Governor’s Award in the Humanities presented to Rita Elliott

Submitted by Tom Gresham (searcheo@aol.com)

Rita Elliott, one of the most active, creative and energetic SGA members in recent memory, was awarded the prestigious Governor’s Award in the Humanities at a banquet in downtown Atlanta on May 11, 2010. She was presented the award on stage by Governor Sonny Perdue’s special assistant and former DNR Commissioner Lonice Barrett, Georgia Humanities Council President Jamil Zainaldin, National Endowment for the Humanities Chairman and former Congressman Jim Leach, and Humanities Awards Committee Chair Swann Seiler. At the awards banquet Rita was joined by SGA members Dan Elliott, Jim Langford, Tom and Gisela Gresham, Rick Sellers, Betsy Shirk, Garrett Silliman, Bob Entorf, Mary Stakes, and Joey Charles.

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Rita being given the award by Governor Perdue’s assistant Lonice Barrett, Georgia Humanities Council President Jamil Zainaldin, National Endowment for the Humanities Chairman Jim Leach and Awards Committee Chair Swann Seiler.

Georgia Humanities Council President Zainaldin read the following at Rita’s award presentation:

Over the past twenty years Rita Folse Elliott, a practicing archaeologist, has been devoted to educating the public about the rich history and prehistory of Georgia as told through archaeology. Her strong belief that educating the public is the best way to preserve and protect history has led her to develop a variety of public programs, digital resources, exhibitions, and publications. As a volunteer, she has served the Society for Georgia Archaeology and the LAMAR Institute, an archaeology research group. Under her leadership, Archaeology Awareness Week has become Archaeology Awareness Month, and the Society for Georgia Archaeology  has expanded its teacher training and hands-on activities for students. Most recently she developed the ArchaeoBus, a former library bookmobile that travels the state with permanent exhibitions. The ArchaeoBus served almost 10,000 Georgians in its first half-dozen stops. She serves as curator of exhibits and archaeology at the Coastal Heritage Society, and has been vital to expanding that organization’s use of perspectives from archaeology in interpreting the historic sites that they manage.

SGA is very proud of Rita for this achievement and well-deserved recognition. She has served SGA in many roles, such as president, vice-president, endowment fund chair, ArchaeoBus chair, Committee for Program Renewal chair, Archaeology Month chair, and in these various roles has greatly expanded and rejuvenated SGA’s mission and role in promoting archaeology throughout Georgia.

Rita with Scott Smith, Director of the Coastal Heritage Society, where Rita works.

Click on the thumbnails below to see more pictures from this event.

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We previously announced on this website that Rita was going to receive this honor. Read that story here.