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June 8, 2007

Mary and Donald Gonzales Field Experience Fund announces scholarship winners

Four Colonial Williamsburg employees have been selected to receive awards from the Mary and Donald Gonzales Field Experience Fund in its inaugural cycle. Established by an anonymous Colonial Williamsburg donor in 2006, 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.

Inaugural cycle recipients are:

  • Jay Howlett, journeyman harnessmaker at Colonial Williamsburg’s Harnessmaker-Saddler Shop, for Dressing Saddlers White Leather at Hagel's Tannery in Kalispell, Mont.;
  • Donald McKelvey, garden historian in landscape services, for Historic Landscape Institute at Jefferson's Monticello, Charlottesville, Va.;
  • Patricia Silence, conservator of exhibits for the collections and museums division, for Museum Microclimates Conference on Preventative Conservation at the National Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen; and
  • Marcy Wright, dance mistress in Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Area for New York Baroque Dance Company's Historical Dance Summer Workshop at Goucher College.

    “We received nine applications from employees in each of the qualified divisions in this initial cycle,” said Joe Poole, development liaison for the fund. “It is certainly encouraging to have a response like this on the first go around.”

    Applicants must be current non-management Colonial Williamsburg employees who work in the Historic Area, collections and museums division, and landscape services department. The total award amount available via applications in 2007 is $12,500.

    Application deadline for the fall Gonzales Field Experience award is Sept. 15. The fall award winners will be announced by late November.

    The scholarship was named in memory of the late Donald Gonzales, retired Colonial Williamsburg vice president of public affairs, and his wife Mary.

    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 tradespeople 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. Williamsburg is located 150 miles south of Washington, D.C., off Interstate 64. For more information or reservations, call toll-free 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg on the Internet at

    Media Contact:
    Penna Rogers
    (757) 220-7121

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