Governor Deal Recognizes UWG’s Ferling for Achievements in the Arts and Humanities

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Gov. Nathan Deal announced the recipients of the second annual Governor’s Awards for the Arts and Humanities on Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013. UWG Professor Emeritus of History Dr. John Ferling was one of 15 recipients of the 2013 Governor’s Award. Both individuals and organizations were recognized for their significant contributions to Georgia’s civic and cultural vitality through service to the humanities or excellence in the art. The awards were presented in partnership with the Georgia Council for the Arts and the Georgia Humanities Council.

Ferling was recognized for extraordinary contributions to the field of early American history and for his excellent teaching at West Georgia from 1971 to 2004. He is the author of a dozen books on the period, including biographies of John Adams, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson and George Washington. Also cited was his success in bridging gaps between the academic community and the public. Ferling has long been recognized nationally as a leader in his field. In 2007, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Revolution Roundtable of New York.

“The arts contribute to state and local economic growth by providing a diversified and sustainable means for creating jobs and attracting revenue,” said Deal, according to a press release from the governor’s office. “These individuals and organizations contribute significantly to Georgia’s excellent quality of life that we are able to provide our citizens, relocating or expanding businesses, and visitors.”

UWG’s Center for Public History also nominated group United Shape Note Singers for the Governor’s Award. The group of African American residents from the west Georgia area was one of only five organizations to receive the award. The United Shape Note Singers are known for their performance of an older version of seven-note singing, syncopated rhythms and a uniquely emotional singing style that differentiates their music from that of the Sacred Harp tradition.

All recipients were chosen from a selection of nominations around the state. These recipients represent a diverse group of individuals and organizations that have laid the groundwork for Georgia’s growing creative industry through innovative programs, community collaboration and long-term financial commitment.

The 2013 Governor’s Award was created by Atlanta photographer Diane Kirkland. For many years Kirkland worked as the marketing photographer for the State of Georgia. She produced the images used in Georgia’s advertising campaigns, promotional publications, and travel features for newspapers and magazines (domestic as well as international).

For a full list of the 2013 Governor’s Award recipients, visit