history. “Revolutionary City®,” a dramatic live street theater presentation, is a 2008 Rand McNally Best-of-the-Road™ Editor’s Pick. Williamsburg is located in Virginia’s Tidewater region, 20 minutes from Newport News, within an hour’s drive of Richmond and Norfolk, and 150 miles south of Washington, D.C., off Interstate 64. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY (447-8679) or visit the Foundation’s Web site at www.history.org.

    Media Contact:
    Penna Rogers
    (757) 220-7121



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