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October 28, 2011

Fall 2011 Award Recipients Announced for Donald and Mary Gonzales Field Experience Fund

Colonial Williamsburg employees have received Fall 2011 awards from the Mary and Donald Gonzales Field Experience Fund. The fund provides individual grants of up to $5,000 for continuing education opportunities for non-management employees within the public history, historic trades, historic sites, historic events, coach and livestock, conservation, collections, museums and landscape departments to pursue educational opportunities.

Recipients are:

  • Susan Dippre, supervisor in the landscape department, and 19 of her colleagues -- Preston Armstead, Michael Britt, Judy Carson, Maggie Chadwick, Hunter Curry, Rick Daggy, Dianne Duncan, Wardell Frazier, Scott Hemler, Renee Hypes, Cindy Horn, Peggy Lankford, John Meng, Dorean Neisner, Bruce Ollice, David Richards, Diane Scaffe, Charles Spruell and Rollin Woolley -- in landscape, for Mid-Atlantic Horticulture Short Course, Newport News, Jan. 30 – Feb. 2, 2012.
  • Andrew DeLisle and Paul Zelesnikar, journeymen in the Wheelwright Shop in Historic Trades, for a study visit to a large and important private collection of historic carriages in Mannheim, Germany, in March 2012.

    Eligible employees apply for grants in the spring or fall, and grants of up to $5,000 per person are determined by a three-member Selection Committee. Since the fund commenced awards in spring 2007, grants have been provided to 32 employees.

    In 2006, Colonial Williamsburg received a $250,000 gift from Deborah S. Pulliam of Castine, Maine, a longtime friend of the Gonzales family and former Colonial Williamsburg employee, to establish the fund. Ms. Pulliam died in May 2007.

    Pulliam established the fund in memory of the late Donald Gonzales, retired Colonial Williamsburg senior vice president, and in honor of his wife Mary, a musician and community activist.

    Pulliam worked for Colonial Williamsburg as a basketmaker in Historic Trades from 1976 to 1983 after completing her undergraduate studies at the College of William and Mary. She later worked for the Daily Press prior to moving to Maine to live and work for the newspaper, the Castine Patriot. She was the youngest of three children of the late Eugene S. Pulliam, former publisher of The Indianapolis Star and the Indianapolis News, and his wife, the former Jane Bleecker.

    The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational and cultural organization dedicated to the preservation, interpretation and presentation of the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia. This town-sized living history museum tells the inspirational stories of our journey to become Americans through programs in the Historic Area and through the award-winning Revolutionary City program

    Williamsburg is located in Virginia’s Tidewater region, 20 minutes from Newport News, within an hour’s drive of Richmond and Norfolk, and 150 miles south of Washington, D.C. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s website at

    Media Contact:
    Penna Rogers
    (757) 220-7121

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