- Russ Gardner, ’15, received the 2016 Georgia Historical Records Advisory Council (GHRAC) Award for Excellence in Student Research Using Historical Records. Gardner graduated from Georgia College last December with a degree in history. He was recognized for writing “Music in Macon, Georgia in the Gilded Age and Progressive Era: the Foundation for the ‘Song and Soul of the South.’”
- “Gardner surveyed an extensive number of primary sources on his own initiative,” according to Dr. Lauren Acker, lecturer of history at Georgia College, who nominated Gardner and advised him on the senior thesis he submitted for the award.
- “He actively searched out Georgia newspaper repositories and other resources, and his resulting paper makes use of an array of primary sources,” Acker wrote in her nomination. “Overall, Mr. Gardner’s enthusiasm for primary-source research is commendable and remains unmatched among the undergraduates I have instructed at Georgia College.”
- Gardner explored “Macon’s claim to a unique musical heritage” and its residents’ “yearning for a lively soulful type of music,” according to a paper summary. The study “delivers a lucid understanding of the influence of black performers and the circumstance of a city open to publicly enjoy and praise black genres of music during racially turbulent times.”
- A native of Gray, Georgia, Gardner’s been invited with his family and professor to attend a reception and awards ceremony in October at the Georgia Archives in Morrow. More than 30 awards were given this year by GHRAC, a 12-member council appointed by the governor to bring awareness to issues of historical preservation and promote educational use of state and local archives.