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August 15, 2005

CW announces new Architectural History Endowment

WILLIAMSBURG, Va.—A recent $1 million endowment gift will help provide The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation with the resources to continue preserving its 301-acre Historic Area and environs. Shirley H. and Richard D. Roberts of Virginia Beach, Va., have endowed the position of director of architectural history. In honor of their support, the position has been named the Shirley H. and Richard D. Roberts Director of Architectural History.

Edward Chappell, who has been with the Foundation since 1980, currently holds the position.

“Dick and Shirley Roberts are special people and stalwart friends of the Foundation,” said Colonial Williamsburg President and Chairman Colin G. Campbell. “They have a clear sense of Colonial Williamsburg’s significant contributions to architecture and architectural history. We are enormously grateful for their active participation and support of our educational mission.”

Mr. and Mrs. Roberts have been members of the Raleigh Tavern Society, one of Colonial Williamsburg’s special donor societies that helps to preserve the heritage of 18th-century Williamsburg, and the National Council, which articulates the importance of Colonial Williamsburg’s core mission and case for support to the Foundation’s national audience.

A native of Quincy, Mass., Mr. Roberts became a Colonial Williamsburg Foundation trustee in December 2001. He is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and Harvard Business School. He is the former president and chief executive officer of TeleCable Corp. and former secretary of Landmark Communications Inc., both of Norfolk, Va.; past chairman of the Children’s Health System Inc., Norfolk; former trustee of the Chrysler Museum, Norfolk; and trustee of Virginia Wesleyan College. Mr. Roberts has completed his term as chairman of the Norfolk Airport Authority.

Born in Lynchburg, Va., Mrs. Roberts graduated from James Madison University. She is an active volunteer with the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters and the Garden Club of Norfolk. She has been a trustee of Westminster-Canterbury in Virginia Beach, Norfolk Botanical Garden and treasurer of the Sentara Hospital Auxiliary in Norfolk.

Mr. and Mrs. Roberts have three adult daughters and five grandchildren.

“One of the great things about this gift is it supports the Foundation’s long-term commitment to preserving its historic properties, as well as studying and interpreting the buildings,” said Edward Chappell. “All of these activities directly reinforce the mission of The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, to help the future learn from the past.”

Chappell earned an undergraduate degree in history from the College of William and Mary and a graduate degree in architectural history at the University of Virginia. Among the major projects that he has helped lead since joining Colonial Williamsburg are development of the Peyton Randolph site in the Historic Area, a comprehensive 40-year project that is nearly complete; construction of Colonial Williamsburg’s new College Corner Building, which is located in Merchants Square; and expansion of the Foundation’s Historic Area from 173 to 301 acres, an increase of 40 percent, to provide a natural buffer from modern intrusions.

In 2002, the Virginia Chapter of the American Institute of Architects gave Chappell an award for advancing the quality of architectural design in Virginia.

The Shirley H. and Richard D. Roberts Director of Architectural History position is one of six currently endowed chairs at the Foundation. The others are the Carlisle H. Humelsine Curator, which is held by Ronald Hurst; the Abby and George O’Neill Director of the John D. Rockefeller Jr. Library, held by James Horn; the Juli Grainger Director of Museums Chair, held by Carolyn Weekley; the Samuel and Pauline Clarke Curator, held by John Davis; and the Royce R. and Kathryn M. Baker Vice President for Productions, Publications and Learning Ventures Chair, held by Richard McCluney.

Media Contact:
Penna Rogers
(757) 220-7121