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UGA department of history announces creation of Sheffield Hale Fellowship

Alan Flurry

The University of Georgia department of history has announced the creation of the Sheffield Hale Fellowship. The annual award will underwrite a paid internship at Atlanta History Center, open to both undergraduate and graduate students interested in pursuing a career in public history and historical museums.

The award honors Sheffield Hale, the current president of Atlanta History Center. Hale, who graduated with honors in History, summa cum laude, in 1982 and had a long career as a lawyer before taking the reins at Atlanta History Center. Under his leadership over the past decade, the Atlanta History Center has grown considerably, completing the move and preservation of The Battle of Atlanta cyclorama and curation of a new exhibition for the 137 year-old painting, the growth and expansion of the archival facilities and collections including acquiring the Southern Railway collection, and implementing a multi-faceted democracy initiative as the institution approaches its 100th anniversary in 2026.

The inaugural Sheffield Hale Fellow is Savannah Reynolds, who just completed her sophomore year at UGA. Reynolds, a student in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences and the Morehead Honors College pursuing a double major in history and communication studies, will be working on research for future digital storytelling and online exhibition content about the cultural impact of Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind.

“As a graduate in history from the University of Georgia, I am excited for this fellowship to expand opportunities for history students," Hale said. "This fellowship will help students gain practical exposure to the important field of public history and get paid for their work."

Founded in 1926 to preserve and study Atlanta history, Atlanta History Center encompasses 33 acres of curated Goizueta Gardens, four historic houses, varied programming, digital storytelling, and a range of signature and temporary exhibitions housed in the Atlanta History Museum. Atlanta History Center also includes Kenan Research Center, which is open to the public by appointment, and provides access to the archival collections.

"This fellowship marks a significant expansion in the History department's growing relationship to the Atlanta History Center, enabling University of Georgia students to gain valuable hands-on experience in preparation for careers in the museum world," said Stephen Mihm, professor and head of the department of history. "It also marks a significant step forward for the department's increasingly popular Museum Studies Certificate Program."

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