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Delta State to present annual Cranford Memorial Lecture

By March 21, 2007General

 Elbert Hilliard 

Delta State University will welcome Elbert Hilliard back to campus to keynote the 10th Annual Sammy O. Cranford Memorial Lecture, Thursday, March 29 at 7 p.m. inside the Jobe Hall Auditorium.

Hilliard, Director Emeritus of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, was presented Delta State University’s first-ever honorary degree at its spring commencement two years ago. A 1958 honors graduate from then Delta State College with a B.S.E in Social Studies and Health, Physical Education & Recreation, Hilliard served 31 years as Director for the Mississippi Department of Archives and History. Comprising the state archives and record management programs, the state historical museum and other sites, and the historic preservation program, the Department of Archives and History is the largest cultural institution in the state. Under Hilliard’s leadership, the department flourished, earning a reputation for excellence.

Hilliard has also served as Chairman of the State Records Committee, the Local Government Records Committee, and the Mississippi Main Street Association Advisory Board; as a member of both the Steering Committee of the Council of State Archivists and the visiting committee of the American Association of Museums’ Accreditation Program. From 1973 to 2004, he was Editor-in-chief of “The Journal of Mississippi History,” and he is currently serving his 37th year as secretary-treasurer of the Mississippi Historical Society. He has received Lifetime Achievement Awards from both the Mississippi Heritage Trust (2006) and the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers (2005), and in 1976 he was named Delta State University Alumnus of the Year.

Fittingly, his presentation is entitled “A Career at Archives and History: Recollections and Reflections.”

This annual lecture honors the memory of Dr. Sammy Cranford, who was a member of the DSU History faculty for 25 years and University Archivist for 19 years before his untimely death in 1994. The lecture series began in 1998, as former History Chairman Allen Dennis explained, because “our department wanted to honor Sammy’s memory in a significant way. He valued good teaching and good writing, and it is a fitting tribute to him that we bring a historian to our campus each year who excels in both.”

The Cranford Lecture is sponsored by the DSU History Department in cooperation with the Delta Center for Culture and Learning.

The lecture is free and open to the public.

For more information, please call the Delta State History Department at (662) 846-4170.