(Chantilly, Va.) – During a ceremony this morning at the Westfields Marriott Washington Dulles hotel, the Civil War Trust, a national battlefield preservation organization, recognized two outstanding historic preservation advocates with its Chairman’s Awards for Achievement. The awards, presented by the Trust’s outgoing chairman, John L. Nau, III, honored Manassas National Battlefield superintendent Ed Clark and Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission executive director Cheryl Jackson.
Through their work to advocate the protection of significant historic resources and encourage the thoughtful and appropriate commemoration of the Civil War’s 150th anniversary, the pair is, according to Nau, among the Trust’s most valuable partners in protecting and promoting Virginia’s significant Civil War sites. “Ed Clark and Cheryl Jackson are at the vanguard of the modern battlefield preservation movement. Their enthusiasm and consistent push for recognition of the irreplaceable resources under their care will ensure that the next four years, when we mark the 150th anniversary of this bloody conflict will offer significant opportunities to advance the study of the American Civil War.”
After a 21-year National Park Service career — all of it spent at parks in Virginia — Ed Clark was named superintendent of Manassas National Battlefield in 2008. Since then he has quickly gained a reputation as a bold advocate for land preservation and resource protection. His willingness to think creatively and his capacity for working effectively with partner organizations have revitalized preservation efforts at the park. Under his leadership, Manassas National Battlefield has truly embraced its unique role in the Civil War sesquicentennial and is setting a high bar for other sites as they prepare to mark their own 150th anniversaries.
A 23-year veteran of Virginia state government, Cheryl Jackson has been the driving force of the Commonwealth’s efforts to mark the Civil War’s 150th anniversary since the 2006 creation of the Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission. Her vision and persistence have led to creative initiatives that will help bring Civil War history alive for tens of thousands of Virginians. From mobile museum exhibits to state-of-the-art equipment travelling across the state to scan and digitize family heirlooms like diaries, photos and letters for posterity, Jackson has led the charge to find meaningful ways for the public to experience this milestone.
Beyond his involvement with the Civil War Trust, Nau is the immediate past chairman of the federal Advisory Council on Historic Preservation and the Texas Historical Commission. He serves in leadership capacities with a variety of charitable entities and is president and chief executive officer of Silver Eagle Distributors, L.P., the nation’s largest distributor of Anheuser-Busch products and the number one beer distributor in Texas.
The Civil War Trust 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 promote appreciation of these hallowed grounds. To date, the Trust has preserved nearly 30,000 acres of battlefield in 20 states. Learn more at www.civilwar.org, the home of the Civil War sesquicentennial.