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The Fort Monroe Authority Welcomes New Trustees

Dr. Edward L. Ayers
University Professor and President Emeritus

Edward Ayers is President Emeritus of the University of Richmond, where he now serves as Tucker-Boatwright Professor of the Humanities. Previously Dean of Arts and Sciences at the University of Virginia, where he began teaching in 1980, Ayers was named the National Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching in 2003.

A historian of the American South, Ayers has written and edited 10 books. The Promise of the New South: Life After Reconstruction was a finalist for both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. In the Presence of Mine Enemies: Civil War in the Heart of America won the Bancroft Prize for distinguished writing in American history and the Beveridge Prize for the best book in English on the history of the Americas since 1492. He was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2013.

A pioneer in digital history, Ayers created “The Valley of the Shadow: Two Communities in the American Civil War,” a website that has attracted millions of users and won major prizes in the teaching of history. He serves as co-editor of the Atlas of the Historical Geography of the United States at the University of Richmond’s Digital Scholarship Lab and is a co-host of BackStory with the American History Guys, a nationally syndicated radio show and podcast.

Ayers has received a presidential appointment to the National Council on the Humanities, served as a Fulbright professor in the Netherlands and been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

 


 

Dr. Maureen G. Elgersman Lee
Associate Professor/Chair, Political Science and History

Dr. Maureen Elgersman Lee is currently Associate Professor of History and Chair of the Department of Political Science and History at Hampton University. She holds a bachelor’s degree in French from Redeemer University College, as well as a master’s degree in African and African American Studies and a doctorate in Humanities, with a concentration in African American Studies, both from Clark Atlanta University.  She joined the Hampton University faculty in Fall 2013.

Dr. Elgersman Lee specializes in the history of Black women in Canada and the British Caribbean as well as in Black community history.  She is the author of two books: Unyielding Spirits: Black Women and Slavery in Early Canada and Jamaica (Garland/Taylor and Francis), and Black Bangor: African Americans in a Maine Community, 1880-1950 (University Press of New England). She is the author of various articles, most notably “ ‘What They Lack in Numbers’: Locating Black Portland, 1870-1930” in Joseph A. Conforti, ed., Creating Portland: History and Place in Northern New England (University Press of New England) and “Slavery in Early Canada: Making Black Women Subject,” in Mona Gleason and Adele Perry, ed., Rethinking Canada: The Promise of Women’s History, 5th ed. (Oxford University Press). For her work, Black Bangor,  Dr. Elgersman Lee received the Leadership in History Award of Merit from the American Association for the Study of State and Local History (AASLH) and the “Best of the Best of the University Presses—Outstanding Title” Award from the American Library Association (ALA).

Dr. Elgersman Lee regularly teaches the African American history survey as well as various upper level topics courses in Africana and women’s history.  She is currently working on a study of African Americans in Williamsburg, Virginia, after the Civil War.

 


 

Rex M. Ellis
Associate Director for Curatorial Affairs, National Museum of African American History and Culture

Rex M. Ellis has served as the associate director for curatorial affairs at NMAAHC since 2008. He has the responsibility for planning, developing, directing and managing all curatorial, collections, education and outreach programs and activities.

Before joining NMAAHC, Ellis was vice president of the Historic Area for the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, where he oversaw all programs and operations. Ellis was the first African American vice president in the foundation’s history and served in that position for eight years (2001-2008).

He received his bachelor of fine arts from Virginia Commonwealth University, a Master in Fine Arts from Wayne State University, a Master of Divinity from Virginia Union University and a doctor of education from the College of William and Mary. He has contributed articles to such publications as Journal of American History, Colonial Williamsburg Journal, August House Publications and History News. He is the author of two books, Beneath the Blazing Sun: Stories from the African American Journey and With a Banjo on My Knee, which chronicles the history of black banjo players from the time of slavery to the present.

Ellis is a member of the Screen Actors Guild, American Association of Museums, American Association for State and Local History, National Association of Black Storytellers and the National Storytelling Association. He has served as consultant to organizations such as the Midland Independent school district in Texas, Los Angeles County School District and the National Constitution Center. He has also worked with various institutions in many countries around the world such as Africa, New Zealand, France and Israel.

His presentations, lectures, workshops and consultancies focus on public programming, diversity interpretation and African American history and culture. His interests also include the spoken word and early American history, with special emphasis on slavery.

 


 

John J. Reynolds

John J. Reynolds served 39 years in the National Park Service, including time as Deputy Director: Regional Director, Director Denver Service Center, Superintendent North Cascades National Park, Assistant Superintendent Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area and park planner/landscape architect. He currently serves as a board member of the Presidio Trust, the Student Conservation Association, Chesapeake Conservancy, Global Parks and Shenandoah National Park Trust. Mr. Reynolds is the Commonwealth of Virginia Citizen Representative to the Chesapeake Bay Commission, member of North Cascades Institute Advisory Council, Chair of the Flight 93 National Memorial Federal Advisory Commission and the Captain John Smith National Historic Trail Advisory Council. He is also a past board member of the Landscape Architecture Foundation, George Wright Society, Yosemite Fund, Yosemite National Institutes, Association of Partners for Public Lands and past US Delegate to the World Heritage Committee. He has received Meritorious and Distinguished Service Awards from the Department of the Interior and the LaGasse Conservation Award and Fellow, American Society of Landscape Architects. His college degrees include BSLA, Iowa State University and MLA, State University of New York at Syracuse. Mr. Reynolds also served in the New Jersey National Guard and United States Army Reserve 1966-1972.

Calendar of Events 2018

Voices of Freedom: Civil War to Civil Rights
Fort Monroe Community Center, Saturday, February 10 at 4:30 pm


Civil War Encampment
Garrison Life Parade Ground, Saturday, March 24 from 9 am – 5 pm and Sunday, March 25  from 10 am – 3 pm
A glimpse into garrison life at Fort Monroe during the American Civil War. Events can include: Infantry, Artillery and Cavalry drill, firing demos, raising/lowering flag, Pay Call, Church Call and more!      


Easter Sunrise Service hosted by the Chapel of the Centurion
Continental Park, Sunday, April 1 at 6:30 am


Contraband Commemorative Event Series

  • Freedom Concert  Continental Park, April 19, 7 pm, (Weather Date: April 26)
  • Living History Tours  Cannon Park, Saturday, May 5 from 11 am – 2 pm, Tours begin every 30 minutes. Living History tour explores the “Contraband Decision” and freedom seekers here at “Freedom’s Fortress.”
  • Contraband Commemoration Ceremony  Cannon Park, Thursday, May 24 at 7:30 pm. Ceremony to commemorate the 1861 “Contraband Decision.”

Memorial Day/Flag Retirement Ceremony
Colonies RV and Travel Park, Monday, May 28 at 11:30 am
Memorial Day and flag retirement ceremony for used flags.


Walking Tours
Casemate Museum Entrance. Daily, June 1 – September 3 at 11 am
Explore the park with a Ranger!   Walking tours are free of charge.


Music by the Bay Summer Concert Series
Continental Park, Thursday nights, June 7 – August 30 at 7 pm
Weekly variety of musical acts, performers and military bands. No concert July 5th. Free admission.


Campfire Talks
Colonies RV and Travel Park, Friday nights, June 15 – August 31 at 7 pm
Free educational programs for all ages! New topics each week will highlight the natural, historical or cultural wonders found at Fort Monroe!


Fourth of July Flag Ceremony
Flagstaff Bastion, Wednesday, July 4 at 10 am
Flag ceremony observing the 4th of July and the anniversary of the 1831 death of President James Monroe.


Fourth at the Fort
North Gate Area, Wednesday, July 4 from 6 – 9:45 pm
Vendors, exhibit booths, activities and military bands create a festive celebration of the 4th of July ending with a fireworks display!


African Arrival Day
Continental Park, August 25


Hampton Cup Regatta
Mill Creek September 29 & 30


Fort Monroe Ghost Walk
Main Gate, October 19 & 20, 6-10 pm
Discover where history meets mystery! The Fort Monroe Authority will host the annual guided Ghost Walks.


Veterans Day Ceremony
DeRussy/Church Field Saturday, November 10 at 9 am
Veterans Day observance followed by the installation of US flags.


Fort Monroe Tree Lighting Ceremony
Cannon Park, Thursday, December 6 at 5:30 pm
Annual holiday tree lighting ceremony at Cannon Park.


Fort Monroe Mistletoe Homes Tour
20 Ingalls Road, Saturday, December 8 from 11 am – 5 pm
Celebrate the season with a walking tour of Fort Monroe’s most beautiful, historic homes, decorated for the holidays.

VIEW FULL CALENDAR

 

Programs are subject to change. Outdoor programs are weather permitting.

Fort Monroe Awarded Major Challenge Grant

The Mary Morton Parsons Foundation, a prestigious Virginia grantor, has awarded the Fort Monroe Foundation a $250,000 Challenge toward the site’s priority projects over the next five years.

To secure the Challenge, the Fort Monroe Foundation must raise $1,000,000 in new gifts or pledges – or secure increased support from previous donors by next December 2018. Fort Monroe’s next phase of development of public resources and programs is estimated to require $19,500,000. Among the major projects is the new Visitor and Education Center, along with way-finding signage and plans for the old Post Theater and Old Quarters One restoration.

With significant early support from the federal government, Commonwealth of Virginia and select private donors, a balance of $13,500,000 is being sought to support these five-year projects and resources for a growing audience.