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UGA establishes W. Todd Groce Fellowship in History

Alan Flurry

The University of Georgia Franklin College of Arts and Sciences department of history announced the creation of the W. Todd Groce Fellowship, honoring the historian and longtime CEO and president of the Georgia Historical Society in Savannah.

The new fellowship was made possible by a generous gift by longtime UGA donors John F. and Marilyn McMullan and will enable a single student to spend the summer in Savannah, getting hands-on experience working with the Georgia Historical Society's collections.

Groce has been at the helm of the Georgia Historical Society for nearly 30 years, transforming it from a small, undercapitalized historical society to one of the most respected public history institutions in the nation. Under his leadership, GHS has acquired a large number of historically significant collections, doubled the size of its campus, dramatically expanded its statewide programs and services, and increased its endowment twenty-fold. Today GHS is a nationally recognized educational and research institution that serves as a bridge between the academic community and the public.

Each Groce Fellow will work on projects commensurate with their experience and interests. These can include, but are not limited to, working on public exhibits; processing and inventorying new collections, as well as compiling finding aids; working on digital projects, from websites to podcasts; taking oral histories; and assisting with the production of educational materials for the K-12 classroom. Income from the Fund may be used for awards, tuition, travel, equipment, supplies, meals, living expenses, and other special expenses incurred in the course of graduate study.

"This fellowship establishes a permanent connection between the University of Georgia and the Georgia Historical Society,” notes Stephen Mihm, Head of the Department of History.  “It will enable students from UGA to obtain valuable, hands-on experience at one of the best historical societies in the country.”

“I am deeply honored by this generous act on the part of the UGA History Department and my friend John McMullan,” said Groce. “Creating this fellowship provides an opportunity for a worthy student of history to gain experience and skills, it strengthens our profession, and it secures the relationship between the University of Georgia and the Georgia Historical Society. For all this, I am profoundly grateful.”

Groce holds three degrees in history, including a Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee and a certificate in leadership development from the US Army War College. For over 30 years he has been an educator, administrator, author, and fund raiser. He has published two books on the Civil War era and has written over a hundred articles and book reviews for publications ranging from academic journals to the New York Times. A frequent lecturer on Southern and US military history, he has made numerous appearances on C-SPAN, the History Channel, and the BBC. For more than a decade he has been listed by both Georgia Trend and James magazines as one of the “Most Influential Georgians.” In 2023, Gov. Brian Kemp appointed him one of three commissioners responsible for leading Georgia’s participation in the 250th anniversary of the United States.

Image: Todd Groce

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