Deborah Wilkins
March 14, 2002
10:30 a.m.


      Montgomery, AL - The Alabama Archives and History Foundation Board held its organizational meeting this morning.

      The Archives and History Foundation Board is made up of 35 prominent Alabamians of noted achievement in business, public service, history, and the arts. They represent all regions of the state. (See attached Foundation membership roster). The Foundation is charged with a $15-million capital fund-raising campaign. The funds are to be used to complete the new West Wing of the Archives building and to create within the Archives, the Museum of Alabama History.

Archives Foundation officers, from left to right, are Joseph M. Farley, Ed Bridges, Ocllo S. Mallone, Philip A. Sellers, C.C. "Bo" Torbert, Jr. and Leah Rawls Atkins.

      The Foundation Board members unanimously elected its first officers. They are: Philip A. Sellers of Montgomery as president, Joseph M. Farley of Birmingham as vice president, Leah Rawls Atkins of Birmingham as treasurer, and Ocllo S. Malone of Birmingham and C. C. “Bo” Torbert, Jr. of Opelika as at-large members. (See attached bios). ADAH Director, Ed Bridges, will serve as secretary.

      The Foundation Board met in the Archives’ auditorium just a few feet from where construction already is underway on the 60,000 square foot West Wing. State appropriations and the sale of bonds have raised the $15-million needed to build the West Wing. However, it will take another $15-million to furnish and equip the new space. Plans include designing, building, and installing exhibits in the 12,000 square foot museum of Alabama history, installing compact, efficient shelving in the new storage areas, and furnishing and equipping the reference room, a new auditorium and working spaces. Funds also will be used to renovate existing space and to improve storage of archival collections in environmentally sound facilities.

      “Visitors to a state capital expect to be able to go to a museum where they can learn of the history of that state, and most states do have such exhibits. With this new space we have the opportunity to build Smithsonian-quality exhibits that provide our student visitors, Alabama citizens, and tourists an overview of our history,” said Dr. Bridges.

      Newly elected Foundation President Philip Sellers outlined the Foundation’s fund-raising plans. “It will not be a high profile, public solicitation,” Sellers said. “We will begin our work by talking with Foundation Board members one-on-one and in small groups to ask for ideas and suggestions on corporations, foundations, and individuals who might be interested in supporting our efforts. While some of the money we need will come from state and federal sources, we must have substantial support from the private sector to succeed.”

      Today’s Foundation Board meeting included welcoming remarks from Archbishop Oscar Lipscomb, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Alabama Department of Archives and History. The keynote speaker was former Mississippi Governor William Winter. For more than 30 years, Governor Winter has served as Chairman of the Board of the Mississippi Archives. He has been a leader in preserving the past, while also trying to help lead the South in addressing challenges of the future.

Created: March 14, 2002
Alabama Department of Archives & History
624 Washington Avenue
Montgomery, Alabama 36130-0100
Phone: (334) 242-4435