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October 18, 2012

Two Colonial Williamsburg Employees, Museum Fellow Receive Scholarship Awards

Two Colonial Williamsburg employees and a museum fellow have received fall 2012 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 Margaret Pritchard, curator of prints, maps and wallpaper, and Lauren James, Americana Foundation Fellow for the Arts, Colonial Williamsburg’s collections, conservation and museums division, and Edwin D. Cooke III, an interpreter in Colonial Williamsburg’s research and historical interpretation division. Pritchard and James will attend the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts Conference on “American Material Culture: The Decorative Arts and Material Culture of Early Tennessee, Oct. 25-27, in Knoxville, Tenn. Following the conference, they will visit museum and private collections in Nashville, Tenn., and Louisville, Ky., through Nov. 2.

Cooke plans to attend a conference sponsored by the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture and the University of the West Indies, “Africans in the Americas: Making Lives in a New World, 1675-1825,” March 14-16, 2013, in Cave Hill, Barbados.

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 its initial award in spring of 2007, the fund has provided grants 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 his wife Mary, a musician and community activist, who died in 2011.

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.

Established in 1926, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit center for history, citizenship and democracy, encouraging audiences at home and around the world to learn from the past. Colonial Williamsburg demonstrates its commitment to expanding its thought-provoking programming as well as its dedication to cultural and historical authenticity on-site and online through the preservation, restoration and presentation of 18th-centry Williamsburg and the study, interpretation and teaching of America’s founding principles. Purchase of Colonial Williamsburg products and services supports the preservation, research and educational programs of the Foundation. Philanthropic support by individuals, corporations, and foundations benefits the educational mission of The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.

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., off Interstate 64. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s website at

Media Contact:
Barbara Brown
(757) 220-7280