2005 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Little, Browning, Butler, Chaney, Clarke, Dearing, Doxey, Frazier, Gollott, Gordon, Harvey, Hewes, Horhn, Hyde-Smith, King, Kirby, Nunnelee, Robertson, Thames, Tollison, Turner, Walls, White, Wilemon, Moffatt
A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION COMMENDING THE LEGACY OF PUBLIC SERVICE OF ELBERT R. HILLIARD AND CONGRATULATING HIM ON THE OCCASION OF HIS RETIREMENT AFTER 39 REMARKABLE YEARS WITH THE MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT OF ARCHIVES AND HISTORY.
WHEREAS, Elbert R. Hilliard has faithfully served the Mississippi Department of Archives and History for 39 years, having joined the staff of the department in 1965 as Curator of History at the State Historical Museum, and it is with appreciation that we recognize his dedication and devotion upon his retirement; and
WHEREAS, appointed the first Director of the Division of Historic Sites and Archaeology in 1970, Mr. Hilliard was subsequently elected the fifth Director of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History in 1973, and it is with honor, dedication and great distinction that he has served in that office for the past 31 years; and
WHEREAS, closely associated with three of the four previous Department Directors, William D. McCain, Charlotte Capers and Richard A. McLemore, Mr. Hilliard's association and leadership maintained the continuity of the work of the department, fostering its growth to become a multifaceted historical agency with a national reputation for excellence; and
WHEREAS, Mr. Hilliard's accomplishments as director are numerous and impressive, and his track record is evidence of his adamancy for the preservation of Mississippi's rich history; and
WHEREAS, Mr. Hilliard has worked tirelessly with the Mississippi Legislature to strengthen and clarify Mississippi's laws governing historic preservation, resulting in the passage of the State Antiquities Law, in addition to securing authorization and funding for a series of grant programs, which have been a great boon to historic sites and programs around the state; and
WHEREAS, over the past decade, the Department of Archives and History has awarded or administered approximately Thirty Million Dollars in grant funds for the preservation of courthouses, historic schools, museums and other sites; and
WHEREAS, a leader in Mississippi's grassroots preservation movement, offering staunch support to local preservation groups and single-handedly raising thousands of dollars for the Mississippi Heritage Trust, Mr. Hilliard has traveled throughout the state to promote the creation of a records management program for cities, counties and for state government records; and
WHEREAS, Mr. Hilliard spearheaded funding efforts for the construction of the William F. Winter Archives and History Building, dedicated in 2003, which is one of the most renowned museums and tourist attractions in the state; and
WHEREAS, under his directorship, the Old Capitol Museum has grown in grandeur, being designated a Smithsonian Affiliate in 2001, and has greatly expanded its public programming and mounted award-winning exhibits, including the first permanent Civil Rights exhibit in the country; and
WHEREAS, Mr. Hilliard's profound impact on the effort to preserve and interpret Mississippi history has afforded him the grand honor of being appointed, by the Board of Trustees of the Department of Archives and History, Director Emeritus of the Department; and
WHEREAS, Mr. Hilliard's career was marked by hard work, professionalism, passion and vision. His efforts to promote meaningful historic preservation and the archiving of historical artifacts and records will benefit Mississippi for generations to come. His personal relationships were marked by his humility, integrity and unflagging good humor and optimism. Like the records he kept, Elbert Hilliard is a state treasure:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CONCURRING THEREIN, That we do hereby commend the public service of Elbert R. Hilliard upon the occasion of his retirement and express acknowledgment and appreciation for his extraordinary service to the State of Mississippi and wish him continued success in all his future endeavors.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That copies of this resolution be presented to Mr. Elbert R. Hilliard, forwarded to the Board of Trustees of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, and be made available to the members of the Capitol Press Corps.