PHC Named Outstanding Volunteer of the Year for York County, Virginia

PHC students assisted over 8,000 members of the public on board the Hermione during its first port of call in Yorktown, Virginia.
PHC students assisted over 8,000 members of the public on board the Hermione during its first port of call in Yorktown, Virginia.

Christopher Newport’s Public History Center (PHC) was named as Outstanding Volunteer of the Year for York County in 2016. The PHC partnered with York County, Sister Cities Yorktown, the Watermen’s Museum, and the Hermione Voyage 2015, an international nonprofit organization that sailed a reconstructed 18th century French frigate from Rochefort, France to Yorktown for a grand American tour commemorating French support of the American Revolution. The original Hermione first carried the Marquis de Lafayette to the United States in 1780, and assisted in the Battle of the Capes before the British surrender at Yorktown in 1781. Construction of the replica spanned nearly three decades and cost over $4 million. L’Hermione landed at Yorktown on June 5, 2015. Over 20,000 members of the public (national and international) flocked to Yorktown for the frigate’s three day visit, including Governor Terry McAuliffe of Virginia.

Herm ticket

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Dr. Sheri Shuck-Hall (PHC’s Director and Associate Professor of History) and Dr. Thomas Hall (PHC’s Associate Director and Associate Professor of Economics and Finance) served on the executive planning committee for the Hermione’s first port of call at Yorktown. The PHC recruited and organized more than two dozen Christopher Newport volunteers. They distributed tickets and ushered over 8,000 visitors aboard the ship in three days. In total the PHC provided over 430 service hours for this event. Additionally, two Public History Center Fellows created historical display panels about the Hermione for thousands of the public to read. The PHC also conducted 1,650 surveys to access the economic impact on the ship’s visit to Yorktown.

The PHC thanks York County for providing a great opportunity for our students to engage with the public in such a meaningful way. And, we would like to recognize the following Christopher Newport volunteers who provided their time and energy (most while on summer break or returning alumni) to this once-in-a-lifetime international public history event:

Dyllan Cecil (PHC Fellow)
Jan Clarke
Olivia Cochranpub hist blog 9
Arthur Edwards
Second Lieutenant Samuel Edwards (Class of 2015)
Michaela Felter (PHC Fellow)
Emily Forbes (PHC Fellow)
Kevin Gotschalk
Kenneth Hawkins (Computer Science Adjunct)
John Hyland (Associate Professor of History)
Adrienne Jones
Melissa Jones
Rachel King
Emily LaBrie (Class of 2012)
Donna Matzeder
Lisa Matzeder (Class of 2015)
David Merrifieldpub hist blog 10
David Le Moal
Kristen MorrisElizabeth Narney
Rolande Phillips (History Adjunct)
Amanda Roland (Class of 2015)
Patricia Siewe Seuchie (Lecturer of French)
Second Lieutenant Jacob Tertychny (Class of 2015)




One Response

  1. Adrienne Jones

    It was definitely a fun weekend. I’m pretty sure my sisters still don’t understand how ecstatic I was or why, but they had fun and I’m used to being the history nerd in the family. I hope there will be other fun events to go to in the future so I can volunteer again.

    … Maybe even another future L’Hermione visit? 🌅🇫🇷

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