For Immediate Release: 08/19/08
Preservation Trust President Awarded Bicentennial Medal by Mount St. Mary’s University
Lighthizer will also help unveil Remnant Trust exhibit of historic documents, artifacts
(Washington, D.C.) - Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmittsburg, Md., announced that Civil War Preservation Trust president James Lighthizer will receive prestigious Bicentennial Medal in a ceremony on Thursday August 21, 2008. The Bicentennial Medal, commissioned by Mount St. Mary’s Board of Trustees is awarded to individuals and organizations that have demonstrated, by example, achievement and commitment, extraordinary service to the university, the community or the Church. Recipients embody the four pillars of Mount St. Mary’s — the promise and calling to faith, discovery, leadership and community.
“I am honored and humbled by this recognition,” Lighthizer said. “Mount St. Mary’s is a fine institution with an outstanding legacy of achievement, and I am thrilled to play a small part in the celebration of its bicentennial.”
Prior to taking the helm at CWPT, Lighthizer pursued an extensive career in public service, serving in the Maryland legislature, Anne Arundel county executive and state Secretary of Transportation. During his various tenures, Lighthizer worked to promote land conservation and historic preservation.
The same ceremony will serve as an unveiling for an exhibition of rare historical books and documents sponsored by the Remnant Trust, a public educational foundation that encourages learning by allowing people to view and actually touch early editions of important works on human rights and liberty. Nationally-renowned President Abraham Lincoln actor and historian, James A. Getty will read from the first edition printing of the Gettysburg Address.
“These documents formed our nation and these philosophies continue to form our future,” said Mount President Thomas H. Powell. “It is an honor to be able to enrich our student’s academic experiences with these historic texts and to be able to share them with the community.”
Visitors, students and those in the Mount community will have the chance to hold and flip through the pages of the historical collection. Among the titles on exhibit are: a first edition printing of Lincoln’s “Gettysburg Address” (1863); a third edition of “The Declaration of Independence” (1776); a first printing of “The Bill of Rights” (1789); a first edition printing of Ralph Waldo Emerson essays (1841); a first edition of Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense” (1776); a first printing of “The Bill of Rights”(1778); a first English edition of Plato’s “The Republic” (1763); and an early edition of The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass (1846).
“Being able to see and touch the actual books and volumes will make the past come alive for students. To hold a first edition of Emerson’s “Essays” or Smith’s Wealth of Nations will connect them directly to authors and readers long gone as they wonder who else has held this book over the centuries,” says Dr. Stephen Rockwood, director of the Phillips Library. “These books are a tangible reminder to all of us that ideas are just as enduring and valuable as diamonds.”
The exhibit unveiling will take place at 1:00 p.m. on Thursday August 21, 2008 in Mount St. Mary’s Knott Auditorium. The display will be open to the public for viewing in the Phillips Library through the end of the semester. Hours are: Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m.-Midnight; Friday, 8 a.m.-10 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sunday, Noon-Midnight. To schedule a group visit, please contact Dr. Stephen Rockwood at 301-447-5244. Special events are planned throughout the semester to coincide with the exhibit.
With 65,000 members, CWPT is the largest nonprofit battlefield preservation organization in the United States. Its mission is to preserve our nation’s endangered Civil War battlefields and to educate the public about the importance of this hallowed ground to our country’s history. CWPT’s website is www.civilwar.org.